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How Small Businesses Can Win with Chatbots and AI | by Kelly Mirabella | Jul, 2021

1. How Conversational AI can Automate Customer Service

2. Automated vs Live Chats: What will the Future of Customer Service Look Like?

3. Chatbots As Medical Assistants In COVID-19 Pandemic

4. Chatbot Vs. Intelligent Virtual Assistant — What’s the difference & Why Care?

Small Businesses can use chatbots to take social media comments and turn them into customers. When using chatbot-building platforms like ManyChat to build Messenger Bots, you will get access to a tool called the comment growth tool. This tool is a powerful way to create leads on demand. Like my friend Ryan Baggot from Tap the Table Says, they take social media comments and turn them into customers.

Using this tool, you can :

  • Turn any Facebook business comment thread into an automated lead generation machine in under 60 seconds.
  • Automatically send out replies when people comment on your business page posts.
  • Be able to respond to people right on the posts with a call to action to check their messages.

Comments turn into conversations turn into conversions!

Here is a video to show you how to set up a comment growth tool inside of ManyChat:

There are many reasons that small businesses should care about online reviews. More positive reviews can help companies to make more money. Locations that move their Google My Business profile’s rating from a 3.5 to 3.7 stars experience conversion growth of 120%. A smart goal of any business should be to obtain more high reviews to see those conversion gains. Additionally, businesses with more than 82 total reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue than average. So it is advantageous for a company to try and get more reviews that make their business look good.

But how can a chatbot help with that?

Restaurants:

There are several ways that restaurants can use chatbots to get reviews.

  • Having patrons scan a Q.R. code to access the menu enters the user into a chatbot. If you are on Facebook Messenger, you will be able to send a message sometime within a 24-hour window to ask how their meal was. You can then ask them to leave a review on Google, Trip Advisor, or Yelp.
  • Reward programs can easily be implemented in much the same way. Once inside the chatbot, the customer will be asked to join the reward program or subscribe to the restaurant’s newsletter via email. In exchange, the customer will get an offer as a free appetizer on their next visit. From here, the chatbot can follow up via chat or email to get a review several hours after the meal.
  • Delivery options. Chatbots can help restaurants take orders for takeout and delivery. Offering a menu, ordering and payment capabilities, and follow-up for review after the meal is received.

Retail:

  • Online retailers can use chatbots to answer questions, make suggestions, and help with abandoned cart notifications and follow-up. But they also can follow up after the sale! As long as you are staying within the rules of each platform, you can ask for a review (Please be sure you are very careful doing this on Facebook, MEssenger. For a complete guide on Facebook Messenger, Compliance and rules, go to: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KMirabella/e/27215.
  • Add QR codes to product inserts so when a customer receives their product, they can scan the Q.R. Code to take a survey, give feedback, get a special offer, etc. This will also open up the ability to ask the customer to review your product online.

Forbes states that 51% of companies cite cost reduction as the primary benefit of artificial intelligence technology

Forbes states that 51% of companies cite cost reduction as the primary benefit of artificial intelligence technology. And, what’s more, a 2019 study by Juniper Research found that the operational cost savings from using chatbots in banking will reach $7.3 billion globally by 2023 — up from an estimated $209 million in 2019. (Source: https://blog.revation.com/using-ai-to-reduce-bank-operating-costs)

One of the main ways a company can save money with chatbots is by allowing the chatbot to handle 80% or more online chat inquiries and customer service issues. According to IBM, businesses spend $1.3 trillion on 265 billion customer service calls they receive each year, and chatbots can help bring down these costs by 30 percent. (IBM)

Chatbots will allow your staff to focus on issues that need more human touch and not stressing or altogether dropping the ball, where chat automation can pick up the heavy lifting.

Chatbots can be used to help sell more retail products — and drive shoppers back to brick-and-mortar stores. In 2021, 53.9 percent of all retail e-commerce is expected to be generated via mobile commerce. And the number of people shopping online via their mobile devices is only going to continue to rise.

There is no wonder that as of February 2017, Amazon was the most popular shopping app in the United States, with a mobile reach of 40 percent. The average value of smartphone shopping orders in the United States as of fourth-quarter 2016 amounted to 79 U.S. dollars, compared to 98 U.S. dollars per online order via tablet. (source)

In 2021, 53.9 percent of all retail e-commerce is expected to be generated via mobile commerce.

Due to this, Chatbots are used by the top retail brands at scale across multiple channels: Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Google, Amazon Alexa, and Slack included. A Chatbot is the ultimate mobile-friendly experience.

Much like an online chatbot for consumer engagement (i.e., intelligent messaging), retailers can engage with shoppers on various chat platforms without having humans respond 24/7 ~ thus saving costs associated with hiring customer care experts and improving customer experience.

Since 41 percent of consumers prefer a business that utilizes automated conversational content over one that doesn’t support it, the value proposition behind bots is clear. A study by L2 reveals that rather than just responding to questions about product details and prices — retailers could use conversational interactions between shoppers and chatbots as an opportunity to encourage users to buy more products.

The messaging-app interfaces offer additional ways for small businesses and brands to connect with consumers beyond the standard catalog of items or promotions. Chatbot tools can enable brands to create all kinds of conversational experiences, both in text, video, gif, and audio formats. Making it possible for customers anywhere they can access the internet via their mobile devices to explore products and show with ease.

41 percent of consumers prefer a business that utilizes automated conversational content over one that doesn’t support it

The truth is, the uses for chat automation in retail are almost endless. Retailers can build personalized experiences for shoppers that go beyond answering questions about product specs to make recommendations based on what a shopper has previously searched for or viewed. This experience could be as simple as providing a discount code when customers view specific products, to more complex offerings like sending customers daily updates about new arrivals or trend alerts, among other things.

Below are a few examples of how retailers have integrated their businesses with bots:

H&M

In 2016, H&M launched a chatbot on the Canadian messaging app Kik, which 40% of U.S. teenagers use. The chatbot enables customers to see, share and purchase products from H&M’s catalog. It is a chatbot that offers personal stylist services. It asks shoppers what their preferences are and creates outfits for them based on those preferences.

Gold’s Gym Costa Rica

After government guidelines required all gyms to have a booking system to reopen in early 2020, the fitness center turned to Facebook Messenger and Calendly for help. But Younger gym-goers were on Instagram trying to book times. So They turned to my friend Trilce Jiron at TBS Marketing, who, in 2021, set them up with Instagram automation. After Trilce and her team set Golds Gym up with Instagram automation, they saw a 9x lift in bookings through the platform, 40% bookings on Instagram, and a 99% decrease in support response time. You can read the complete case study and how they did it at https://manychat.com/blog/golds-gym-2.

They saw a 9x lift in bookings through the platform

Offset Solar

Offset Solar used a Messenger bot and website chatbot widget to generate interest, answer questions and drive traffic. With the help of the team at Alice Digital Design, Offset Solar created a chatbot sales funnel that captured visitors off their otherwise static website. Offset Solar’s method of funneling leads through a Messenger bot was a huge success, generating $1.2 million in revenue. Read the case study on how they did it at https://manychat.com/blog/offset-solar-chatbot-case-study/.

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Big brands have used chatbots for years, but it’s only now that small businesses can take advantage of this technology as well. It is not just about shopping. Chatbot tools offer a wide variety of conversational experiences and enable customers to explore products and get answers without having humans respond 24/7 ~ saving costs associated with hiring customer care experts and improving customer experience.

Whether you’re selling a product online or run a brick-and-mortar business, these technologies will work for you. They’ll help drive more visitors into your marketing funnel and convert casual visits into sales!

Chatbots and Ai are the future of business, and the future is now.

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