The recent pandemic along with the evolution of new technologies, the internet, and mobile has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies. There is an exponential growth in online shopping, social media, and overall web interaction among the consumers, which is leading to a change in their decision-making process augmented by online research and consumption of personalised marketing.
The consumers aren’t responding well to mass communication from the brands and are looking for tailored offers and personalised suggestions, that is why 74% of users prefer chatbots while looking for answers to simple questions.
Gartner research indicates that customers react negatively to irrelevant, undifferentiated messaging. Marketers are adjusting to changing consumer expectations by placing greater emphasis on multichannel personalization.” – Gartner
Intelligent virtual assistants are the newest trend in the market which might be the solution to many existing problems in traditional marketing. Almost all the businesses are trying to figure out how to use those.
And like any new trend, it leaves a lot of questions unanswered like
- What are the most common frustrations of a typical customer from online businesses?
- How intelligent virtual assistants fit in solving those problems?
- Should you invest in an intelligent virtual assistant for your business?
What are Intelligent Virtual Assistants?
The goal of any business is to provide the customers with the products and services of their choice at the desired time.
Intelligent Virtual Assistants are AI-workers that orchestrate enterprises’ applications, processes, and people by engaging with users based on utterances and triggers to understand the unstructured nature of queries. And continues to learn from the engagements with the users.
There are many advantages to using an intelligent virtual assistant like
- Providing consistent responses to general queries
- Ability to cross-sell and upsell
- Round the clock availability
- Scalability to accommodate any number of customer queries
- Ability to generate qualified leads based on interest
- Interactive data collection
- Cross-platform application
- Ability to provide custom interactions by using environmental data
- Smart agent transfer, etc
The concept of chatbots is nothing new, it’s been there from the 1960s in its earliest form. The real innovation is its application in business scenarios and recent data democratization.
Problems with traditional Online experiences
According to a recent survey to better understand where the opportunity lies for chatbots and to understand the common frustrations of a typical online experience, thousands of people were asked to detail their frustrations. Below are the most common answers from that survey
- Sites hard to navigate (34%)
- Not being able to get answers to simple questions (31%)
- Basic details about a business hard to find (28%)
- Takes too long to find services (27%)
Chatbots can clearly help to resolve these frustrations enhancing the experience of customers.
Traditional marketing is falling short as it’s almost impossible to provide any live interaction to all the customers without chatbots and customers have huge expectations from the businesses to resolve the queries in real-time with high accuracy.
Intelligent virtual assistants in Marketing Funnel
When people think of intelligent virtual assistants, they think of personalised customer service but it extends much farther than that it actually provides a unique experience to every customer at every stage in a marketing funnel. Let’s understand what are the applications of the bot at every step.
At this stage, the customer becomes aware that the product or service exists, and using bots can provide a personalised engagement with the customer at the very start of the funnel.
It can help you broadcast your message to the targeted audience based on the customer preferences and Demographics along with other contextual data. It can be customized to the page customer is viewing and various other factors like their location, search history, and company IP address in case of B2B business
The basic idea behind conversational advertising is that you can provide a unique, one of a kind experience to each customer at the very beginning of the funnel. Rather than a one-way experience of traditional mass media, chatbots can enable greater personalisation and granularity by providing a 2-way communication stream at the very start of the funnel.
Here is our Xiaomi’s Click to WhatsApp ad:
Once the lead shows interest and starts looking for additional information chatbot can provide answers to their requests and FAQs immediately. There is always an option to connect the lead with a live representative if the bot can’t answer the query.
This conversation can also be extended to other social media platforms for a qualified lead without losing the track of conversations. As opposed to traditional marketing it is much better to use a chatbot vs Email marketing as the Clickthrough Rate (CTR) of a Chatbot ranges from 15-60% whereas Email marketing CTR is just about 4%.
With the help of real-time customer analytics, the chatbots can cross-sell products based on customers’ interaction on the web and their needs. This can be scaled with thousands of customers with no incremental costs.
The chatbots generate the database for all the qualified leads leaving the sales team to take over and focus only on the important leads. This improves the turnaround time for lead conversion and at the same time-saving money in the process.
The last stage is when the customer makes the purchase which is generally handled by a live agent. But this stage can also be completed by the intelligent virtual assistants majorly in eCommerce, travel industry, or food industry as mentioned in the below use cases.
In the food industry, a great example is Yellow Messenger powered dominos chatbot which helps customers customise pizzas as they would do online and saves the orders for repeat orders.
The ability to create interest and lead to action along with generating data for future messages or notifications to the customer for a repeat order. And hence converting intelligent virtual assistants into a brand advocate.
How an Intelligent Virtual Assistant can help in Marketing?
Lead Generation and Lead Validation
Intelligent Virtual assistant amplifies ways to attract and engage consumers, gather precise, new data, shorten sales cycles, and drive substantial outcomes via deploying conversational banner landing pages and instant messaging platforms.
Conversational banners provide the freedom to the consumers for engaging with the brand right from the advertisement and increasing the probability of converting the lead.
Marketers can direct users from media campaigns across search & social to their WhatsApp virtual assistant. It is a perfect and seamless way for lead generation and lead qualification.
Re-target, Upsell & Cross-sell
With push notifications and reminders set up by our intelligent virtual assistant, marketers can empower users with additional information. Marketers can transform their ABM and remarketing efforts with personalised interaction.
Intelligent virtual assistants are dynamic to be applied at any stage of the sales funnel be it lead generation or developing client relationships, answering FAQ’s or navigating customers through the website.
Companies in any field or industry can benefit from Intelligent virtual assistant’s ability to navigate a customer’s journey.
To reap the benefits of automated AI lead qualification incorporate an intelligent virtual assistant into a company’s sales process and improve bottom lines.
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