An impressive 63 percent of shopping journeys start online, and 75 percent of people shop online at least once a month. If your multi-location business hasn’t already optimized your online experience for consumers, you could be leaving dollars behind. While a recent blog explains how to boost online sales through Facebook Shops, there are other ways to improve a consumer’s digital experience. As you likely already know, consumers are online 24/7, so how can your business provide online support outside of business hours? We have the answers next.
Chatbots – A 24/7 Customer Support Solution
Consumers expect convenience. Two out of three consumers prefer messaging a business over calling. As a multi-location marketer, a chatbot solution for your business is a must. To quickly recap, a chatbot is a software application used to conduct an online chat and simulate human conversations. Through chatbots, computers can understand and respond to human input through written or spoken language. If your multi-location business isn’t already using a chatbot solution, it’s time to start! If your multi-location business already has one in place, good for you! This blog will provide tactics your business can leverage to improve its chatbot experience for consumers.
One of the most significant benefits of chatbots is that they provide 24/7 support to your customers and allow you to capture leads at any time of day or night. Think of how many times a consumer could get home from work, sees your business on local social or through an ad, starts scrolling through your products, has a question, but then stops because there’s no way for them to get an immediate answer. With a chatbot solution, potential customers can get their questions answered and submit their contact information to get a response from an actual human during business hours. With chatbot and messaging solutions, consumers feel heard. Chatbots also save your marketing team time and effort that would otherwise be spent on answering tedious, frequently asked questions. This extra time allows your marketing team to strengthen other areas of your business’s localized marketing efforts.
How to Incorporate Chatbots Into A Winning Localized Marketing Strategy
While it’s clear that chatbot solutions are non-negotiable, how can your multi-location business incorporate them into localized marketing efforts?
1. Deploy Chatbots for Customer Support
As mentioned in the previous section, chatbots can be leveraged as a customer support tool. Once your multi-location business chooses the right chatbot solution for its goals, you can then begin to program it. Look through the comments on social content, ratings & reviews, or utilize a social listening tool to find some of the most frequently asked questions about your business and its products and services. Once you understand what consumers care about most, you can ensure that your chatbot is programmed to answer those burning questions.
2. Leverage Chatbots Across Platforms
In order to get the most out of your chatbot solution, it’s best to find one that can be implemented across local search and social media platforms.
Having a chatbot solution that not only can work on your local landing pages but also be implemented through Facebook Messenger, Google My Business (GMB), and SMS messaging is key. The more ways your chatbot solution can reach your target audience and provide support, the more leads you’ll capture.
3. Utilize Chatbots for Lead Generation
When thinking about lead generation, it’s essential to consider how your chatbot solution will capture those leads. Most businesses input a form fill or two into the chatbot’s AI conversation so sales can follow up with the lead later. For instance, your chatbot solution could ask for the user’s name and email address at the beginning of a conversation in case you get disconnected. Similarly, some chatbot solutions provide the option for your multi-location business to incorporate a CTA or appointment booking, again allowing you to collect information about the user on the other end of the conversation.
4. Keep Your Chatbot Conversational <While it might seem like it should go without saying, it’s also essential to find a chatbot solution that has flexibility. As a multi-location marketer, you want your chatbot solution to sound conversational while also maintaining your brand’s tone of voice. If your multi-location business doesn’t have the option to customize your chatbot based on your business’s specific needs, that’s something to keep in mind when choosing a chatbot solution for your business’s localized marketing efforts. The more personalized the chatbot seems, and the less a consumer feels like they’re talking to a robot, the better!
Choosing the Right Chatbot Solution for Your Business
While chatbots are an essential component of a successful localized marketing strategy, choosing the right chatbot solution for your multi-location business is no easy task. As a multi-location marketer, it’s essential to do your research and select a chatbot solution that can be used across all business locations. It’s also important to consider which channels the chatbot solution can be used across. For instance, some chatbot solutions can only be leveraged on your website, while others have the ability to work across Facebook Messenger, GMB, and SMS Messaging, delivering localized, proactive responses to commonly asked questions across various platforms.
It’s also important to consider the type of language the chatbot solution provides. Are you able to customize and localize the content? Does the chatbot use machine learning to create a conversational tone? These are crucial questions to keep in mind while looking at various chatbot solutions. Once you’ve done the research, it’s time to start implementing a localized chatbot strategy into your digital marketing efforts to crush the competition and win more sales!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Darcy Bickham is a graduate from Texas A&M University and has worked in education related fields for the past four years. Over the years she has developed experience writing on a variety of topics including business, local politics, transportation, and both primary and higher education.