To drive sales, you need to interact with your leads. Imagine you are the owner of a car dealership and the only salesperson there. When a lead walks onto the lot, you introduce yourself and let them know you are available if they need assistance. This system works as long as you only have a few customers there at one time.
But now imagine that there are thousands of people coming onto the lot. It would simply be impossible for you to provide one-on-one attention to each of them. This is often what it is like when you use a website for sales. You have a ton of people visiting the site and not enough time to work with them all. You need a system in place that can handle some of the simpler questions and requests from your site visitors, and pass along higher quality leads to your sales team. This is where chatbots can help.
What are Chatbots?
You’ve likely come across chatbots already. When a website adds a live chat feature, they don’t always have someone available to respond. Hiring employees to handle customer service interactions 24/7 is expensive, so instead, chatbots either fill in the blanks or perform the entire operation.
When a person sends a message to the chatbot, the chatbot will respond just like a real person. It will read the visitor’s message and reply with a canned response that it thinks is appropriate. Some chatbots are so advanced that they learn from each interaction and improve over time. The goal of a chatbot is to provide visitors with more personal customer service interactions, without actually having a person on the other end.
How Chatbots Drive Sales
The primary purpose of chatbots is to answer customer questions and address any issues they might be having. However, chatbots have 4 advantages that help them drive sales as well.
Chatbots Can Upsell
Upselling is when you get a prospective customer to purchase a more expensive version of the product they’re considering. For example, let’s say you currently develop a SaaS, and you have three pricing models – Basic, Standard, and Premium. A site visitor initiates a conversation with your chatbot asking about the Standard plan.
After answering the questions, the chatbot then sends out a message detailing why it makes more sense to go with your Premium plan. It can talk about the bonus features that come with the Premium plan, the cost savings the user gets, or anything else it thinks the user might like. Since the user is already in a buying mood, they are receptive to messages about upgrading their choice.
Upselling is a great way to generate extra revenue from interested customers. According to Sumo, upselling can not only increase your revenue by 10-30% on average, but they are also 60% more affordable than acquiring a new customer. The trick is that you have to catch customers at exactly the right time to do it. If you try too early, they may not have settled on your product yet and would dislike the sales tactic. On the other hand, try too late and the customer may have already settled on a specific product and be unwilling to change. Chatbots give you a better chance of slipping in at the right moment.
Improve Customer Ease
A top priority for any website that’s selling something is to make it as easy as possible for customers to complete their purchase. One study found that 88% of users are less likely to return to a website if they had a bad experience. Another found that 24% of shoppers abandon their cart because site navigation is too complicated. The more steps your customer has to go through, or the harder it is to find what they’re looking for, the more likely it is that they’ll leave. Chatbots are there to make life easier for your customers.
If a customer can’t find something on your website, it can ask your chatbot. If they are having trouble with your shopping cart software, they can check out through the chatbot instead. There are many chatbots out there, each with their own set of features. But the best chatbots have a robust set of tools designed to make everything easier for your customers.
Happier Customers = Return Customers
When a customer has a good experience on your website, they are much more likely to return. Customer service is a key ingredient for generating happy customers, and chatbots improve your customer service experience.
But don’t take my word for it. According to one study, 82 percent of consumers said they stopped doing business with a company after receiving poor customer service. Another study found that companies lose 71 percent of their business due to poor customer service. And when it comes to chatbots, 53 percent of customers are more likely to do business with a company if they can message them and 35 percent of consumers want to see more businesses using chatbots.
Gain Customer Insights
Finally, every business thrives on its information. The more information you have about your customers, the better you can tailor every aspect of your business to drive sales. With a simple chatbot on your website, you can learn a lot about your customers.
For example, let’s say you install a chatbot on your website and let it run for a month. After this month, you analyze the inquiries coming into the chatbot and find that a large portion of them are about 1 specific product. This may tell you two things. First, this product is popular and should be more of a focus in your marketing campaigns. Second, you don’t have enough information about it on your website and need to update your copy.
This simple example illustrates the potential of chatbots. When you have a chatbot talking to customers each day you learn things like which products are popular, what concerns customers have, where your customers are located, how they learned about your product, and much more. You can even have your chatbot send out a survey after their conversations to collect specific information from your customers that you want to know.
There are plenty of ways to learn more about your customers, but chatbots allow you to hear it from them directly.
How to Get Started with Chatbots
To get started using chatbots, there are a few steps you’ll want to follow:
- Create Your Chatbot – First, you need to create a chatbot. There are numerous platforms that can help you do this. A chatbot builder will help you to develop a chatbot that suits your particular needs. Spend some time exploring the different chatbot builders on the market and see which works for you. Consider their ease of use, the number of features available and the cost. Some options to consider are:
- Connect with Your Customers – Next, you’ll want to set up your chatbot to connect with your customers. The most common ways to do this are by including your chatbot on your website or on your Facebook page. By including your chatbot in one of these two spots, you can have them approach each new customer that arrives on the page and offer to provide assistance. This will instantly draw attention to the existence of your chatbot and let your customers know it is there if they need help.
- Adjust as You Go Along – Finally, once your chatbot is up and running, you’ll want to monitor its usage. You should study the questions your customers are asking and evaluate how well the chatbot is assisting them. You’ll also want to tweak the language your chatbot is using to ensure a natural conversation flow. Most chatbots come with advanced data metrics, so be sure to analyze these regularly and look for ways to improve.
If you can follow these three steps, you will have your own chatbot set up in no time. From there it’s just a matter of letting it run and watching as it helps to drive sales. Customer support is an essential part of sales, but you don’t always have the time necessary to interact with each individual lead. So, the sooner you can get your chatbot running, the sooner you’ll start to see an increase in your sales numbers.