The Essential Guide to Use Chatbots for Lead Generation
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now being widely used to digitally transform businesses and automate their processes. Most of the businesses struggle when it comes to acquiring leads and that too at a reasonable cost.
That’s where AI and bots come into play.
Chatbots for lead generation is the latest tool to help marketers to connect and engage with their prospects in an automated way.
“28% of top-performing companies use AI for marketing.” Hence sales and lead generation is one of the key areas where companies can see the direct impact of using chatbots.
Chatbot leads may be mountainous for small businesses but when designed and deployed in the right way, it could turn your business ROI high with no qualms. Every business has different chatbot use cases on how they can engage customers in a better way.
Why chatbots are important for lead generation?
Businesses can leverage chatbots benefits to improve their sales, customer support, marketing, and customer experience. Bots boost operational efficiency and bring cost savings to businesses while offering higher satisfaction to customers.
Forbes says, “80% of marketers plan to start using a chatbot in some way or another by 2020.” This is a significant reason why brands are investing in improving the customer experience.
The advantages of deploying chatbots are listed below:
Bots are always active
Chatbots are always-on to engage customers with immediate answers to all the sales queries. By leveraging sales bot, you can pre-qualify leads by asking questions by marketing experts. They also help to know the intent of your visitors and what to say next, which is the secret sauce of lead nurturing.
Automate sales process
You can automate your sales funnel with chatbots to prequalify leads by asking specific questions and based on their response direct them to the right team for further nurturing. Being able to engage customers instantly increases the number of leads and conversion rates.
Better return on investment (ROI)
Cost savings of $8 billion annually by 2022 through the deployment of chatbots. Bots bring in business opportunities by creating effective chat experiences for your customers. They are an investment that requires a thorough understanding of the purpose and how it will enrich, differentiate, or otherwise improve your overall service.
How to use chatbots for lead generation?
The perfect combo of AI chatbots and lead generation can flood your business with high intent leads. In order to garner this benefit, you need to embrace chatbot lead generation strategies to produce more leads.
Let us discuss how to build the best lead generation chatbots to generate effective leads.
1. Understand the target audience better
When you know a person better, it is easier to develop healthy communication. Similarly, as a business, it is equally important to understand your target audience better, know their interests and needs.
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Chatbot add-on not only helps in understanding prospects better but also in segmenting audiences, which is imperative for any lead generation campaign. It acts as a secret recipe for the marketers to create the right content for the prospects.
How lead generation bots help to understand much better?
- Bots help you identify the interests, likes, dislikes and create more engagement, resulting in more leads.
- You can run chatbots surveys to engage customers by asking questions to get a better view of the best and least performing products.
- Marketers use the right content at the right time to move the leads into the funnel. You should build a chatbot that can segment your audience based on the answers they provide. The factors that impact their answers are demographics, age, interests, gender, occupation, etc.
2. Segment your customers
Segmentation refers to using customer data to create meaningful audience segments. It does so on many factors like demographics, interests, age, gender, etc. The main objective of segmenting customers is to deliver marketing messages that are relevant to the users.
Segmenting your audience as per their needs will help generate more qualified leads. When the audience is segmented, it helps you in nurturing the leads.
For example, if your user celebrates Christmas, the lead generation chatbot can show the best gifts available for the customers. Also, over time you can create certain answers based on the fragmented results, so whenever your users are looking for particular answers, you can be prompt with it.
3. Auto qualify leads with chatbots
Chatbots are an excellent way to enhance communication between your customers and your business. A well designed chatbot can really help businesses to grow. You can use bots to prequalify leads when your sales agents are busy or not available.
Bots enable your business to reach out to a bigger audience without impacting the productivity of your team. You can prepare industry-specific questions and bots can qualify your sales prospects by asking these questions, then direct them to the sales team or schedule an appointment.
Roof Ai is a real estate chatbot that uses the power of smart chat aka hybrid model to drive conversions.
- The lead generation bot automatically engages with your website visitors and converts them into your best customers 24/7.
- The bot is perfect for new agents looking to increase engagement with potential leads on the website.
4. Replace forms with lead generation bots
The traditional and primary method of lead generation is filling up forms. And needless to say that it is one a tedious task to do in today’s time. It is neither exciting nor engaging. The chances of converting customers with lead generation forms are between 2.5% to 5%.
- Teaming up chatbots and lead generation can bring your business a good number of leads.
- Bots can reduce friction and streamline the data collection process thus effortlessly boost lead generation strategy.
Vainu, a data analytics service, engaged its users with rich conversations without the need for form fill up. They created Vain aBout. The bot asks qualifying questions and engages them by providing multiple options. The visitors can quickly make choices by simply selecting the option most relevant to them. The bot asks for their email address to book a demo or send a report at the end.
- Businesses that aim at collecting lead information needed to create a chatbot to ask qualifying questions and respond with new questions based on the previous answers given by visitors.
