Connect with us

Industry News

Improving Sales: 9 Ways Chatbots Can Engage and Inform

Published

on

Chatbots have caught on with businesses and brands. These programs allow companies to quickly share information with visitors, answer general questions and direct users to specific spots online. They can also increase engagement, keeping visitors on the site longer as they gather information and have their questions answered through AI.

All of this can help sales: An active customer is more likely to stay and purchase, especially if they feel confident about what is being sold.

There are a lot of specific details to weigh when adding a chatbot to your site, especially when seeking to improve sales. We asked nine members from YEC how they leverage chatbots and why they work for them. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Help Visitors Find the Right Information

I’ve redesigned my website to include a chatbot, which helps my visitors find the right tools, resources and calculators to make smarter investing decisions. It also offers a quick way to ask me a question. The more value I create, the more likely it is that a visitor will want to work with me. It’s a way to showcase your authority, provide value and make a sale. –

Abhi Golhar, Real Estate Deal Talk

2. Have Your Top Sales People Train Your Chat Crew

When it comes to sales, nothing is better then experience. If you want your chatbot to sell, make sure your top sales people are involved in each step of the customization process. They know the right qualifying questions and the correct pain points that a closeable lead is looking for. They also know the ideal direction and key points of information that a prospect will need.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

3. Provide Answers Outside of Business Hours

Customers browse sites at all times of the day and night. A chatbot can help answer customer service questions during the evenings, weekends and holidays when a human customer service representative is not available. If the question is too difficult, the bot can pass the customer inquiry to a human agent during regular business hours.

Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS

4. Answer Frequently Asked Questions

We use a chatbot that has canned answers to our most-asked questions. If the question is out of the scope of the answers, it either connects to a real person in a customer service center or, if after hours, asks for an email which is manually answered within 24 hours. We find this helps eliminate a certain percentage of would-be cart abandoners.

Chris Van Dusen, Parcon Media

5. Focus on Escalating and Prioritizing

If you’re using a chatbot, then it’s best to focus on escalating higher-priority customers. No one likes to say some customers are more important than others, but if I have an extremely angry customer or my top client chatting on the website, I want to address them ASAP.

Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

6. Preload the Chatbot with Pitch Materials

Leveraging a chatbot that provides quick access to meaningful information can help speed up the sales-flow process. Preloading the chatbot with access to pitch materials can help provide relevant information to potential customers quickly. Additionally, utilizing a chatbot to qualify potential sales leads in terms of budget and overall commitment can help as well.

Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

7. Give It Access to Purchase Histories

The chatbot should have access to your database so it can determine which customers have bought what and when. When they sign onto the mobile site, the chatbot can pop up for a chat and offer a promotion based on their previous purchases.

John Rampton, Due

8. Let the Chatbot Test Different Sales Approaches

Chatbots are a great small-scale way to split test how customers respond to different attitudes about your copy. For example, if you have more formal copy, a chatbot can be a good way to test a more cheery or hip approach to visitor engagement. If you get a lot of responses to a new approach, you now have something you can build on for future improvements.

Adam Steele, The Magistrate

9. Pay Attention to How Customers Are Interacting With Your Bot

Your chatbot is only as smart as you program it. Pay attention to how customers are interacting with your bot and make changes accordingly. For example, if people are asking a certain question about your product, make sure the chatbot has an answer. Monitoring interaction allows you to make your chatbot smarter over time, which will make it a better tool for selling.

Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

Using Chat Bots and Automation to Scale Your Business

As internet-based businesses, we already know the benefits and value in automating wherever possible. With the exciting outlook for chatbots and advanced IA, there is no question that your business will be changing and developing in such a direction in the coming months and years.

Now that you’ve heard what some of the industries top experts had to say about chatbots and AI, it’s time to start thinking about how you can start using such methods within your own business.

If you enjoyed this expert round up, I highly recommend you take a look at this roundup with 83 online marketing experts and their best advice on “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my blogging guide to getting started with one today.

