It’s been said before and it will be said again: social media marketing is a lot more customer service oriented than a lot of people seem to think it is.
Yes, sites like Facebook and Twitter are great for getting that stunning new Infographic you just designed with Visme (which in transparency, I’m the founder of) or any other tool out to the widest possible audience. People have proven themselves more than willing to share this type of content with all of their friends, family members, and other loved ones if they find it valuable enough.
But in terms of actual, raw engagement, people also want something a little bit more from your social media efforts, too – particularly when it comes to the essential relationships that you’re trying to build every single day.
According to one recent study, a full one in three social media users says that they actually prefer social media customer care services to email or even traditional telephone. The same study revealed that a massive 67% of all consumers now use social media sites like the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter to seek a resolution for issues.
If you’re willing to give the people what they want, you can enjoy significant benefits, too. Like the fact that customers tend to spend about 20 to 40% more with companies that respond to their concerns via social media versus those who don’t.
But at the same time, this is also something of a tricky situation for you as an entrepreneur. If people have a problem, they’re going to take to Twitter to get a solution – and they want that solution sooner rather than later. What happens if that tweet comes in after everyone has gone home for the day? Or on a holiday? Or in the wee hours of the morning?
None of this changes the fact that people want their responses immediately, but you’re hardly in a position to live up to that demand.
What Are Chatbots?
A chatbot is a very particular type of computer program that essentially “interacts” with your customers in a natural and organic way thanks to both artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. In essence, it’s a bit like a standard “chat” window that you may already have on your website. Someone can load up your mobile app or other messaging solution, type a question and get an answer. Only instead of talking to a human, they’re literally talking to a computer.
Based on certain key phrases used by your customer, along with contextual analysis, the chatbot can “understand” exactly what your customers are saying and asking. When paired with your existing CRM and other types of solutions, they can then retrieve basic or even complicated information for that user – all without requiring the intervention of an actual employee.
So if your customer has a problem, based on the keywords and the specific phrasing that a customer has used, the chatbot might recommend a specific article from your KnowledgeBase with the solution. If a customer wants to pay their bill. It can show them how to do that – or it can take payment right from the window.
It’s a trend that has picked up popularity in the last few years in particular and in the context of social media marketing, it’s one of the most exciting advancements to come along in quite some time.
If you use WordPress as a platform for your website, there are great solutions in the form of plugins to set up a chatbot for your website. Here are some free WordPress plugins that may be helpful.
- IBM Watson Assistant: Train Watson to answer frequently asked questions and provide information to your visitors.
- VirtualSpirit Chatbot: With this plugin, you can create a Chatbot for your Website and try it for free for 30 days.
- Collect.chat: You can easily customize and script the chatbot to guide visitors and keep your them engaged.
Why Chatbots Matter
Based on all that, it’s easy to see why chatbots matter a great deal. Even on the surface, they’re already the best type of employee. The one that never has to eat or sleep, that never gets sick or goes on vacation and that is available all day, every day, no exceptions.
But even beyond that, thanks to advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, chatbots actually become more valuable as time goes on. The more people interact with them, the more accurate and helpful they become thanks to their language processing skills.
They can already help customers pay their bills, answer basic questions, look up account or shipping information and more. Every day, they’re getting better at all this and more. There will come a day in the not too distant future where you will likely be able to engage with a chatbot without ever realizing that you’re not talking to a human. If, of course, that day hasn’t already arrived.
It’s easy to see a situation where just a few years from now. You’re able to automate many routine customers cares and other service needs to solutions like chatbots. This, of course, will free up the valuable time of your actual human employees to focus on more forward-thinking initiatives within your company.
In the end, it’s important for you to understand that the world of social media marketing is changing all around us – and it’s blurring the lines between “marketing” and “customer care” every single day. Yes, social media graphics and similar types of techniques are a great way to add personality to your profiles and increase engagement.
But for true results, you need to go deeper. If someone sends you a message on Facebook with a question or concern at 3:00 am. It doesn’t matter that you’ve gone home for the night and are sleeping soundly. They want their answer and they want it now.
Latest posts by Payman Taei (see all)
- How a Flowchart Can Really Help Your Content Creation Efforts Soar - October 1, 2018
- Mobile Chatbots – The Way of the Future in Social Media Marketing? - August 7, 2018
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