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Companies in most industries have problems. According to LinkedIn's June 2020 US Recovery Tracker, key factors in the job market have not improved, such as: B. the hiring rate, job postings and the trust of employers. It's important for businesses to find opportunities that will hold or increase sales and be cost effective in the face of the new normal in US consumer and B2B demand.
However, there are long-term trends that are too disruptive to ignore. A seismic change in consumer behavior is the increased use of messaging apps for more than just sending and receiving texts. Internet shoppers can use e-commerce and social messaging apps to send payments, make reservations, view multimedia content, and purchase items, among other things. Chatbots unleash the power of social media and e-commerce by providing 24/7 customer support all year round.
There are a number of Artificial Intelligence (AI) conversation bots that can help your business gain a competitive advantage in acquiring sales, automating customer support, and saving money. Here are three that I personally recommend.
Related Topics: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business
Founded in 2016, the experienced strategists at the School of Bots in San Diego, California help marketers and companies to acquire sales, automate processes and maintain customer loyalty around the clock, mainly through chatbots delivered on Facebook Messenger and SMS. Training is also provided for other major news platforms. School of Bots' experts convey proven strategies on platforms they have close partnerships with and create custom chatbot marketing systems for startups and consultants. An example of such a tailor-made bot could accompany a potential customer in the sales funnel and move them to a possible transaction.
“This year, according to eMarketer, more people are using messaging apps than social media platforms. This could indicate a major shift in consumer behavior, ”said Kyle Willis, CEO of School of Bots. E-HUB, the company's chatbot training platform, gives members access to checklists, instruction videos, standard operating procedures and hands-on support. After the training, the members are accredited to offer consulting and agency services. In addition, the platform enables participants to acquire certifications, hire qualified bot builders or be hired in a virtual coworking space and connect with other members.
School of Bots works with tools like ManyChat, which offers reach through Facebook and, according to Natasha Takahashi, co-founder of School of Bots, "has superior automation and tracking capabilities that allow us to get the maximum ROI."
Bots can be a partial solution for companies that laid off customer support staff during the recession. Automated bots prevent consumers from visiting competing websites and therefore help seize sales opportunities. In addition, they streamline operations and increase productivity. They can be programmed to answer frequently asked questions, book a meeting with a sales rep, troubleshoot issues, and get online shoppers to checkout.
Drift positions itself as a "Conversational Marketing Platform" to highlight the revenue-generating functions of its bots. The company is a well-known solution provider that installs chatbots that qualify leads around the clock, 365 days a week. Drifts bots are used by big brands like GrubHub, GitHub, Marketo and Ellie Mae. The technology is also more focused on B2B sales and enterprise use cases. Drift's conversational AI can detect when a user is making a statement (rather than asking a question) so they can recommend specific products and view prices. Other functions include the automatic booking of meetings and the transfer of discussions to a sales team.
According to a drift survey published on Salesforce.com, users use bots for the following reasons: 32 percent get an answer to a question; 29 percent receive a detailed explanation; 27 percent solve a problem; and 27 percent receive customer service. Bots give businesses a competitive advantage in the face of today's consumer preference for interacting with messaging apps. In addition, a large proportion of mobile users want instant answers to questions. This automated way to get involved in real time increases the stakes for any B2B and B2C business.
According to a 2018 Accenture survey, 56 percent of executives say conversation bots are disrupting their sector and 57 percent say the technology can generate high returns on investment with minimal effort. AI and machine learning are the most revolutionary innovations of our lives, and a bad recession won't stop the introduction of automated conversational interfaces. These platforms are becoming more and more sophisticated. For example, AI is getting better and better at natural language processing (NLP), which enables the technology to have a conversational dialogue with people.
Intercom has been around for nearly a decade, deploying custom bots that target prospects, route conversations, and reduce the need for web forms and emails. The company offers customers a proprietary Business Messenger app that provides automated, real-time responses. This messaging software enables Intercom to differentiate itself in the bot market. Most of the time, B2B users get the data they need to make timely business decisions. This includes dashboard information such as order status, billing information and training articles in the messaging app. In a 2018 Bloomberg interview, CEO Eoghan McCabe noted that email is increasingly ineffective and that more and more business people and consumers are using messaging apps for real-time business communications.
Intercom develops chatbot solutions that companies can use to make purchasing decisions by, for example, personalizing purchasing experiences and taking product tours. Access to certain features depends on your monthly subscription. A basic plan includes live chat and outbound messaging, while an expanded plan is more geared towards B2B lead generation, automated workflows, and reporting tools.
Related: 5 Innovative Ways to Train Your Sales Team
Chatbots are great sales tools that are becoming increasingly popular in the B2B and B2C space. They provide a competitive advantage as companies can provide customer support around the clock. As bots become more sophisticated, they can be programmed to book reservations, set up meetings and other functions without human intervention. They can also be implemented inexpensively compared to hiring staff. Now that all companies are streamlining their wallets, now is the time to automate the customer experience wherever you can.