Continue Reading

Industry News

7 Reasons Why Cloud Computing in 2018 is So Important

Published

on

The market for cloud services is expected to nearly triple between 2015 and 2020. By the end of next year, it could be worth almost $170 billion. It is easy to see why, since the cloud has provided a much more cost-effective solution for storing data.

The cloud is playing a more important role in our lives every day. One of the biggest ways that cloud technology is changing our lives is by improving the scalability and versatility of online commerce and content delivery. Amazon and other large online brands developed cloud hosting services a few years ago. The solutions have become mainstream, as almost all hosting providers allow their customers to store their website data on the cloud.

Here are some of the biggest reasons that organizations are using the cloud for website hosting.

Massive scalability

The biggest benefit of cloud hosting is scalability. Neal Thoms at TechRadar shares a primer on the benefits of cloud scalability.

He points out that the cloud enables a seemingly infinite number of machines to connect and act as a single, centralized data server. Data for the same application can be distributed across various discs, which makes it much easier for organizations to increase storage space.

Expediting service delivery

After scalability, most organizations believe that cost effectiveness is the main benefit of cloud computing. However, there is at least one other benefit that is even more important.

Improving turnaround times for service delivery is a much bigger benefit for many organizations then reducing operational costs. Gartner published a case study on Easyjet that emphasized this point. Easyjet initially invested in cloud technology to reduce operating costs. However, they quickly realized that their new cloud infrastructure enabled them to deliver services much more efficiently.

Why does cloud hosting help organizations deliver services more quickly? They are able to simultaneously utilize multiple servers at once. With a traditional shared hosting service, all of the data would have been kept on a single server. The server would have a much more limited RAM., so it would face a bandwidth bottle neck after a certain threshold. The server would need to reduce its operating capacity, which would cause services to be delivered more slowly online.

This is not nearly as much of a concern with cloud hosting. The application can share data across multiple servers, so there is little risk of any individual server exceeding its capacity.

Very high uptime guarantees

Uptime is another major consideration for anybody that operates a website. According to data from Pingdom, the average uptime of all websites is 99.03%, which means that it is lower for sites that don’t use cloud hosting.

Some organizations may believe that an uptime of around 98% might be acceptable. However, that figure would mean that the site was down for over seven days every single year. If you operate a website that generates around $300 a day in revenue, a 98% uptime rate will mean that your site is losing over $2,000 in revenue each year.

Downtime is not nearly as much of a concern with cloud hosting. The average uptime for even the cheapest cloud hosting services is around 99.99%. This means that a website using cloud hosting service will only be down for around 52 minutes and 32 seconds over the course of an entire year. That would reduce the $2,000 in losses from the hypothetical business listed above to less than $10 each year.

Some cloud hosting services are so confident in their uptime, that they have actually started guaranteeing 100% uptime. Vultr is among them. If your site ever goes down, Vultr will give you an SLA credit.

Flexible privacy options

Privacy is another important consideration when choosing a hosting service. The levels of privacy that you need will obviously vary based on the nature of your website applications.

Some data is intended to be freely accessible to almost anybody with an Internet connection. If the goal is to share data with the world, then you will want a public hosting solution. On the other hand, some data needs to be very carefully secured. In these circumstances, do you need a much more private hosting option.

Cloud hosting solutions cover a wide range of privacy options. You can buy public, private or hybrid hosting for your website. A private cloud option enables you to use a hosting infrastructure made of both cloud and bare metal dedicated servers.  Private hosting is vital for companies that need to keep certain data very secure, such as companies that are subject to HIPAA regulations.

You have a lot of control over the privacy options of your hosting when you purchase a hybrid hosting service. You can insure that some data is heavily restricted, while other data is freely available.

Cheaper hosting costs for small scale projects

The logistics of cloud hosting are different from shared or dedicated hosting options. This is why there is such a strong debate about the cost effectiveness of cloud computing. Many experts argue that cloud services are intrinsically more affordable, while others have argued that they are more expensive.

