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How to Retain Customers Using Chatbots

Acquire and retain customers with managed and optimized chatbots.

Chatbots can bring numerous benefits to your business. They provide real-time customer support and provide exceptional customer experiences at scale, without the human overhead. Given that, it’s not surprising that 85% of interactions with customers will be managed by chatbots by 2020. However, they’re not the perfect fit for everyone: making a decision between live chat vs chatbots depends on your business goals and customer experience strategy. 

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If you already know chatbots are for you, here is how to use these sophisticated technologies to retain customers.

Retain Customers with Chat Blasts

Chat blasts are mass messages sent to your Facebook followers.

Unlike standard messaging on Facebook, where the conversation starts when a customer sends you the message, subscription messaging lets you send unlimited messages if they’re not promotional.

Once you apply for subscription messaging, here are a few tips on how to use them to keep your customers informed and engaged.

Keep your subscription messages informative.

Explain what your chatbot is about and ask a customer whether they would like to get occasional tips and updates from you. Make sure your CTAs are catchy, such as “Yes, sign me up!” or “No, thanks.”

When a customer answers by hitting the CTA, let the conversation flow naturally. For example, if they hit “Yes,” send another CTA like “Give me free tips” that lets them start the conversation with you immediately.

Also, transparency is the backbone of your chat blast. Your every message should emphasize that a user can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Engage with your customers consistently with non-promotional blasts.

Reach out to your customers via chatbot to ask them how they’re doing and whether they need any help.

Send them reminders for events. For example, if you’re launching a super-helpful webinar or live video on Facebook, why not let them know about it on time and even give them the opportunity to sing up right from the bot.

You could also provide the hottest news in the niches relevant to your audiences to position yourself as an authoritative resource.

Incentivize customers

Customers expect brands to offer incentives for their loyalty. Be it promotional items like custom flash drives with your logo, massive discounts, free trials, free shipping, or your latest products, rewards programs will keep your customers happy and inspire them to buy from you again.

Most importantly, loyalty programs are an amazing opportunity to increase user engagement. For example, when hosting a social media giveaway, don’t choose winners randomly. Instead, set clear entry rules and encourage customers to unleash their creativity. Ask them to write an essay about their experiences with your brand, take a photo of themselves with your product, or simply draw something related to your brand/products.

This is where chatbots shine. Give that they have extremely high open rates, they’re a perfect way to promote time-sensitive offers, evoke FOMO in your customers, and keep them informed about the news and updates related to your giveaways.

Personalize Customer Experiences to Retain Customers

Generic conversations don’t resonate with your customers anymore. To get them to buy from you, you first need to provide them with highly personalized experiences at every stage of their buyer journeys. SalesForce says that 57% of online customers want to share their personal data with you to get relevant offers, while Deloitte found that 48% of customers are eager to wait longer to receive such experiences.

So, conduct a cross-channel analysis of your customers. Listen to them on social networks, conduct paid surveys, pay attention to your live chat conversations, and analyze their overall engagement with your brand to understand their needs and preferences. Segment them according to their demographics data, hobbies, interests, and problems and create detailed buyer personas that will help you create a chatbot that resonates with them.

When it comes to personalizing customer experiences, Sephora’s chatbot is killing it on Facebook. Customers use it to find actionable makeup tips and recommendations, as well as unbiased product reviews. They first need to take a quiz about their makeup preferences and routines. Based on their answers, a chatbot delivers personalized feedback and helps them find products that meet their needs. Moreover, they can even upload a photo so they can see how certain makeup products would look on them.

Optimize your Chatbot Script

When we’re born, we’re all tabulae rasae – clean slates, empty minds that get shaped over time through different experiences and interactions. The same goes for your chatbot. You’re the one creating its identity. It should personify your online presence, making its missions, values, and goals more relatable to an average customer.

This is immensely important, given that the human approach matters a lot in digital marketing. Statistics say that almost 84% of your customers trust peer reviews they find online, while most of them believe micro influencers more than top celebrities. The reason for that is simple. They trust them more.

Precisely because of that, you need to create a highly relatable chatbot, one that engages a customer, evokes emotions in them, and makes your brand conversations more natural.

Give it a name

Don’t simply choose your brand name. Be creative and choose something that entices a customer to start a conversation with you. Some examples of awesome chatbot names are Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, IBM’s Ross, or Microsoft’s Cortana.

Inject your brand identity into each conversation

Choose your brand tone of voice and use it consistently in your chatbot conversations to increase brand awareness. Look at the Albert Einstein bot, created specifically to promote the National Geographic Genius show. When interacting with users, the bot uses Einstein’s manner of speaking.

Humanize your chatbot script 

The chatbot for business language needs to be casual, just like the one you use when talking to customers face-to-face. Make your tone conversational and keep your answers short. Instead of sending an essay to a user asking for a simple question, write only 1-2 concise sentences per message. This is how you increase the readability of your messages and ensure the natural flow of conversation.

Humani: Jessie’s Story is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Namely, Jessie is a 20-year old that experiences numerous problems daily. She is looking for a job, trying to find an apartment, and she desperately needs a boyfriend. Her conversations are typical for her Millennial persona – they’re simple and casual. Most importantly, the flow of the dialogue is so natural that you will soon start thinking of Jessie as a real human being.

When used strategically, a chatbot is king of real-time interactions with customers and building stronger relationships with them.

For starters, use chat blasts to grab people’s attention, keep them engaged and retain customers who have already converted. Provide helpful tips, promote your latest content, and inform them about time-sensitive offers and contests.

Personalize customer experiences. Get to know your customers and provide them with highly relevant offers and content.

Optimize your chatbot storytelling. People want to hear your story, so make sure you infuse your personality and unique brand language in your chatbot.

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Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. He enjoys writing and providing insight into the marketing industry based on both practice and theory.