We've talked about chatbots and how much they cost before: These programs open up chat windows on sites and talked directly to customers. They have some handy AI (very advanced AI in some cases) that allows them to carry out real conversations with people at any time, and can be programmed to handle nearly anything you want.
Sounds cool, right? But what you may not know is that chatbots are showing great results in the industries currently trying them out. We're talking about 10x higher open rates than email – in other words, people are 10x more likely to engage with a chatbot! So, what makes these little AI features so effective? Here are the top reasons buyers are excited about them.
1. It's Interactive and Immediate
An email (and many similar forms of communication) are very passive. You send it, maybe it gets read, people probably don't answer, sometimes it gets stuck in spam filters and then everyone moves on. A chatbot is the opposite: It's a lively little window that you open with the bot immediately asking, "How can I help?" in real time. People don't have to wait to get their answers, and they aren't sending responses out into the void. They are having an immediate interaction that lets them seek specific information. And that is one thing that buyers really, really like.
2. It Can Put a Real Personality on Your Brand
Many different levels of chatbots exist, but one thing popular bots have in common is the ability to communicate a real personality. Note that this doesn't always mean responding like a genial human being – although that helps. It can simply mean that the phrases in the chatbot database are organic and cheery, so it feels like the bot actually cares. That sort of personality reflects directly on your brand, and creates far warmer associations than an impersonal email. The popularity of chatbots indicates that people like this semblance of personality when they can get it.
3. It Can Answer Tough Questions
They really can: Complex versions of chatbots from big brands like Activision, Fandango and CNN can interact with users, walk them through steps or stories, and provide customer service-level information, 24 hours a day. Sure this saves you a lot of time, but buyers also love these systems because they can skip complicated explanations and just IM the information they want to know. It's highly efficient on both sides.
4. CTAs and Orders are Right There
Again, this varies based on the purpose of the chatbot. Some versions are very simple and only pass along information in specific ways. But many chatbots also supply information and pull data from company systems, and even a relatively simple bot can offer up an online form or basic order/inventory information whenever users want. Chatbots jump through a lot of hoops so users don't have to, and when connected to useful information (within the limits of privacy and security) they can be very powerful.
5. Young Buyers Love It
Is it any surprise that chatbots are popular among younger generations? They're different from email, they appeal to abbreviated chatting with simple, direct questions, and they represent cool technology. If you are trying to get younger clients or attract younger audiences, chatbots are a great way to start!
6. It's Available On Many Platforms
Buyers can find chatbots nearly anywhere they prefer to chat. Sure, they aren't available on email apps (at least not yet), but they can exist on any particular webpage, and on social media sites like Facebook. They work equally across mobile and desktops, too, so there's not much optimization to worry about. You can put chatbots where you want, and your audience can find them without searching too hard.
7. It's New
Part of the reason chatbots are popular is because they're new. Unique pieces of unfamiliar technology always get lots of attention when people first start using them, and chatbots are no exception. Stale emails just compete during the honeymoon phase. The future of chatbots is filled with potential, but quality will become a growing concern!