Customers are the most important entity in any firm, business, or industry. Acknowledging this importance, a variety of companies have started focusing on the customer engagement part of their business strategy and a great deal of effort that goes into meeting the customer’s needs and requirements. Customers expect their voices to be heard and doubts to be cleared rapidly and efficiently. And, these expectations, needs, and requirements keep evolving.

To keep up with customer expectations and engage them consistently, businesses and firms employ a variety of innovative methods to satisfy the customer’s needs and requirements. One such customer engagement strategy that is taking the world by storm is the use of artificial intelligence and chatbots. 

We all know that AI chatbots are an iconic addition to customer service and support online. But, they are also the same from the aspect of customer engagement. This article is a guide to everything you need to know about customer engagement chatbots, how they complement your customer engagement, and the various benefits it offers you. 


Customer Engagement and AI Chatbots

Customer Engagement and AI Chatbots<br />

A decade ago, no one would’ve believed the fact that machines might help in customer engagement, often better than a human agent. Well, recent advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning techniques like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) have made chatbots an ideal tool for customer interaction, that can
engage over 70% of the users from start to finish. 

Conversational AI is a technology that employs computer programs such as chatbots, voice assistants, or virtual assistants to converse with humans and contextually answer their questions. This is now regarded as the best form of customer engagement when it comes to online businesses or eCommerce stores.

Just like a sales representative addresses your concerns and solves your queries in a brick-and-mortar store, a chatbot functions the same way by conversing with a customer and elevating their buying experience, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction.

Many industries employ AI chatbots for their customers. From banking and healthcare to eCommerce and education, chatbots can initiate conversations, drive engagement and deliver exceptional customer experiences. 


Why Do Businesses Need Customer Engagement Chatbots?

Why Do Businesses Need Customer Engagement Chatbots?<br />

With a variety of ways to reach businesses and customer expectations ever-evolving, there is a need for more innovative means of communication that can be available to customers easily and efficiently. 

For example, in digital platforms like online eCommerce stores, the customer would usually have to deal with huge amounts of data, complex interfaces, and discrepancies in finding the right product. These might be enough reasons for a visitor, who lands on your page, to bounce out without getting their thoughts clarified. Here, chatbots can understand the customer requirements and heed their needs, thereby smoothening the customer journey.

In addition to the above-mentioned, here are some additional details on why your business needs customer engagement chatbots.

Saves Time and Money

Saves Time and Money<br />

Chatbots facilitate customer engagement at a fast rate by providing instant replies, relevant prompts, and direct answers immediately, compared to a support team that costs more and is generally slower. Today’s chatbots can also handle multiple tasks and are flexible enough that they can be reprogrammed to serve any purpose as specified by the deployer, eliminating the need to hire more personnel and train them.

Easy Integrations

Chatbots are coded computer programs that can readily be deployed into any environment or integrated into any platform and can get to work as soon as they’re deployed. They can also provide omnichannel and multichannel support where chatbots can remember the conversations and preferences of individual customers over multiple channels. 

Reduces Errors 

In addition to saving the money spent on human agents for customer engagement and reducing time, chatbots also decrease the errors associated with manual intervention. Businesses cannot afford to make simple blunders. AI chatbots can perform tasks with pinpoint accuracy and precision, from scheduling appointments to updating the database of both customers and businesses. 

Capture Data and Insights

Data can be an integral tool when making business-related decisions such as market strategy or financial decisions. With the increase in users, data associated with them also increases manyfold. AI chatbots can acquire data from users, provide insights into their buying behaviors and patterns and consolidate this into readable quantities for both business and user purposes. 

Easily Connect with Customers

Easily Connect with Customers<br />

AI chatbots can provide a way for customers to connect with businesses anytime from anywhere in the world and it also provides multiple means of conversing with businesses: over text or voice, or through a PC or mobile. This attribute greatly enhances the customer experience with almost instant resolutions to their doubts and questions.

Better than Engagement Apps

Mobile or computer applications can also be a means of customer interaction and engagement, but from a business perspective, they can be a bit complex to fabricate and a little complicated to maintain. Chatbots on the other hand are also computer programs that can be integrated into any website or mobile application and can run independently instead of creating a whole separate module and users having to install and run them.

All-in-One Support

Chatbots provide answers to all your questions from a single window and nullify the need for navigating through multiple applications or pages. They can remember every detail and preference of individual users over multiple channels and consolidate them over the channels. 

Better ROI

Better ROI<br />

When it comes to business investments, the possibility of better returns on investment is always an integral factor for better profitability. AI chatbots can be the perfect addition to your business strategy in terms of customer service, and automation of tasks at a lower price compared to human agents.

Constantly Evolving AI

AI Neural Network Brain

The current wave of digital trends will only be iterating for the better, letting you make use of new techniques over time. The specialty of AI is that it is designed in a way to learn by itself, train itself, and improve over time. Once initial measures are in place, AI chatbots will only make your business simple, effective, and engaging. 

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12 Different Ways AI Chatbots Help with Customer Engagement

12 Different Ways AI Chatbots Help with Customer Engagement<br />

Chatbots have proven to be of great help when it comes to engaging customers. From saving time and cost to facilitating their journey, AI chatbots have a variety of advantages. Knowing the different ways chatbots can be used will help businesses make the fullest use of the advantages they offer for customer engagement. 

Deeper Understanding of Your Products or Services

When your business deals with multiple products or complex services, the customer will often want to know more about them. In such cases, AI chatbots can provide a detailed description regarding your product services and pique users’ interest by asking questions, answering queries, showing images and videos, and driving them toward conversion without sounding too spammy. They can also show personalized product recommendations and converse with users to show similar products which might better suit their needs. This helps in upselling and cross-selling your products to suitable customers, thereby driving more profits.

