May 16, 2021

The Ultimate Guide To Chatbot Sales: Automating Sales with a Chatbot

Chatbot Sales are a great way to automate your sales process and help you generate more revenue. By using a chatbot, you can increase your conversion rates by making it easier for customers to find what they want. This is because having a conversation with a bot is much faster than going through an entire website or searching through pages of content on search engines!

A new tool for marketers has emerged, and it's making waves across the internet. Chatbots are AI programs that simulate conversations with real people over text messaging. 

With this technology, You can now deploy a chatbot sales on your website to capture leads, automate workflows, or even educate visitors about products they're selling.

So how exactly do these chatbot sales work? And why should ecommerce entrepreneurs care? We've broken down some of the basics below so you can better understand what your business will gain by using one!

What Are Chatbots - How Do They Work?

The technical definition of a chatbot is any program that responds to users' questions naturally via text messaging. On the most basic level, chatbots are just a simple text messaging service that businesses can use to automate their sales and marketing. 

Chatbots allow your business to talk to visitors and prospects like real people and really influence their behavior towards your products or services.

Essentially, the customer reaches out to the bot with a question, concern, or message about one of your products or services. The bot then translates this into an automated response that's catered exactly to that user's needs. 

Once it figures out what they're looking for (and you've trained it ahead of time), it sends them the information they're looking for in as few clicks as possible. It will even suggest related items, but those suggestions are algorithmically so you don't have to pay a sales team to spend time on it.

For example, let's say your visitors want to know the shipping costs for an item they're interested in purchasing. If you spend enough time training your chatbot before launch, then as soon as that user asks “how much does it cost to ship this?” The bot will send back a tailored response like: "Hi there! Your order ships free via standard ground." 

Chatbots can also be used to direct customers towards items they may not have known were available for purchase, and automated follow-up messages keep customers coming back and spending money so you don't have to promote every day manually.

Chatbots work best if implemented correctly with sufficient planning. Because chatbots mimic conversations with real people, their effectiveness is largely determined by the amount of time you put into structuring your responses and providing helpful resources for users.

Picture from forbes

How to Set Up a Chatbot?

The good news here is that chatbots can be set up on almost any platform you choose: Facebook Messenger, Skype, SMS Text Messaging (both via Twilio), and Slack are currently the most popular platforms where marketers are deploying chatbots. 

You can also create your own messenger bot through telegram, which is an open source solution for creating messaging apps/platforms similar to Kik or WhatsApp.

Like anything else in the business world today, there are dozens of tools out there helping ecommerce entrepreneurs design and deploy chatbots. 

Many of them are even free, but you'll want to do your research before choosing one so you can ensure it's compatible with all your ecommerce channels and integrates seamlessly into your website, store, etc.

Creating a chatbot for your business is easier than ever. PhraseApp is one platform that allows marketers to create their own custom chatbot in minutes via their intuitive drag-and-drop system. 

How Can Chatbots Sales Help Your Business

The number of ways that chatbots can help businesses gain leads, automate workflow, and increase sales is almost totally limitless. The best chatbots are built with specific use cases in mind, meaning they're designed to help solve a specific problem for your business.

Many chatbots are already capable of replacing some of your most tedious sales responsibilities — we're talking about tasks like scheduling meetings and processing customer information. 

The following list contains a few reasons why you should consider using a chatbot sales.

1). They support 24/7 customer engagement: 

Today's customers prefer self-service and expect companies to be available at all hours via phone, email, website, social media, etc. Chatbot Sales allows you to find new leads and relationships with existing ones anytime day or night.

2). Customer journey mapping: 

It's a common practice to map out your customer's journey from awareness to decision-maker because it helps give context about where you're placed within their buying cycle. 

Chatbots help turn the path into a dialogue, which makes it easier for potential customers to disclose what they need and how much they're willing to spend.

3). They help with lead qualification: 

Bots can qualify leads so that sales reps have more time to focus on complex deals rather than simple ones. This allows for better conversion rates, as well as higher chances of closing top-tier accounts. 