Which set of experts is wrong? The answer is that neither of them are wrong. They probably have different experiences with customers of different sizes, so their perceptions are going to be different.

In order to make a cost benefit analysis of a cloud hosting service, you need to recognize that the pricing structure is not linear. Using cloud hosting for larger applications places more strain on a larger number of cloud servers. Hosting providers have a more difficult time distributing your resources across different servers as your website content and bandwidth increase. They are still able to accomplish this without compromising uptime, but they need to compensate by charging you at a higher pricing tier.

On the other hand, hosting smaller websites on the cloud is much easier. Since the hosting provider has far more resources to allocate your data to, they are able to offer much cheaper pricing for smaller websites than traditional shared and dedicated hosting plans.

Ensuring better content delivery for global customers

An organization’s challenges are going to depend on the size of its global footprint. Some organizations have websites that cater to people in a specific region. This means they can easily ensure the fastest content delivery and best user experience by purchasing a hosting plan that uses a server in those parts of the world. Companies that reach customers all over the world will find it is much more difficult to satisfy them with traditional hosting solutions.

Cloud hosting platforms offer content delivery networks. They make sure that the customer is connected to a server near their location, which ensures that they can receive the fastest possible content delivery and the lowest risk of downtime.

Greater confidence among prominent customers

Prominent customers that subscribe to online services are going to have much higher expectations than your average website visitor. They are paying a premium for services, so they are going to insist that they have very reliable experiences.

While you could theoretically meet their needs with a VPS or even a dedicated hosting service, that may not be enough. The perception is also very important. They are going to feel more confident in your online service if you emphasize that your website uses cloud hosting.

Continue Reading

Industry News

New Decentralised Lead Generation Methods with Snovio

Published

on

Once upon a time, there was just one television channel. If you wanted to watch anything on TV, this was the only channel available and you were at the mercy of the broadcast schedule. The only thing you could watch at 4 pm on a Thursday was whatever they were airing then. Times have changed, of course, and it’s hardly unusual to have access to literally hundreds of channels through a regular cable subscription, not to mention on-demand and the nearly limitless possibilities of online streaming. It’s an embarrassment of riches.

In many ways, the art and science of running a successful business today is similar to that. You’re literally overwhelmed by the amount of information available at your fingertips and the real challenge is separating the signal from the noise. When it comes to lead generation, how can you discover the right people quickly and efficiently? This is where the email finder from Snovio comes into play, but the platform itself continues to evolve beyond that.

Find the Right People Faster

Before we get to some of the more recent developments from Snovio, let’s explore its core service.

With Snovio, you are armed with a multi-faceted tool that has been designed specifically for lead generation. Fueled primarily through the free Chrome extension, the access and interface it offers makes it very approachable for just about anyone. Snovio will go wherever you go on the web, so when the opportunity strikes to nab a prized lead, you can do that in just a couple of clicks.

Snovio email finder works by allowing you to grab email addresses of prospective leads and contacts as you make your way around the Internet. This includes finding email addresses on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as company webpages and other websites. Using the Snovio Chrome extension, you can nab these contacts and nurture the leads as you see fit. Finding anemail address is the first step, but Snovio also works as an email verifier to ensure that the messages you send to these retrieved email addresses won’t bounce.

Features for Finding Information

When you are browsing your way around LinkedIn you can do a “bare search” on the professional social network. When you land on the profile of someone of interest, you can use Snovio to uncover their email address. There is also the Prospect Search tool that strives to find “just the profiles you are seeking.”

Snovio extends this capability across a number of other possible scenarios. For example, the Domain Search tool helps you uncover the names, job positions and email addresses of people associated with a certain web domain. You can also explore the database of company information collected and curated by Snovio to find even more contacts.

