A bot is an online computer programmed application that runs and performs an automated task. For example, “Chat bots” or “Social Bots” are both algorithms, meaning pieces of software that use ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI) to automate various tasks. Their job is to engage in communication with people visiting websites were the objective is to assist them with any questions or queries they might have. The concept is to help build stronger relationships with potential customers by anticipating their reactions and providing accurate information.
There are various types of bots now being used such as bots that actually undertake the online sales process, research bots, analytics bots, bots that create online surveys and quizzes, and bots that can even help your marketing by customising individual ads.
So, how can you use bots?
Bots are ideal for making your online marketing strategy more efficient by streamlining both your marketing messages and your sales processes. For example, social bots can be used to create a voice with a personality to “chat” with your social media audience for instance on Facebook’s ‘Messenger’ platform where you can use a proven tried a tested method and don’t have to create your own programming code.
Other online services to help you create social bots without having to code are Chatfuel, Botsify and FlowXO . Bots can also be integrated with Amazon Echo and Google Home.
A great idea for using a bot is to set up your bot on your online sales pages to reach out to a potential customer with the aim to begin a conversation and engage with them. For example, while they’re looking around or shopping on your site. You can even use them to sell add-ons once they’ve bought by creating a ‘pop-up” to get their attention before they click off your site and then tell and show them other offers similar to what they’ve just purchased or to add two or more of the same product to their shopping cart.
This often works because people are in buying mode, it’s unexpected, it’s friendly, and it helps build customer relationships because it’s using relevant personalise information in an effective way and at the right time to match the online customer user experience.
However, because bot chat is an online interaction where people move around quickly and click, and click off, make sure to keep the communication between your customer audience and your bot instant, short, simple and to the point.
When bots were first introduced online they were viewed by some people as incredible inventions, by others as an intrusion into their privacy. As the online world has developed and new technology has accelerated, bots have become more and more accepted as a means of useful automated personalised information.
And it’s just the beginning. It’s clear that advances in electronic robot technology and artificial intelligence are going to take bots to the next level for marketing and sales opportunities, enhancing your brand awareness, and engaging, entertaining and building relationships with online customers. After all, we’re now using our Siri chatbot daily on our iPhone to assist in decision making and to help us live our lives in a fast-paced online world.
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