Many would agree to the fact that lead generation is probably the most challenging exercise for any business. Once inbound and outbound marketing campaigns turn strangers into visitors, comes the stage where engagement becomes an absolute necessity to convert these prospects into potential leads. Businesses too are aware of this fact, therefore, a large portion of marketing investment goes into the application of a powerful communication mechanism.
These days when you visit many websites, you would find a chatbox somewhere near the right end of the screen inviting you to interact with a representative. The idea is to provide you immediate assistance and capture your attention. While human representative can do a wonderful job of engaging the users, they have their own limitations. When you have thousands of people visiting your site at once, you cannot interact with each one of them. This would require you to deploy at least 50-60 trained sales representatives. And what about the traffic that comes at odd hours, like past midnight?
How can chatbots help?
Luckily, With AI and ML coming of age, chatbots are getting good at conversations. There are chatbots that can perform this task of interacting with the users and capturing their information. Unlike human representatives, chatbots can interact with millions of customers at the same time and reply meaningfully to each one of them.
Lead generation chatbots have application in a variety of industries ranging from real-estate to banking. In this article, we will illustrate how lead gen chatbots can play a role by taking an example from the healthcare industry.
Converting a Visitor to a Prospect
Scenario 1: Suppose a patient comes to your website in order to look up some information. Now a chatbot would initiate a conversation with the user and engage him/her. The bot would provide the relevant information needed and then collect important personal details of the user. This would enable the Sales & Marketing team to have a well-defined data of users who have shown interest in availing the services of the hospital.
Scenario 2: Another case could be a person who tries to connect with the hospital handle on a messaging platform like Facebook Messenger. Here the bot would again help engage and inform the user and then collect important personal details. Chatbots can be deployed on all major leading messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Kik etc.
So how would a conversation play out like? Let’s have a look…
Vijay, a corporate employee interacts with the hospital’s bot. He has off-late been having some pain in his chest. He suspects it could be something related to the heart. So he tries to find information about the Cardiologists working in the hospital. The bot would present the information to Vijay, along with an option to book an appointment. Also, there could be options for FAQ’s and Prices for different relevant tests. Vijay can get answers to queries like:
– Where is the hospital located?
– What are the consultation fees?
– Which all organizations is the hospital empaneled with?
Even if Vijay does not book an appointment, the bot would still during the conversation capture his personal details so that one of the representatives of the hospital can personally reach out to him.
The bot can assist Vijay 24*7 whenever the need arises.
Chatbots are Omnichannel
Another very important thing to keep in mind about chatbots is that they can help initiate a conversation on almost all major channels of communication.
SMS – Brands can send an SMS to their customers wherein they can embed their Chatbots URL. Once the customers click on the URL, it would lead them into a browser window or a chat application window and engage them
Email – Email can also become a medium for promoting the chatbot. Brands can send emails to their customers with relevant information and small URL link to their chatbot. Again, once the customers click on the link, the bot would begin a conversation with them.
Social – On social media platforms also, chatbot URL links can be embedded in social media posts, so that once a customer clicks on it they can begin interacting with the bot.
Chatbots are capable of personalizing their conversation with users based on past interactions and also the search history of the consumer. This way, once a user begins interacting with a bot, he will be shown information that is most relevant to his current need or interest. Also, bots are capable of fetching information from CRM databases etc. Using this kind of information bots can truly deliver personalized messages to users unlike other ways of marketing which are devoid of this much-needed personalization.