Provide Notifications and Reminders

Provide Notifications and Reminders<br />

When a customer searches for a product, shows interest, or navigates through your website, AI chatbots can prompt the user with notifications automatically, even after the conversation is over. They can also provide notifications regarding the status of the product, whether they are in stock or out of stock, and when they’d be available to buy, and show similar or upgraded products. This attribute of a chatbot can keep the customer engaged post-conversion and keep the customer interested in your store for a longer time. 

Generate Auto Responses

Chatbots can initiate conversations automatically with a customer landing on your page and build conversations with the user and guide them till conversion. This can result in multiple benefits from acquiring data from the user to acquiring feedback. They can also grab the curiosity of the user and make specific prompts based on the page the users are on, known as page targeting. This in turn increases the chances of upselling or cross-selling products and services, all without the intervention of a human agent. 

Showcase Your 24/7 Availability

With larger enterprises and firms operating in multiple parts of the world under varied time zones, the availability of a facilitator to help customers and facilitate their engagement can be a constraint. Chatbots can be made available all around the clock and readily respond to customers anytime, anywhere in the world. And for complex support needs, AI chatbots can automatically create support tickets that can be resolved once the support personnel is back.

Enhancing Customer Service

Enhancing Customer Service<br />

Providing better customer service is also a way that chatbots guarantee a seamless and satisfying experience for the user. Research by Invesp shows that 67% of global users use chatbots for customer support and service. From being available all around the clock and providing instant replies to remembering user preferences from previous conversations, AI chatbots ensure customer experiences are smooth, through pre- and post-conversion. This in turn results in improved customer loyalty and retention. And by conversing, AI chatbots can help with personalized recommendations, feedback collection, and guarantee a simple overall process for both the customer and businesses.

Faster Replies

Proposing a query and waiting for a response can be quite frustrating, which leads to lower retention levels and lesser engagement. Traditionally, when multiple queries pile up in the queue, this can be arduous for the service representative or live agent. When confronted with situations like these, AI chatbots can provide instant answers to users without any wait time. 

Provide a Repository for FAQs and Answers

Provide a Repository for FAQs and Answers<br />

Chatbots collect and store a wide repository of data and can remember information from past interactions and user choices. Thereby, they can provide answers to any personal questions the user asks. When posed with a new question outside their repository, chatbots provide a fall-back response or connect the user with a live agent to provide answers, which also helps the chatbot learn over time. By doing so, they can become a valuable and ever-growing source of FAQs and answers. Hence, when another user poses the same questions, the chatbot will be able to answer them.

Leverage Personalization

A study by Statista shows that about 64% of businesses agree that chatbots provide better personalization compared to live agents. With the data acquired from the users either by analyzing buying and behavioral patterns or by conversing with them, personalization is a strategy that can be leveraged to our benefit. With the help of AI and neural networks, chatbots can predict the products the customer might be looking for and what they’d be interested in and then showcase accurately as if conversing with the chatbot personally. 

Optimization Across Channels

AI chatbots can help cross-sell or upsell products to existing customers, but they can also streamline engagement over multiple platforms. Some customers might prefer e-mails as their source of communication, whereas others might prefer Facebook Messenger and other social media apps. Moreover, some users might initially engage over emails and then use social media for later conversations. AI chatbots can understand where and how to target the user, and also acquire data on customer usage behavior, and finally, automate these tasks. 

Generate Leads

Generate Leads<br />

New visitors are a very powerful resource for your business. AI chatbots help acquire new leads by identifying the user’s buying patterns and targeting potential customers based on their intent. After acquiring this data, chatbots can converse more deeply with users and aid in conversion to loyal customers.

Help with Payments and Transactions

AI chatbots can be integrated with certain payment platforms and help the user make payments without having to leave the chat window. These chatbots can also monitor the status of payments and notify the user about any discrepancies in the transaction to aid with refunds and follow-ups. 

Broadcast Messages

Broadcast messages are one of the best ways to keep customers reminded about your product and service. AI chatbots can broadcast messages over multiple channels to let the user know about your products, new arrivals and launches, offers, and discounts, and keep the user engaged in more ways other than conversationally answering questions. 


Related Reads:

Conversational Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Sales & Engagement

7 Useful Reasons Why AI Chatbot Software Can Help Grow Your Business


Frequently Asked Questions

How do customer engagement chatbots work?

Customer engagement chatbots work by conversing with the user and facilitating their journey when a customer lands on your website. They can provide engagement by answering user questions, filling in product details, and driving them toward conversion.

What are some best practices when implementing customer engagement chatbots?

The initial step is to identify the audience, then plan a strategy accordingly by understanding the needs and requirements of customers and defining what you want your chatbot to do. Then design KPIs and metrics to track performance.

What are some limitations of customer engagement chatbots?

Though chatbots provide a plethora of advantages, they do lack some basic human elements like empathy, complex intents, and the ability to innovate. However, with the advancements in technology and the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, AI chatbots are becoming smart enough to fill the gap of human intervention.

Closing Thoughts

Happy and satisfied customers are the lifeline of any business, organization, or firm, thereby, taking measures to enhance it only makes sense for them to stay in the long run and stay ahead of the competition. 

Providing better customer service and engagement is all about listening to the customer’s needs and helping them out. AI chatbots have revolutionized the customer engagement space and are becoming a more sought-after option for both customers and businesses alike. 

Greg Ahern
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