Bots were once the thoughts of creative minds who wrote scripts for sci-fi movies yet today are more “real” than ever before. The term ‘bot’ is getting used more regularly theses days and bots are starting to get used in many different scenarios.
When used effectively, bots become highly effective tools in dealing with potential and current customers. How do they do that? They’re able to understand and communicate with a client and what they’re requesting or looking for and able to give them an appropriate response. At this point, if you don’t know what a bot is, you can find out here.
There are so many ways to use them but we’re going to be looking at how companies can get in on the rise of bots to improve their marketing and quality of leads.
This becomes the basis of every other interaction the bot can perform. It is also what separates a bot from an automated workflow (a set of predefined tasks which can account for changes but these are set).
With the massive advancement in the artificial intelligence (AI) space, bots are able to have seemingly human, but not always perfect, conversations with people over a variety of platforms. These conversations allow bots to understand what your visitor / customer wants and could potentially give feedback without manual intervention.
So how is this going to help in marketing? Well a low 22% of sales people said they get their leads from marketing (source: state of inbound). This means that these leads are not being nurtured or being vetted as being a good fit. Bots could be a really good way to get to know more about the lead or visitor before marking them as a sales qualified leads.
Lead Generation and Qualifying
If you’re already having a conversation with a visitor, one that is about understanding what they’re looking for, there’s a lot of great opportunities to get your visitors contact information in return for some really good content. A sample conversation could go something like this:
Visitor: Hi, I’m looking for more information about your [facility / product / investment]?
Bot: Hi, that’s great. Before we continue, can I get your name?
Visitor: Sure, my name is Roger.
Bot: Roger that 😉 How can I help you with information about [facility / product / investment]?
Roger: I get that all the time! Well, I’m just shopping around for a price.
Bot: Sorry, my jokes are sometimes lame. Anyway, our pricing is largely dependent on your requirements. I’d like to send you a video explaining what we do so that you understand what we offer. Could I get you an email just in case we get disconnected?
Roger: Sure! It’s [email protected]
Bot: Thanks. I’m quickly getting it for you.
Bot: Here it is:
*5 minutes pass*
Roger: That’s great, I really love the idea of doing xyz.
Bot: We think it’s really cool as well. [How many would you like? / How often would you like to train? / How much would you like to invest?]
Roger: [Qualifying answer]
Bot: That’s perfect. I think it would be best to give you over to one of our senior sales team member who will give you a solution that is suited specifically for you. Can I go ahead and connect you?
Roger: Sure, thanks for you time!
Bot: Any time, and let me know if you have any other questions.
[Connect sales member]
As you can see in this example, we were able to qualify a lead and pass them onto the sales team in one go. You could also have different outcomes and different qualifying criteria or only take them further into the marketing funnel trying to get as much lead information as possible, either way, this will all be done for you by a bot.
I don’t know about you, but if you’ve had to fill in one of those “5-minute” surveys that actually take 15-minutes and require a lot of clicking then I’m sure you’re not the biggest fan of clicking that “Take the 5-minute survey” button. However, surveys are such a great tool for getting valuable insights into your visitors, leads and customers along with their behaviour.
Bots can completely turn this interaction into a potentially fun and interactive experience. The bot can ask the questions and the survey taker can simply respond with their keyboard. It also means the bot can keep them motivated and monitor their responses (and even sentiment) and act accordingly. For those data geeks, you’re also able to validate their input so if you want a number from 1-10 (‘1’ or ‘one’) will work but not ‘Harry Potter’.
Sometimes leads are not ready to be contacted by a sales team but you have all their contact information. Maybe they have actually been contacted by your sales team but were not a good fit yet – a scary stat is that only 5% of sales people said they get very high quality leads from marketing (source: state of inbound). Using some intelligence you can trigger the bot to contact the lead if the visit a certain page with the goal of trying to strike up a nurturing conversation. Here’s another example:
Bot: Hi Roger, it’s been a while! I’m sad to see that you’re not a valued customer yet. If you’re still thinking if we’re a good fit or not, here’s a good example of what sets us apart: [case study]
Roger: Thanks, I’ll have a look at it.
That may not seem like it was very beneficial but if Roger had contacted a salesperson being that unsure, it could be a waste of time. This way, Roger is being nurtured and when he sees the value, he’ll be more willing to speak to a salesperson about closing and more willing to pay the right price. If he doesn’t see the value, then it’s saved everyone some valuable time.
Interactions on Social Media
Bots could also interact with people on social media. It could be a comment / post on your Facebook page or a mention on Twitter – the bot would be able to come up with a unique response that will delight the person it’s conversing with.
This is also a good way to deal with complaints with the bot communicating quickly and attempting to take the conversation into private. This means you can quickly diffuse a tricky situation from becoming a PR nightmare.
There are so many options to play with and applied right, can be a hugely valuable tool for your marketing and sales team. Bots will allow your company to grow quickly without having to take on large marketing / sales team and it will allow you to be effective at all hours of the day.