Are chatbots truly the be-all and end-all? The praise and cult-like following around chatbots makes it seem as though your conversions will hit rock bottom and your inbound marketing strategy is destined to become obsolete without these nifty little robots working their magic on your site.
If you’re a member of the inbound community, all this chat bot chatter probably has your head spinning. We can relate, but fear not, just keep reading and we’ll get to the bottom of it together.
Rewind…What Exactly is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is exactly what it sounds like. These automated computer programs have the ability to engage in conversations with site visitors. When implemented properly, these bots should be able to capture useful information from a site visitor, instantly provide them with the help they are looking for, move prospects down the funnel, and sort out good leads and bad leads.
What do Chatbots Mean for you and Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
The idea behind chatbots is to provide support like humans do, without actually having to use your people to solve the problem. Ultimately, your chatbot should increase your lead gen efforts while simultaneously decreasing the effort and time put into such lead gen and nurturing. Bots should provide a fluid user experience that gives site visitors the information they need and want to convert on your website.
In a perfect world, your chatbot experience should mimic that of an experience with a trained, high-performing salesperson. It should be able to detect the correct time and information a prospect needs in order to nurture them towards that conversion, as opposed to scaring them away. The bot should be able to detect whether or not a specific individual is ready to handle certain information and whether they are ready for content and offerings in the next stage of the funnel. Chatbots even have the ability to schedule meetings between prospects and salespeople.
While initial chatbot setup requires mindful, forward thinking and some manpower (mapping out all possible scenarios your bot could encounter at any given time with any given visitor is a lot of work!), implementing a chatbot should ultimately cut down the workload of your sales and marketing teams. When it is all said and done, your bot should be doing the dirty work of generating and qualifying leads, so your marketing team can focus on enhancing the conversion experience and your sales team can work to provide a high-quality experience to pre-qualified leads.
Where Should you Begin?
As you may know by now, the available chatbot options out there are endless. The overwhelming process of choosing the right chatbot is enough to turn someone away from the process altogether. Therefore, we’ve dug in and found a solid, reliable option for you.
Turn to Drift. Drift gives users the option to create customized chatbot playbooks, giving your bot the ability to respond exactly how you would like a member of your sales team to respond. Based on a site visitor’s responses to a series of questions and their interactions with the bot, your Drift chatbot will qualify leads and then schedule meetings on behalf of your salespeople.
Drift’s playbooks allow you the option of customizing the bot’s prompted questions based on what specific URL someone is visiting and based on the status of a certain visitor. For instance, if you only want a specific playbook to appear on your services page and only be shown to visitors who are known and who have engaged with the Drift chatbot before, you can do so. For each playbook, Drift records specific and important analytics that will give you insights and help you determine whether or not your playbook needs improvement. In addition, Drift can notify members of your team when someone interacts with your bot, allowing them to step in and monitor when they see fit.
Putting it Into Perspective
Circling back to our initial question, our final opinion: jump on the chatbot train! While noting that “your conversions will hit rock bottom” might be a little dramatic, chatbots WILL in fact play an important role in our ever-changing industry moving forward. Chatbots will ultimately lead to a more seamless conversion experience and free up marketing and sales teams’ time, allowing them to make improvements and enhancements to the overall process elsewhere.
Not convinced that Drift is right for you? There are many kinds of chatbots out there, with different features, benefits, and more. Here's a good resource to help you identify all kinds of chatbots so you can find the right one for your needs.
If you want to further discuss the implementation process of Drift and other ways to improve your digital marketing efforts, let us know!