Better still, you can get started on Snovio with their forever free plan that provides you with 100 credits each month. If your needs outgrow it, monthly plans start as low as $19 for 1,000 credits, $49 for 5,000 credits and beyond. These credits can be used for verifying LinkedIn emails, performing domain searches, doing bulk domain searches and much more.

Snovio Marketplace

You may have heard of Snovio before and you may have even used their Chrome extension before, as they’ve been around for about a year now. Just recently, in the first quarter of 2018, Snovio launched a blockchain-based marketplace that further amplifies your lead generation possibilities.

The Snovio Marketplace is compelling because it extends beyond the already extensive Snovio database of contacts. If you haven’t found just the right person already (or you don’t have the time to perform the search), you can post your specific request with the number and parameters of the prospects you’d like to get on the Marketplace. Once posted, other users can build up a list of contact data for you in exchange for SNOV tokens. That’s the cryptocurrency supporting this decentralized, blockchain-based marketplace.

You can purchase SNOV tokens using your regular credit card or transfer funds from your Ethereum (ETH) wallet. It’s up to you to set the reward sum in SNOV tokens, knowing that a higher reward will likely attract better and faster results. When you get the results you want, they can be validated and the reward can then be released to the contributor.

Go Direct With Snovian.Space

With the Chrome extension, you tap into the remarkably impressive Snovio email finder and database. With the Snovio Marketplace, you tap into the collective knowledge of a growing number of Snovio contributors who want to fulfill your more specific requests for particular contacts and leads. Going one step above that is Snovian Space, which also uses the SNOV cryptocurrency.

While the Snovio Marketplace is designed so that contributors help you unearth the contact information of prospects, Snovian.Space allows you to make a more direct connection with the prospects themselves. Similarly to the Marketplace, you post a request for a particular kind of contact that you’re looking for, offering a reward in the form of SNOV tokens. It’s a token airdrop. If you prefer, you can use other ERC20 tokens for airdrops too.

Once the request is released, people who fit your specifications and parameters can indicate that they’re interested in being contacted by you. They are rewarded directly with SNOV cryptocurrency for providing their contact information, and you get the lead that you desire. It’s win-win for everyone in a decentralized infrastructure that can theoretically be scaled infinitely.

The scale extends well beyond the “shared connections” you have on a platform like LinkedIn offering you the ability to connect with people directly. Instead of going through an intermediary advertising system in hopes of connecting with the right prospects, businesses can pay these contacts directly by way of offering SNOV tokens. It’s much more transparent and ultimately more effective.

The Future of Snovio

Snovio has come a very long way in a relatively short amount of time. The core database, accessible through the Chrome extension, is already an extremely powerful lead generation tool. The introduction of the Snovio Marketplace and Snovian.Space provides new powerful solutions to the same fundamental challenge all businesses face with: finding the right people quickly and efficiently.

Moving forward through Snovio’s timeline, we can look forward to a proprietary mailing list module, email tracking, data enrichment, a form builder, live chat, lead scoring and even content AI. They’ve got a lot in the works, giving us just a glimpse into the potential of what can be achieved with Snovio.

Continue Reading

Industry News

11 Ways to Use Chatbots to Offer Better, Quicker Customer Service

Published

on

When customers have a question about your product or service, they want it answered quickly no matter the time of day. Few things are worse than having a problem or question, then needing to access a website and wait several minutes for the next live customer support member to arrive in your support chat area. The same is true with support ticket platforms or emails… it shouldn’t be such an issue to have customer support times of less than an hour, if not instant. Chatbots could be the answer to this demand for lightning-fast customer service, if they are used correctly.

With social media and on-site support leading the way for many companies, chatbots are a hot, modern way to take your business to the next level. They offer real-time customer service to an audience that needs it. But how can you actually leverage chatbots within your business?

To stay up with the latest trends and advancements in chatbot technology, we asked 11 members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share the best ways to integrate a chatbot on your site, or what they’ve seen while browsing through the internet and visiting various other sites.

