If you’ve been searching on a company’s website for a quick answer, odds are you’ve seen or used automated chat messaging. Chat Automation, also known as chatbots, is the fastest-growing channel for companies to provide information and handle customer service inquiries. In fact, the use of chatbots has increased 92% since 2019.
Why all the fuss?
You may be wondering why chat automation has become so popular and if you should consider it for your communities. Markentum compiled some of the main reasons why chatbots have become common and how they can augment your customer experience.
Automate Your Most Asked Questions
If you find that prospects are reaching out to get the same information – such as your business hours or your policies on visitation, you can include these questions in a chat automation workflow. By providing pricing as a potential topic of discussion, you can help your prospects get their questions answered without them having to talk to sales.
Provide Quick Answers
The main benefit of using chat automation is to provide a place where your prospects can get their questions answered fast. This is especially useful if a prospect is looking for information outside of normal business hours. Chatbots can ensure that your website visitors get the answers they seek, no matter the time of day.
Help Collect Lead Information
While a lead is interacting with a chatbot, you can learn key information from that interaction. For example, you can collect an email address, phone number, or the prospect’s potential community of interest while they interact with your chatbot.
Like forms, the important thing to keep in mind is not to be too demanding of your prospects. The chatbot is there to help ease their experience on your website and add value, not take away from it by asking too much in return.
Suggest Helpful Content
Chatbots can do more than provide answers to your prospects; they can also suggest additional content related to their inquiry. For example, if a prospect asks a question regarding your amenities, the chatbot can answer their question and then link a sales sheet or a URL to the amenities page for the user to view.
By linking additional content, the chat automation workflow can help your prospects in their research and keep them on your site and learning about your brand.
Lessen the Load for Sales & Customer Service Reps
While you may think that having a bot handle a sales conversation is a bad thing, chat automation can help reduce the need for your teams to talk to every lead that comes through. By focusing their time on the prospects that want more information or human interaction, sales teams can hone in on the leads that are most likely to convert.
Help Qualify Your Leads
By providing helpful information to your prospects, chat automation can also assist in qualifying your leads. About 55% of businesses that use chatbots generate more high-quality leads. Not only can they collect information 24/7, but chatbots can also provide information – such as whether your community is private pay – that can help prospects determine if you’re the right fit for them.
Improve Your Website Experience
Chat automation ultimately augments your website experience. By offering quick and concise answers, chatbots can help website visitors get the information they need as soon as possible. In addition, by lessening the chance of website visitors searching for something on your website and potentially not finding what they need, chat automation can streamline their user experience and reduce bounce rates for your site.
Bots will be bots
Chat automation is a powerful tool to provide answers to your prospects in a timely manner. However, like other channels, it also has its limitations. Because workflows are built out with a specific set of questions and answers in mind, chatbots aren’t perfect. Prospects can sometimes stump your chatbot if their question is unique or is asked unexpectedly. There are ways to combat this, like setting up multiple-choice options or providing a "switch to live chat" button. The main thing to make sure of is that the bot can connect a website visitor with a live person when they need to.
Chat automation is not a complete solution to interacting with your prospects. Some prospects still prefer to reach out to a live representative than use a chatbot. But when your website visitors need quick answers at all hours of the day, chatbots can provide the answers they seek and help them reach their goals – finding out if senior living is right for them.
If you're looking for ways to add momentum to your digital marketing efforts, we encourage you to reach out to Markentum for a free evaluation. Let's grow together!