Communication is the pillar upon which social media stands and is key in keeping networks running. Engaging in a two-way dialogue with your customers will strengthen your brand identity, improve your reputation, increase your follower count and ultimately help bring you closer towards your business goals.
Using chatbots for managing interactions
In terms of social media, there are two types of interaction – passive and active.
Passive interaction includes responding to enquiries and questions that your followers send to you or answering messages that arrive in your inbox. Whilst this is the basis of social media interaction, there is an even better way to foster relationships with clients. It will take more time, but the effects, as you would expect, far outweigh the increased effort.
Actively interacting with your customer-base is something all companies serious about their digital presence should be doing. The results of a successful outreach campaign can be outstanding. This type of interaction, typically, involves actively searching for potential target groups on social media who are already speaking about your product or a related topic and interacting with them by getting involved in the conversation. It is key to ensure you don’t use this opportunity to sell, it’s likely that will come across as pushy and alienate those you were looking to build a relationship with. At this stage, AI and chatbots aren’t quite in a position to be doing this active interaction, so we can leave that to the humans amongst us.
But where chatbots really shine is during passive interaction…
Always being available can be a challenging task, especially during the holiday season. So, if you and your team are offline, who can take care of emergency enquires and important questions? As seems to be the “go-to” solution to every business problem in this day and age, you can turn to artificial intelligence (AI).
The use of AI or chatbots is relatively controversial and raises various ethical concerns. Chatbots have both good and bad sides meaning it’s important to learn the facts, and that’s where we come in!! I know, we all love to imagine R2D2 or C3PO sitting with a coffee, bright and early, getting out their laptop and responding to our enquiries. But the truth is that chatbots follow a pre-programmed set of rules. Essentially, strings of code developed to suit the needs of the task they carry out. Their flexibility makes chatbots a particularly useful tool in marketing campaigns, especially for customer service, as they can answer most questions anywhere, at any time. One other key feature is that they are programmed to answer questions immediately, pulling their responses from a large database of potential answers, which hopefully leads to plenty of satisfied customers.
Although AI still can’t fully replace the emotional aspect of human interaction, in situations when customers need fast and efficient assistance, they can be a good choice. Social media managers usually struggle to maintain a good response rate on the busier Facebook pages they manage, so adding a chatbot can be a sensible solution for this issue.
Chatbots offer a good solution for on-site enquires and chatting with those that visit your website. Gone are the days of digging around for an FAQ section, now many companies use a chatbot to do this instead. This is actually one of the best ways to utilise a chatbot, and providing fast and useful answers will definitely contribute to your business success.
Is it all good news for chatbots?
On the flipside, AI and chatbots have received some negative press mainly due to a misunderstanding of how they work and the future possibility of claiming jobs that are traditionally held by humans. It is a complex matter, both rationally and ethically. However, most current day robots and AIs can’t mimic our quintessential human qualities, especially empathy and creativity. This is part of the reason some people and businesses refrain from using chatbots and that is completely understandable, but at the moment they are a cost-effective solution that can bring great results in the long run. Their ability to solve problems your customers have and provide answers can save you valuable time and money. Employing actual customer service agents is an expensive solution for business owners, so getting a customised piece of code that will be on duty 24 hours a day 7 days a week, with no breaks, is an opportunity worth exploring.
The volatile digital landscape leaves a limited amount of time for exploring new possibilities and finding the right one to suit your business before something new comes along altogether is not easy. But sometimes the best solutions are the easiest ones, however, a certain amount of research is always necessary to know if it is right for you. Implementing new solutions, and remaining agile, is an essential part of modern business practice, so maybe getting your very own chatbot could have you taking your business to the next level. In any case, if you have any questions about this topic, or if you just need some advice or consultations, you can always get in touch with the team.