Chatbots are 2020s digital marketing trend to look out for, as AI-driven messenger and communication systems help companies to expand their reach and improve customer service.

In this article, we take a look how chatbots have evolved and whether they are right for your business.

The rise in chatbot popularity

One of the biggest trends that we are seeing right now is the rise of the chatbot. Previously seen as unreliable, or too artificial, chatbot technology has advanced dramatically in recent years and it’s now at the stage where it can provide exceptional customer service, while not pretending to be human.

Chatbots can help you convert more prospects, deal with existing customer queries efficiently and capture user feedback and insight. Chatbots can also add a new layer of automation to campaigns, bringing the role of digital marketing even closer to sales.

The benefits of using a chatbot

With 24/7 communication and an excellent standard of service no matter what time zone they are in, or what time of the day it is, chatbots can be a potential gamechanger for customer service and sales teams.

The Harvard Business Review stated last year that: “Like all successful automation efforts, customer service chatbots can reduce costs, but the improvements they make in customer experience are far more impactful.”

Avoiding the downside of chatbots

But sceptics will be wondering just how human those communications will be, and if that’s morally acceptable.

The Harvard Business Review also states in a separate article, that while the chatbot technology develops further, companies will also be integrating technology that also allows customers to be directly passed over to a human agent, if the conversation starts to get out of the chatbots range. The change would be seamless, and the customer might not even notice the difference. .

The options and choosing a provider

Chatbots can be useful in any sector and there are a wide range of options available that can add value to your sales, marketing and customer service teams.

To find a chatbot that is right for your business, have a go at working through these steps:

Step 1. Decide what you want your chatbot to do. To help answer this question it’s useful to think about what has instigated your search, what problem are you trying to solve? 

Step 2. Think about your budget. Cost can vary dramatically from free to close to £1000 a month, so think about the return you expect to see and the features that would be most important to you.

Step 3. Find a provider that suits your business. This will involve a bit of research, but resources like Chatbots.org can help you to create a shortlist and weigh up the pros and cons of each. 

Step 4. Implement the chatbot. Once you’ve found the right option for your business, it’s time to integrate it with your website and other CRM systems. At this stage, it can be useful to engage with an agency like theLEAP to help you ensure all platforms are integrated and you have one view of the customer.

If you’re looking for support with your marketing strategy get in touch, we’d be happy to help.