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Marketing

Chatbot. Let’s find out what they are!

It has been found that the most successful companies are those that choose personalised interaction with consumers. Chatbots, thanks to their ability to send personalised messages using consumer data, greatly facilitate success.

In recent years, among the many technological innovations presented on the market, a particular family of software, the chatbots, has arrived. These are network programs designed to simulate a conversation with a human being.

Chatbot: what are they

Chatbots, also called virtual or intelligent agents, are mainly used in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning, retail, customer service and support, due to their high ability to interact with human beings. The objective of constantly improving the quality and effectiveness of online communication of companies and industry has further developed them, leading them to integrate with new functions, but also new areas of application.

Chatbots in digital marketing

In digital marketing, for example, technological innovation has led to an increase in sales, revenues and competitiveness levels never seen before. According to a study dedicated to this relationship between marketing channels and new technologies, reported by MailUp, 69% of consumers have an excellent relationship with chatbots.

What are the benefits of chatbots recognized by companies and consumers:

  • They help you meet more consumers, ensuring high quality interactions with your target audience;
  • Many users no longer use email, which means that use is simply inevitable;
  • They help generate more traffic to the site;
  • Many consumers prefer to share information through them because they find email to be a more uncomfortable tool.

Chatbot and communication

They are an effective way to communicate with consumers. They can be used in conjunction with other digital tools. This is a relatively new marketing channel, so it is not yet widespread. Nevertheless, the implementation in companies and the user experience of consumers suggests that it can and should be used. There is therefore a positive correlation between email marketing and chatbot, which is increasing in terms of increased interactions and sales.

What chatbots?

The chatbots available today are multiple and have different levels of complexity. While basic chatbots can be adapted for most scenarios, some scenarios require more advanced chatbots.

In general, however, we can distinguish 2 macro-segments of chatbots which in turn can be divided into: Sequential and AI Chatbot

Sequential chatbot

These are the most common chatbots and used by most activities. They are the types of chats that follow a conversation flow defined by the developer. The chatbot only answers questions that it asks people, which means that a user cannot ask questions outside of the set ones, such as “how are you?”, “what’s the weather like today”. This is more of a question and answer session, where only the bot can ask questions.

Sequential chatbots are generally useful where we want to automate activities like complaints, feedback, lead generation, etc.

AI chatbots

As the name suggests, these chatbots give users the opportunity to ask whatever questions they have. And if trained to answer this question, they will. These contain AI technology and Natural Language Processing algorithms, which are able to understand what the user is trying to say and understand the intent. Having artificial intelligence, they are intelligent enough to understand users’ spelling mistakes and understand the user’s real question even if it is misspelled.

Unlike chatbots based on keyword recognition, these chatbots are smart enough to self-improve based on what users ask for and how they ask for it.

For example, they allow you to order pizza and store the data from each conversation, and they will learn what the user wants to order. This means that when a user chat with this chatbot, they will remember their most common order, delivery address and payment information and simply ask if they want to repeat this order. Instead of having to answer several questions, the user only has to answer “Yes” and the pizza will arrive at the door.

What is the most suitable chatbot for your business?

When deciding which chatbot is right for you, you need to put yourself in your users’ shoes and think about the value they are trying to receive. Will a super advanced chatbot have a significant impact and high value for your customers? If not, it’s probably not worth the time and resources.

Another thing to consider is your target user base and their UX preferences. Some users may prefer the chatbot to guide them with visual menu buttons rather than an open experience where you need to ask the chatbot questions directly. For this reason our advice is always to try your chatbot with a small group of people before putting it live for everyone.