For example, by implementing a chatbot into an informational website, marketers are able to engage visitors in personalized conversations that will influence whether or not they become a customer.

4). They free up time for your sales reps: 

Manually searching for leads and booking appointments is not only time-consuming, but can also have a negative impact on first meetings between prospects and customers. 

By using smart chatbots, you can automatically push out messages to people who are more likely to become customers based on their online behaviour. This will of course free up some time for your sales team, which they can then use to engage with more qualified leads.

5). It improves the accuracy of lead qualification: 

While personalization is key when you're trying to increase revenue, it can be challenging to achieve because each prospect has different needs at different stages in the buyer's journey. 

A sales chatbot helps overcome this challenge by sending automated messages that vary depending on the past behaviors of your customers. This enables companies to qualify leads with a higher degree of accuracy and hopefully boost conversion rates.

6). It speeds up their sales cycle: 

In order for marketers to meet revenue goals, it's vital they have a clear understanding of where leads are in their buying journey so they can be prioritized accordingly during each stage. 

With a chatbot, every lead will be followed up promptly and consistently as opposed to waiting on an unreliable system or manual follow-up from a sales rep who may forget.

7). Incentivize customers to take action: 

While some people check out your website just for research purposes, others are more likely to convert into customers if you give them an incentive for taking specific actions. 

For example, if you're selling products, offer a discount code in exchange for subscribing to your newsletter or sharing on social media. This will help increase the chances of people taking the next step in the buying cycle, which will hopefully lead to more conversions.

8). It helps you identify hot leads faster: 

With machine learning algorithms being implemented into chatbots these days , it's possible for marketers to detect hot leads early on by analyzing customer behavior patterns and determining who appears to be most engaged with their website content. 

Then when they actually do become prospects, there's no doubt that they've at least heard of you beforehand so they have an established rapport with your company.

9). Customer data capture: 

One of the main reasons why companies are investing in chatbots is to capture customer data. This data can then be used for segmentation across various departments within the business, which will allow you to create more personalized experiences for each of your customers.

10). Personalized customer service: 

Chatbots are capable of generating reports that provide actionable insights on how they can help improve customer satisfaction and retention rates by monitoring their responses and adjusting accordingly. 

For example, if a salesperson notices multiple people having trouble with specific features, it may be necessary to offer some sort of training or implement an FAQ section so customers don't have to wait hours before getting an answer to their question.

11). They're interactive: 

As opposed to just reading content on your website, chatbots enable you to engage with customers and interact with them by asking questions and receiving real-time responses. 

This means that sales reps will be able to form more relationships, keep customers on their website longer and boost engagement.

12). Buyer personas: 

Another benefit of chatbots is the ability to learn over time about your typical lead profiles , which can then be used for targeting purposes when your next marketing campaign rolls around. 

For example, using machine learning algorithms, marketers can get a better idea of who their customers are based on past behavior such as what they searched for online and how frequently they converted after interacting with an ad. 

They can also make it easier to define buyer personas because you now have access to specific data within each persona if you need it. This will allow them to create more targeted campaigns to help you reach a higher conversion rate.

Keep The Following Tips In Mind When It Comes Time To Set Up Your Own Chatbot:

What kind of customer support does my business need? How could a chatbot help with that?

What resources/information do my most engaged users need most often? What information should they be able to access via a web search that would improve their experience using my site?

What kind of data does my business currently have on its customers? Could a chatbot help collect additional information as well as encourage them to buy more products/services from me in the future?

Many ecommerce entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that chatbots can replace human customer support. This is a dangerous assumption because it's often untrue and will likely harm your brand if you try to make your case too strongly. 

It's important to remember that chatbots are designed to automate some tasks so they can free up more of your time for other responsibilities, but there's no reason why businesses can't use both automated bots and real people for their needs simultaneously. 

If anything, chatbots should be used as another way for brands to engage with customers, not replace them altogether. Good chatbot design is essential, regardless of your experience level or the software you're using to build them. 

