Article

Anisha Vijayan
Anisha Vijayan 25 July 2018

Essential Ingredients Every Chatbot Needs To Help B2B Marketers

Chatbots are limitless in the application opportunities they present to us. Bots have been known to function mainly for the purpose of answering customer service requests but they are now being used to sell, update and disseminate information to everyone. But to truly utilize a chatbot, B2B marketers need to remember some vital ingredients.

“If the content is king, a conversation is emperor” according to Azkabot founder Saif Ahmad.

‘Conversational Commerce’ is an emerging term in the B2B marketing & sales context which brings together the 3C’s of a sales and marketing chatbot; Content, Conversation & Context.

A chatbot is a computer program that is designed to simulate conversations with human users. They are not here to replace humans but to do the same job in a better, faster and more effective manner using existing tools leaving humans to take care of more important tasks. Bots can help engage prospects in meaningful, engaging interactions to reach your goal of qualifying leads, converting prospects, retaining customers or even increasing sales quality and quantity.

Bots function on the very simple principle that people who are engaged in meaningful, useful, and timely conversations about their problems and possible solutions, are more likely to make a purchase. Chatbots can be extremely advantageous to your company if designed well.  

With the help of chatbots, your company will be available 24/7 to customers where they can have a useful and engaging conversation with your company. This will ensure that they enjoy a seamless user experience even when it is not during your work hours. But for you to truly utilize your chatbot to its maximum potential, you need to leverage the 3Cs.

Content

The most fundamental purpose of inbound marketing is user education and chatbots improve this process greatly. But in spite of how incredible chatbots are and how helpful they are to your company, they are limited by what is programmed into them but this isn’t as hard as it sounds.

  1. Prospect Analysis

After you define which line of business your chatbot will serve: B2B or B2C, you will be able to take the first steps in creating targeted content for your chatbot to use.

  1. Define Business Objectives

Once you have defined your potential client, discuss with your team and decide which areas need to be benefited with the implementation of a chatbot; customer care, sales platforms, operating costs, user experience.

  1. Decide Chatbot Type

Even though chatbots are capable of handling more than one activity at a time, it is important to prioritize the central function of the chatbot; product sales, customer support or news sharing.

  1. User Experience

The chatbot can revolutionize the user experience with your business by just giving 24/7 attention or by answering frequently asked questions in real time which could lead the customer to even making a purchase or hiring a service. For this, you should use Natural Process Language interfaces.

  1. Future Planning

To get a clearer picture of the technical implications of certain activities and to better prepare infrastructure for chatbot evolution, it is imperative that you work with the chatbot developers of your company.

Conversation

The deciding factor that differentiates a memorable bot from an ineffective one is personality. In many companies, bots tend to sound the same for the simple reason that they were written by developers and not writers. The conversation is functional but it is also very linear and not very human-like.

If a conversation is correctly designed, the personality of the chatbot, and by extension, the company, will shine. Focus on copywriting for tight spaces as well as the chatbot display isn’t too large and the buttons even smaller. So opportunities need to be grabbed where the chatbot can use GIFs, emojis, and great copy.

The conversation designer needs to prepare the chatbot for all the possible paths a user could take to reach their end goal; getting a quote, calling a number or to make a purchase. By creating multiple storylines for the bot and designing it with flexibility, you engage the user in a nonlinear manner.

Context

Chatbots do not automatically know how to use context but can be programmed to use it powerfully by providing the right information and tools. Each conversation with a user includes a unique identifier which needs to be preserved. If the context isn’t preserved, then each input in the chat will appear to be the start of a new conversation which is frustrating to the user. This can be fixed by saving the context each time and sending it back to the Conversation Service.

It is also important to know the when, where and what. Chatbots exist in different locations — on websites, through smart speakers, in apps. Knowledge of which channel your users are chatting to you through is useful as it can be used to shape different conversations in different channels, locations or times of the day.

With a really good set of training data, and being able to add synonyms into a chatbots vocabulary will help your chatbot understand more phrase variations. Only after gathering a lot of phrase variations during research should we build our chatbot, but once it goes live, we should constantly review what isn’t being understood so as to keep adding training data and making a smarter chatbot.

Your chatbot must give good guidance to users on what it can do, so the boundaries within which the interaction can take place are understood.

Bots are the most direct line between a problem and its solution for a buyer. Without the need for forms, full inboxes, or wasted time spent searching and scrolling through content, bots help find solutions for consumers no matter where they are or what device they use. Chatbots are a marketer’s dream as it entails a World where authentic relationships can be built with their buyers.

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