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. –
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New Decentralised Lead Generation Methods with Snovio
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.
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.
11 Ways to Use Chatbots to Offer Better, Quicker Customer Service
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
GDPR Rules, Fines and Compliance – What You Need to Know
As most business people know, taking care of sensitive and personal data of customers is of the utmost importance. Failing to do this could see you getting on the wrong side of your customers and the wrong side of the law – and the penalties can be severe. In the past, the Data Protection Act has provided regulations and guidelines to help businesses to implement data protection policies. However, this is now changing with the introduction of the GDPR.
How will this affect your current business and email marketing efforts?
The biggest question is always what needs to be done next to make sure you are compliant. iContact answers this easy enough with the following statement from the site:
The good news is, if you are already following email marketing best practices and asking your subscribers for permission to join your email lists via a subscription form on your website or requiring the subscriber to tick a box on your ecommerce site (and you can prove this ), you are well on your way to GDPR compliance.
Just like CAN-SPAM came out several years ago, and caused a big fuss, GDPR will likely do the same but everyone (and all of the major solution providers) will make compliance process quite simple and direct.
In order to ensure you do not end up being penalized as a result of failing to implement these new regulations properly, it is important to keep up with the latest developments. Businesses that do not follow these new regulations, which are due to come into play within a matter of weeks, could find themselves facing serious consequences. These regulations are all linked to how data is handled by businesses and it is important for all businesses, large and small, to get to grips with them.
Just like any new laws and regulations that are about to go into place, they have some hefty fines lined up for anyone looking to be made an example of. Imperva has a nice write-up and infographic on the new laws, and their associated fines as well. As you will see from the infographic below, the fines associated with the GDPR are quite high… with maximum fines hitting the $22 million range! In short, prepare your business now, or pay the price later on!
Fortunately, the government has already put a lot of information online about the GDPR, so those with lack of understanding can make sure they do their research to find out what needs to be done. Furthermore, specialist experts from specific industries are being taken on so that businesses can turn to someone with expertise in their specific industry in order to ensure they are following the new regulations to the letter.
One thing to remember is that your business does not have to be located within the EU in order to be tied to these regulations. The regulations also apply to businesses that are not in the EU but that sell products and services to others that are in the EU. Therefore, make sure you do not ignore these regulations just because of the location of your business, as you may find that they also apply to you because of the location of your customers.
How to Prepare for the GDPR Going Live on May 25th, 2018
As fun as it is to read up on all of these new laws and legal jargon, it’s much more exciting to watch a short video that breaks it all down. Not only will you learn more about what GDPR is, but you will also discover eleven things you need to make sure you have in place before May 25th hits and the law goes into effect.
An even better and more detailed resource on how to keep your business safe and compliant is this Forbes article on how the GDPR will affect advertising and e-commerce. With nearly all websites, blogs, and online businesses collecting emails, data, or placing cookies on their visitor’s computers, this is something we all need to be aware of.
How to Stay Up to Date with the Latest GDPR News
Since the new regulations are only just coming in, there may be some teething problems to begin with. This means that there is a chance there could be some changes and adaptations to begin with. In order to ensure you continue to implement the regulations properly, you should keep on top of any chances and developments. You can also hire the services of experts to help you get to grips with the GDPR as well as to help keep you informed as and when any changes are made.
With the introduction of the new regulations, all countries within the EU can benefit from the same data protection laws, which can help to make things much fairer and far easier to understand. Having different sets of rules from one EU country to another could be confusing and frustrating for both customers and businesses. Experts believe that these new regulations will help make things far easier to manage and understand as well as ensuring fairness across all EU countries.
However… only time will tell, and it will be interesting to see how the next few months play out after GDPR goes into affect.
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