What exactly is a chatbot?
A chatbot is exactly what it sounds like: A robot that manages your conversations. The bot simulates a human-like interaction to give shoppers the information they are looking for. Bots are trained and then speak on your behalf, answering the most frequently asked questions while continuously learning your audience’s needs and interests.
Who uses chatbots?
Sephora, Spotify, and 1-800-flowers are just a few of the larger corporations that have chatbots on their website. Meaning, when you engage with their customer service, you’re most likely speaking with their AI-powered robot that can quickly answer your questions. According to Forbes, Sephora’s chatbot led to an 11% increase in makeover appointments when it started using a messenger chatbot.
WebEngage writes that “over 54% of respondents in a recent study preferred engaging with a brand via a chatbot, and not an app. The potential for user engagement is absolutely massive, provided the chatbots are intelligent enough to hold up a meaningful conversation with multiple users.” Forbes also claims that the global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.25 billion by 2025, with an annual growth rate of nearly 25%.
Benefits of chat
Why invest in a chatbot? Because virtual assistants work. They transform your website into a smoother and more efficient user experience. In fact, with the help of chatbots, businesses can reduce their customer service costs by up to 30% and save employees’ and customers’ valuable time and energy alike. These bots speed up response rates, and free employees from questions that are practically routine.
With chatbots, you don’t need to rely on the limitations of humans– like sleep or coffee breaks. They can be active 24 hours, 7 days a week. Even if you’re experiencing high volume, the robot can provide the same level of service swiftly to each and every potential buyer.
Shoppers today are also impatient and high maintenance. There’s no hiding it. On average, browsers will refuse to wait more than a mere 10 seconds for a response to their message. When a robot is managing your chat, there will be zero wait time, which will likely keep the shopper more engaged throughout, therefore prompting them to stay and eventually convert.
Chatbots for automotive
Luckily for dealers, some chatbots are actually built for automotive. Shoppers expect call centers, BDC teams, and sales reps to know details on all inventory, advanced features, lease offers, OEM offers, etc. You name it, customers want to know it. Instead of relying on human memory and monthly training with the team, chatbots automatically learn your new inventory and simultaneously incorporate this into their responses. A chatbot becomes your personal specialist on day one and can represent your dealership with no human errors.
Tackling chat myths.
Bots are stupid: Actually, bots are smarter than humans and have the ability to optimize in seconds. Every conversation that it has helps the bot learns your shoppers’ wants and needs.
Bots say embarrassing things: Some chatbots are trained on how to respond to users based on their input. If they ever get confused or senses that the user is frustrated many times, it will try to get contact information.
Bots don’t know everything: Correct, but neither do people. And many times, chatbots come in with a lot more information at their fingertips than a human could–i.e. the person’s previous browsing history, entire inventory, and all vehicle specials.
So, friend or foe?
Here’s the bottom line: the average consumer not only requests quick answers, but expects them. If dealers are ready for the next step forward, they’ll invest in chatbots in 2020. This is one step closer to relating to shoppers who are used to interacting with smart, efficient digital engagement in their everyday lives. Say goodbye to manual, slow chat times, and hello to the future of conversational marketing.
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