Here are some best practices to keep in mind before you start coding:

1). Start small- Just like with any new marketing campaign, it's always a good idea to conduct A/B testing and gather feedback before spending too much time or money on additional updates or development. 

This means building simple bots that do one thing really well rather than trying to accomplish multiple objectives all at once. It also means understanding what works well for your business and customers so you can use that information when designing future iterations of your chatbot. 

2). Keep language simple- But don't be afraid to experiment with slang words/phrases/acronyms. The goal here is to create a bot that's easy for your customers to understand, but it shouldn't sound too robotic either.

Avoid trying too hard to be funny or cute unless you're sure people will respond positively. Each business will likely have its own unique voice and style when it comes time to design their chatbots. 

This means making sure your branding aligns with your chatbot experience so customers know they are still interacting with the same brand they always have been.

Chatbot Sales For Data Collection

Without question, one of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign is data collection because this helps inform everything from future customer service strategies to targeting opportunities down the road. 

Chatbots are no different in this respect; they can help gather valuable information about your customers while also improving the experience they have on your site. 

Here are some essential questions you should consider before designing chatbots for your business:

  • What kind of information is available about my existing customers? 
  • Do I have information on their age, gender, location, income level, etc.?
  • What other types of data can I collect from users? 
  • What kind of information do my most engaged users/customers need from me regularly? 
  • How could a chatbot update them with that information?
  • How can I get more details on the types of questions my customers ask on a regular basis? 
  • What keywords do they type in more often? 
  • Which interactions would be better suited for a chatbot versus a human customer service representative?

It's always best to avoid designing your chatbots as though they are completely self-service because that will only frustrate users and leave them feeling as though they're not getting what they paid for. 

This makes it more likely that they'll abandon the experience altogether and won't be inclined to come back unless you're offering something truly unique. Instead, try personalizing each interaction so users feel like there's an actual human behind the curtain who cares about their concerns and is doing everything possible to help them. 

Chatbots should also provide instant access to customer service representatives at any time, either by suggesting a phone number or indicating when someone is ready to chat.

It's also possible that your chatbots can serve as a "trial" of sorts and help you gather information on the customer for later use. 

If they enjoy interacting with your bot and it manages to solve their problem, there's a good chance they'll be more inclined to book an appointment or purchase from you in the future if their issue arises again. 

This means you won't have to worry about spending money on ads or attracting new customers because existing ones will come back naturally thanks to their positive experiences with your chatbot.

While we've talked mainly about bots designed for ecommerce here, it's to note that these same best practices can be applied to chatbots used in other industries as well. They may not always follow the same conversational patterns, but the underlying ideas and data collection processes should still apply.

Conclusion

Chatbots are taking over customer service positions which were once held by humans, but that doesn't mean we're safe from automation yet. 

While this means AI has finally become advanced enough to enter these fields, it's also important to remember most bots only replace the simpler tasks like answering simple questions and processing basic orders. It's best to still think of them as a tool instead of a replacement for human customer service representatives.

As more brands begin adopting chatbots on their websites, you'll need to keep some key points in mind if you want your customers to have an enjoyable experience with your brand. 

First and foremost, make sure each bot can actually provide assistance that's related to the specific issue or inquiry it claims to address. This will prevent users from getting frustrated when they realize your chatbot has no idea what they're talking about because it was designed poorly.

Make it clear up front that these are automated responses being sent by a machine so people won't be able to claim later on that there was some kind of human error involved in their interactions with the bot.

Offer a way for users to get in touch with a customer service representative at any time if their problem isn't immediately addressed by the chatbot and/or they require more than just basic assistance. 

This will not only ensure that frustrated customers know where to turn when they need human help, but it will also give you valuable insight into what types of questions people are asking because you'll be able to sift through the transcripts and find patterns.

You don't necessarily have to design your chatbots as though they're completely self-service because this could lead to some frustration on the part of users. 

Instead, focus on providing personalized interactions that seem like there's an actual person behind the curtain who cares about each user's concerns and is able to help them.


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Himangi Lohar

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