Imagine a world where there was no need for chatbots. A world in which human labor costs so little that businesses can employ people 24/7 to answer the most basic of customer questions. A world in which those people never get tired and deliver the correct answers with unbridled enthusiasm no matter how many times they have been asked to do so. A world where there are enough affordable workers to consistently qualify leads and gather customer insights that will generate even more.
Now let’s return to the real world and appreciate how fortunate we are to live in an age where chatbots exist.
And that is because while it would be nice to have a human touch for every customer interaction, the reality is we have never had more online connectedness and people expect to be able to chat directly with a business no matter where they are or the hour of the day (or night). They want to engage on the platform of their choice at the time of their liking and will take their money elsewhere if businesses are not waiting to do so.
This brings us to lead qualification and the role of chatbots in optimizing results. Deciding which potential customers are most likely to make a purchase is a crucial part of the sales funnel, which frequently gathers leads but only converts a fraction of them. Businesses cannot afford to waste resources on prospects who will never make a purchase, hence why qualifying leads requires a strategy all of its own – and chatbots need to be part of that strategy.
Befitting a world where people are increasingly comfortable engaging with machines, the use of chatbots has exploded in recent years. The global chatbot market is expected to almost quadruple from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion in 20241, with one study showing 40% of shoppers no longer care2 if they are helped by an AI tool or a human as long as they receive the support they want or need.
While live customer service agents will always have a role to play in determining whether a person is ready to move further down the shopping funnel, chatbots are an essential addition to any lead qualification strategy for a variety of reasons.
Befitting a sector on the rise, there are countless options for businesses searching for the best chatbot software to generate leads, improve customer experience and increase sales. They include:
Chatbots are too effective at helping generate leads to ignore. People visit websites every day without the intention of making a purchase but that does not mean businesses should ignore the chance to engage with them. Inviting people to ask questions or offering them more information about products or services can turn passive online visits into leads and sales opportunities. AI chatbots allow businesses to do just that by engaging potential customers in a cost-effective manner and then using the insights they find to better understand their preferences and ultimately turn them into future customers.
In a world where 86% of corporate executives6, educators and employees cite ineffective communication as a reason for failure in the workplace, developing a quality communication strategy should be a priority for every business. From defining your goals and knowing your audience to looking for support from outsourcing providers, discover the five steps for developing an effective communication strategy.
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