Emerging TechnologyChatbotsHow chatbots can refine the customer acquisition process

How chatbots can refine the customer acquisition process

Today, people have ever-decreasing attention spans and aren’t interested in putting too much effort into becoming consumers. That's what makes chatbots perfect for collecting customer information and moving customers down the sales funnel.

Today, people have ever-decreasing attention spans and aren’t interested in putting too much effort into becoming consumers.

It’s why things like texting have become so popular. We’re reaching the point where dialing a phone number is simply too much work for the average person. Seems unreal, doesn’t it?

But if you had to choose between texting and calling, what would you do? If you’re like most people, you’d take the easy way out and text.

Marketers need to take this new mindset into account when designing strategies to move people down the sales funnel. People are no longer willing to fill out lengthy surveys to receive product information.

Leaders in the tech space have already picked up on this distinction and started revolutionizing the way people sign up for more info.

Enter artificial intelligence and chatbots. AI is already implemented into nearly every part of your everyday life, whether you’re aware of it or not. Netflix, cell phones, Facebook, insurance companies: all of it is powered by AI.

Chatbots are just the natural progression of artificial intelligence into a human facing platform. Simply put, they’re computers that live within messaging apps, that talk to people with human-like speech patterns and an affinity for context.

Chatbots are also perfect for collecting customer information and moving customers down the sales funnel. They’re always available, work well on mobile, provide personalized responses, and provide the instant gratification today’s consumers are expecting.

Chatbots: the conventional benefits

Chatbots offer an unrivaled ability to communicate with your customers on their own terms. When someone needs information, your bot is available to help them. It’s a service that traditional sales teams can’t match.

What’s more, people are increasingly moving towards messaging apps as their go-to means of communication. Nearly 50 percent of people would rather contact a business through messaging than phone or email.

It’s a telling statistic that helps reveal exactly why chatbots are so important to the acquisition process. Beyond the problems they solve, the bots provide a few key traits that make them invaluable.

24/7 Availability

Chatbots let people contact your company at any time. When the mood strikes them, it’s easy to learn about your product. For example, a person talking about your product on Facebook Messenger could simply message your bot and learn more.

Mobile presence

Americans spend on average almost 5 hours per day on their smartphones. The tiny devices are also in some 200 million pockets. Chatbots working inside messaging apps are excellent for targeting people where they frequent: their phones.

Personalized responses

People respond well to content that’s created specifically for them. Chatbots use Natural Language Processing to have human-like conversations with user specific context that makes people feel unique. The more unique people feel, the greater the likelihood that they’ll take interest in your product.

While not customer acquisition specific, these three traits work together to build what makes chatbots so great, and what forms the background of their acquisition potential. Which leads us to…

How chatbots help with customer acquisition

Personalized, on-demand communication across popular platforms sounds great. And it is. Some of the world’s most profitable businesses use chatbots for everything from customer service to sales.

However, refining your customer acquisition process with chatbots takes a deeper understanding of exactly how the bots help generate new leads.

Awareness/interest

Awareness and interest are all about advertising your brand. After all, you can’t acquire customers who’ve never heard of your company. Chatbots offer a two-fold solution to improving your brand recognition.

First, the aforementioned 24/7 availability means people can always access information about your product. Someone with the urge to research your product is only a quick text message away from learning more.

When chatbots give out information, it’s much like an auto-populated form. Information is delivered without any customer effort. Want to sign up for a mailing list? Just give the bot your email and it’s done.

Second, chatbots offer compelling conversation that maneuvers people to your content. Natural Language Processing lets chatbots offer backlinks mixed with casual conversation. The more people visit your content, the more interest in your product and the better chances of a conversion.

Decision/action

Customers sometimes need a small push into buying your product or service. They need to understand why your brand is better than the competition.

Beyond chatbots endearing your brand, they also remove barriers to entry. People will choose your brand if the process is streamlined.

Think Amazon’s Echo and its ability to purchase products. Alexa is a chatbot that lives in your home and enables purchases with voice commands. Your own chatbot could host full payment services so that purchase is a simple sentence away.

Chatbots can also make recommendations based on the conversational context. The bots will offer product recommendations, and the ability to purchase that product.

Retention

The final way chatbots help with customer acquisition is their unrivaled customer service potential.

Your chatbot can offer personalized help no matter when the consumer needs attention. And just like compelling conversation and product recommendations, contextual awareness allows chatbots to solve problems based on the current situation.

Making sure your customers have a positive experience all the way down the sales funnel ensures they’ll talk favorably about your brand. This means recommendations to friends and positive online reviews.

With 74 percent of consumers saying positive online reviews make them trust a business more, attracting new business relies on happy customers.

Small to medium sized businesses would do well to include chatbots in their current customer acquisition plan. And what’s more, if you’re worried about making the transition to an AI based acquisition plan, you’re in luck. Chatbot implementation doesn’t need to happen all at once, and businesses can choose different ways to bring chatbots into their strategies.

Setting up a simple chatbot to test the water is completely viable, and still offers many of the benefits listed above. If you’re trying to attract new customers in today’s world of short attention spans and minimal effort, chatbots are one of the best choices around.

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