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Chatbots are the Future and Entrepreneurs Need to Position Themselves Accordingly

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Bots are great, but there is going be a lot of work to make that jump.

Human beings are wired to seek better things. This is how we have survived and evolved as a species. Our technology has also evolved with us. Today the world is a global village because of the way we have transformed how we communicate with each other over the internet and with artificial intelligence.

Connectivity is at the heart of every business, and this is the foundation of sales, customer feedback and satisfaction, and brand development.

Chatbots have been touted as the future when it comes to communications in businesses, and according to recent studies by Oracle, 8 out of 10 senior marketing and sales experts will be making use of chatbots for their customer interactions by 2020.

This all sounds great, but when it comes to implementing these technologies, they can become a little complex very quickly. Let’s discuss the ways in which entrepreneurs can successfully navigate this new emerging trend.

Understanding the customer

Any customer-tailored solution is never a single independent solution, and this includes chatbots. In every business and every organization, customers all have certain peculiarities that are unique to them and as such to get the best out of chatbots they must be coded by every customer’s specific journey.

To achieve this, we need to understand the customer and all the data that applies to them. Managers need to be aware of the exact moment in time and the exact reason why customers reach out to them. You need to know what specific content was put out that invoked specific reactions from your target market.

This concept is not novel and having this information about the customer is the bedrock of success in many ramifications. As AI continues to assume a bigger role in business, we need to go deeper than just understanding the data; we need to have the best foresight and experience to better code the robots.

Customer tailored design

Once you have identified the exact point in the customer’s journey where you can intercept them with the chatbots, you need to have a proper handle on how to best progress further down the sales funnel. This perhaps is the most difficult aspect of the whole process of automation.

At this point, you need to examine every aspect of your customer service with a fine comb and understand the behavior of the customers. Which questions come up the most? How can you best program adequate and relevant responses to answer these questions? How can you move the customer from the awareness stage to a decision stage?

1-800-Flowers.com has successfully implemented a working blueprint with their chatbot on Facebook messenger. It is set up such that as soon as the prospect initiates a conversation, they are presented with different options to select from bestselling items to same-day delivery options. After an option is selected, the system asks for delivery information. The payment is then arranged.

The ultimate goal of the chatbots is to bring people and machines together in a space where they can communicate effectively. To do this, you only need to think like a customer and tailor your bot responses in accordance.

Make it Human

The Human element is irreplaceable in business. People feel more comfortable dealing with other human beings and not machines. Chatbots tend to disrupt this natural flow in some sense. Imagine trying to achieve the same levels of success you have gotten by relating to people on a very personal and emotional level. This sounds very difficult.

With this in mind, you need to program your chatbot responses in a manner that best relays your brand values. MailChimp does this excellently. Their chatbots have understood the typical pain points in the course of an email campaign and have provided answers in an assuring way. They connect with customers on a deeply emotional level.

Work with data

Customer preferences and motivations aren’t constant. They change and evolve all the time, and your chatbots need to also adapt to these changing environments. This you can only achieve if you stay ahead of the curve by analyzing data that is available to you all the time.

Chatbots and machines generally still cannot think and react the same way as humans do so you must always look at the key performance indicators and shape your platform accordingly.

Finally…

Although we have witnessed drastic evolutions in technology and how we apply it, the fundamentals of these technologies have largely remained the same. To thrive, you need to always be a step ahead of the customer and competition to react in the best way in any given situation. The future is filled with possibilities, and the key to success and survival is staying ahead of the curve.

Understanding human nature and applying this understanding to the coding of chatbots will play a significant role in the success of this technology and ultimately translate into profits in your business. Your customers are the lifeline, and you need to cater specifically to them no matter the medium used.

CEO of Penske Media Group. Experienced Content Editor with a demonstrated history of working in the newspapers industry. Spoken on stages around the globe - NYU, US Embassy, P&G Toronto and much more.

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