- With lead generation chatbots, companies can acquire more qualified leads compared to a simple lead generation form.
5. Schedule appointments 24×7 with lead bots
An appointment booking is something that’s a requirement for B2B businesses, hospitals, and healthcare who have a lot of meeting-related requests. Customers can book slots for an appointment on the website and the booking notification would go to the relevant team.
Businesses do not have to worry about booking hassles or extra costs to hire resources to handle the incoming appointment traffic. By deploying best lead generation chatbots, you can:
- Schedule appointments when your team is not available.
- Automatically capture leads 24×7 by fill up forms.
- Send email notification whenever an appointment is done along with customer contact details.
- Engage your customers offline over a call and confirm the same.
Let us take the example of Babylon Health, a famous British online subscription service that used chatbots to offer consultation based on personal medical history, and also can connect you with a live video consultation from a doctor.
After signing up, you have to detail your symptoms to the bot. It will analyze the database against its database and provide you further steps and possible causes.
Note: While a bot can never replace a physician, it can ask relevant questions to personalize the experience for each user. Allowing customers to easily book appointments and notify them with reminders are simpler functions that most healthcare providers can easily adopt.
6. Educate your audience with chatbots
One of the key aspects of lead generation strategy is to educate the customers. Without adequate knowledge of your products, why would anyone like to purchase?
AI chatbots come in handy in this event. Many global acclaimed companies like Sephora, Spotify added chatbots to educate their audiences about the products and services they focus on. It helps customers to make informed decisions.
Bots can send promotional and educational messages like upcoming webinars, offers, discounts or send books to educate about your business.
Integrating your bots with CRM can help you amalgamate the data of every subscriber, thus making your lead management system more free-flowing.
7. Use live chat handover for complex sales conversations
Both live chat and chatbot are predominant channels used for customer engagement. Both have their set of benefits. If you understand the pros and cons of live chat vs chatbot, you can make the right decision to choose live chat, chatbot, or the balance of both.
Based on the below parameters you can select the right channel for your business.
- Response time — You can use chatbot as a primary contact channel to deliver real time responses for sales related queries and use live chat for the complex queries that need human assistance.
- Customer experience — Bots can engage users instantly and provide answers they are looking for. When you are able to understand and meet your customer needs, the rate of conversion increases along with delivering a great experience.
- 24×7 support — If your business demands to be ‘always active’, bots are the best option. They can engage when your sales team is away by acknowledging the issue and scheduling appointments.
- Cost factor — If you are a small start-up, the cost must be a concern. Bots prove to be worth investing as they are easily scalable during peak hours with any additional costs of resources or infrastructure.
Businesses can balance their services by using both technologies to generate more leads and enhance your customer experience. You can deliver hybrid support by giving the best experience of both worlds.
Best practices to follow
- Businesses can identify website pages that require live chat support or bot assistance. It is better to use lead generation bots as the primary contact to engage customers, qualify leads and collect information before transferring it to the expert team.
- Provide a wisely balanced experience of both the communication platforms. Bots can manage simple queries and live support agents can handle complex queries.
8. Build strong customer relationships
A chatbot engages customers 24×7 by providing instant sales-related help to customers and builds trust between the user and the brand. Thus, the credibility of your brand increases. By using lead generation bots and human assistance in a balanced way, you can deliver a better experience.
Leading companies like Amazon use chatbots as their primary customer support. Users can ask questions relating to the shopping experience or products, and the bots provide a suitable answer instantly.
How lead bots help to strengthen customer relationships?
- You can warmly welcome your visitors by using a personalized message to grab the attention of the customers.
- Bots can greet, whenever a new visitor or returning visitor comes to the landing page.
Greetings are the best way of welcoming visitors that opens many opportunities like new sales or building relationships with prospects. The bot also collects basic information from the visitors that can be used in the future.
9. Engage visitors who intend to bounce
The main reason behind your customer leaving your website could be not getting accurate information in real time. Lead generation chatbots prove to be the best tool to engage users while they are trying to leave your website or shopping cart.
Lead bots provide them real time sales assistance, which they need the most. As a result of which your business witness are:
- Reduce the bounce rate — Providing immediate assistance when customers are within your site helps them to make quick buying decisions. Thus, reducing the bounce rate significantly.
- Increase conversion rate — When bots engage customers with the right information at the right moment, they end up with a final purchase. Hence, it helps to increase sales conversions.
Also, for the eCommerce stores, where the bot gently reminds you that “your cart is empty” or “your favorite product is waiting in the cart”.
Apart from sending gentle reminders, chatbots also initiate conversation addressing customers’ concerns. At times, users fill out the contact form but for some reason forget to submit it. At that moment chatbots can engage users and encourage them to fill out the form.
Lead generation chatbots serve the best ways to create a conversational website that converts your website traffic into qualified leads. With chatbot integration, you can engage your prospects, increase sales, and maximize overall business revenue.
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The Essential Guide to Use Chatbots for Lead Generation was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.