Social Media Chat Bots: To Automate or not?
A marketers insight on whether to implement this new age automation.
Chat Bots: What are they?
As I am sure most of you have witnessed through one experience or another, that many businesses have switched their social media messenger methods- to that of automated chat bots. Many think that these bots are a futuristic A.I. type technology, but alas that is still yet a few years down the road. A social media chat bot is very simply, an automated response setup by a person. It works per either a choice selection option, or triggered by specific words from the customer messaging.
To use them or not?
For most businesses, I do not actually recommend utilizing chat bots. My rule of thumb is if you have the time & ability to reply, then do so! Everyone loves customer service. People thrive on personal interaction & engagement, and can often become frustrated with talking simply to a computer. Think about all those times you have dialed a business only to be answered by a bot, and you are continuously hitting 0 in hopes to be answered by a human? That - is the frustration with automation. However! There are indeed times where they can be beneficial and applicable.
Doctors offices are one specific business in which I find chatbots can be very helpful. Doctors are notoriously busy with patients and very rarely, if ever, are hopping onto social media and checking their business page messages. In this case, a chat bot could be extremely beneficial- as a prompt response is far better than no response or a very delayed response. A chat bot in this situation could be a great tool to aid in routing the customer to the correct source for communication, or to even direct them to an online platform for creating an appointment. In this case, chatbots are a fantastic option.
High product sales: This is one other business platform in which a bot could be beneficial. If you have a business that is solely online, and does a LOT of sales through social media, then this is one situation in which a bot could truly be beneficial. You could utilize the bot in this application to route the customers towards the right source for purchase, or to offer a special discount code & thus increase the conversion rate. I still believe that the page owner or designated social media employee should be monitoring these messages at least once daily, as very often a customer could come about that needs the more personal touch. Last thing you want is a frustrated customer talking with a chat bot that cannot give them the answer they desire.
In conclusion, chat bots could be a great tool for your business to help with conversion rate, quick replies and as a tool for booking appointments. But be wise, if you do have the time to reply, that is always best. Prioritize customer service, ensure no message has been missed, and show value through your automations!
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