1. Automate Common Questions

Try to automate the most common questions you receive into the messenger/chatbot. The more you are able to provide people with direct information, the better. Still, though, you should try to provide them with a direct line of communication to a living person, should they need that urgently.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

2. Give Them Simple Tasks

Though chatbots are useful, they should be used to complement your current customer service team, not replace it. Chatbots are best used to answer basic, routine questions and prioritize customer inquiries. Then, they should pass the more complex customer service problems to real staff members. This not only creates a seamless workflow, but it allows human employees to do their jobs better.

Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

3. Start With Really Good Research

Look at voice search analysis in your category. Look at site search data. Talk with your call center. Do keyword research. You want to figure out what your customer’s most important questions are. When executed properly, you can automate a lot of answers as many of your customers’ most pressing questions are direct and simple to answer.

Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

4. Treat Customers Like Real People

Treating customers as real people rather than numbers is always going to drive loyalty and, therefore, sales. Designing an intuitive chatbot that is able to answer a few basic questions can go a long way toward upping customer retention. We recently took a deep dive into our onboarding process and noticed that far too many users were downloading the app, but not enough were completing the registration process. We found out the main questions users faced during the registration process and adjusted our chat feature and tutorial accordingly, to much success.

Zohar Steinberg, token payments

5. Test for Quality Assurance

If your chatbot can answer your FAQs in a fast, intelligent way, you are good to go. You want to encounter any irritating misunderstandings, which have made chatbots unpopular in some cases, before your customers do. At least the bots can be on call at all times. If nothing else, an automatic response telling customers when you are next available will prevent them from feeling they have been ignored.

Derek Broman, Discount Enterprises LLC

6. Refer Customers to Your Portfolio

Automate your response to have customers call your office. That way, you can personally close the deal. Have your automation hyperlink to your portfolio and services so that the prospective lead has a good understanding of what you provide. In the meantime, you can personally close on the phone.

Andrew Namminga, Andesign

7. Offer Human Contact

Despite popular belief, many customers actually like chatbots. If they’re programmed well and provide valuable information in a short period of time, chatbots can be a valuable tool for any business. However, the most important thing in this situation is that interacting with a chatbot is a choice made by the customer. Provide the option for human contact so they can choose.

Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

8. Preload the Chatbot With Questions

I like to preload the chatbot with questions so I know that moving the prospect from one stage of the funnel to another will be a breeze. Once I have an understanding of what questions most people are asking, I can use those as conversation starters to understand the new prospects. When you leave it open, prospects may not know which questions to ask. It’s better to leave it closed-ended.

Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing

9. Acquire Email Addresses

Have your chatbot ask the visitor for their email address to be able to follow up and convert them into a customer. Make sure the script cross-references your existing customers to keep your email lists segmented. This will ensure that you don’t email existing customers first-time customer coupons or the like.

Jared Atchison, WPForms

10. Analyze Data

One way to leverage chatbots to offer better customer service is to analyze the data gleaned from the conversation. You can use it to educate yourself on your customers’ habits and needs, and then integrate that data into business operations to improve customer service.

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

11. Prioritize Customer Convenience

Chatbot technology has come a long way. For many businesses, it can be a way to better serve their customers. Improved service is the key. Though automating your business processes is usually a solid strategy, it can be tempting to take it too far. The primary goal is to give your customers the answers they need. It should be about their convenience, not only about streamlining or cutting costs.

Ismael Wrixen, FE International

Is Your Brand or Business Making the Most of AI, Automation, and Chatbots?

It’s only a matter of time before your business will need to start implementing these methods into it’s day to day operations. While you may not have made the plunge yet, it’s very likely that your competition has. Take a moment to visit your top competitors and see how they are using their websites, blogs, and social media to better engage with their audience and customers. Once you’ve found out what’s working well for them, be sure to consider these same options for your brand or online business.

Continue Reading

Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

Most Read Articles

Trending