Does Your Small Business Need A Chatbot?
The answer is yes, and here’s why.
What are chatbots? Why are they such a big opportunity? How do they work? Should you have one for your business? How can you get one?
These are the questions we’re going to answer for you right now.
Ready? Let’s do this.
1. Bots answer the messages you’re probably not answering.
Did you know that over 95% of messages sent to Facebook business pages go unanswered? This means the majority of people who want more information about your business are not getting the answers they’re looking for.
Chatbots change this by instantly replying to 100% of the people sending you questions, which translates into happier customers, more potential to build relationships, and increased sales over time. In fact, bots are the only scalable way for businesses to communicate with their customers on messaging apps. How do we know this? We’ll explain in #2.
2. Chat with your customers where they are.
Why should you care about chatbots?
Because for the first time ever, people are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks.
Messaging apps are the fastest growing form of technology in the world, and it makes sense that every business needs a way to engage with people on these platforms. In fact, Facebook Messenger is the largest messaging app in the world, with over 1.2 billion users per month. That’s larger than Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat combined!
So, logically, if you want to build a business online, you want to build where the people are. That place is now inside messenger apps.
The people who are going to win with Messenger are the people who think of it as the next social network opportunity. You see, Messenger isn’t just for one-on-one chatting anymore. Through the power of chatbots, Messenger is THE place to build a following, just as you build email lists or social media accounts. And the more people who follow your bot, the more people who get a “Ding!” push notification on their phone every time you send an update. How powerful is that?!
A chatbot gives you the ability to create a following on Messenger by sharing unique conversations and experiences with your customers, on the platform they already love. As you’ll see in #3, they really do love it.
“People are now spending more time in messaging apps than in social media and that is a huge turning point. Messaging apps are the platforms of the future and bots will be how their users access all sorts of services.” — Peter Rojas, Entrepreneur in Residence at Betaworks
3. The Engagement. Is. Amazing.
When you post an update on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, do you know how many people actually see it? Click on it? Take action because of it?
We want to share some numbers with you. Warning: they may shock you.
Average Reach and Click Through Rate of Your Existing Digital Distribution Channels
- Facebook Posts: 1–7% of your audience will see your post; 0.01–0.7% will click on a link.
- Email Campaigns: 15–24% will open the email (depending on industry), 1.8–4.7% will click. (Only 1.95% will sign up for your newsletter when given the option).
- Facebook Ads: 0.9% click on links on average.
- Tweets: 1.5–17 of your audience will see your tweet; 0.45–3% click on a link.
Now compare these numbers to the statistics we’re finding with Octane AI chatbots.
Average Engagement Rates on Octane AI Chatbots
- 30–50% will follow you when given the option.
- 100% receive the message via push notifications. Send messages to all your followers at the same time.
- 15–60% click through rate to external links on messages sent to followers.
And the “Engagement Tool of the Year” award goes to…chatbots!
By outperforming social media platforms, email marketing, and ad spending, chatbots are poised to take the lead as the most powerful communication tool in your business’s arsenal.
It is probably too late to build an app company as an indie developer. But with bots… consumers’ attention spans are hopefully going to be wide open/receptive again!” — Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director at General Catalyst
4. Automate those repetitive tasks.
Most of your customers want answers to the same 3–5 questions.
“What are your hours of business?”
“Where is your schedule of events?”
“How do I buy tickets?”
“I’d like to book an appointment…”
Questions like these make up 60–70% of the messages sent to business Facebook pages. A chatbot can be trained to automatically answer these questions instantly, freeing you to care for the other important things of your day.
“Messaging is where we spend a ton of our time and expect to communicate. It is ridiculous we still have to call most businesses.” — Josh Elman, Partner at Greylock
5. Share interactive stories about your business.
Are you familar with Octane AI’s Convos feature? If not, read this guide to get educated on the possibilities.
Here’s the high level summary: Using the Convos feature, you can create interactive, blog post-style stories that are conversational, fun, and original to Facebook Messenger. A Convo can be made from anything — photos, words, GIFs, audio, video, etc, and they can be as simple or as intricate as you want. Some people use them to create online courses, while other people design interactive, guided experiences like meditation or working out.
The reason Convos are a big deal is because they are easily discoverable outside of Messenger. Basically — they are your secret weapon to attract people to your chatbot.
Sharing the link to a Convo is just like sharing the link to a blog post. When you share the Convo’s link on your Facebook page, Twitter profile, or in your email newsletter, the people who click on it are immediately placed inside the experience of that Convo.
Since the launch of Messenger codes, Convos make even more sense for your business because you can use them to connect your digital marketing efforts to your customers’ physical experience.
Imagine a Messenger code printed out by your cash register where customers scan it, experience the convo connected to it, and at the end, get a great discount. Or how about including the code on the advertisement/poster/graphic for your next event? What if attendees could scan the code to find out about secret workshops or masterminds happening during your event?
We can’t wait to see what you create with Convos!
6. One day, bots will be faster and better than websites or apps.
Are they at this point today? No. But eventually, chatbots will equal, and then surpass, the usability and ease of websites and apps.
Chatbots aren’t that smart yet. They don’t understand everything you are saying, they can’t teach themselves, and to be honest, right now they are more similar to lightweight apps than artificially intelligent personalities.
But one day we’ll get there.
Every major tech company is investing in conversational interfaces and AI technologies, and thousands of the brightest minds in the world are studying natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The wave of momentum towards chatbots is strong, and the user experience is only going to improve.
“The difficulty in building a chatbot is less a technical one and more an issue of user experience. The most successful bots will be the ones that users want to come back to regularly and that provide consistent value.” — Matt Hartman, Director of Seed Investments at Betaworks
7. Bots are easier to use than any other technology created.
Let us explain.
Because bots use the most natural human interface — lauguage — learning to use them is simple. Instead of needing to constantly learn visual interfaces (like software), bots enable us to naturally use language, the first interface we were ever taught.
In the future, bots will be able to completely understand every question your customers asks. Are we to this point yet? No, but it will get there. And if you begin building an audience on Messenger now, you’ll be way ahead of your competition.
Small Businesses Using Octane AI Bots
GoSwim.TV is an online training company that sells courses on learning to become a better swimmer. The GoSwim chatbot shares Convos about swim techniques, and followers choose their level of experience so that the instruction is custom to their level. Backstroke anyone?
The PediaHealth Medical Group chatbot suggests times and dates to reschedule appointments, helps confirm appointments, alerts you if your insurance is inactive, answers health questions, and helps you check on missed appointments.
This chatbot greets you with a friendly hello and asks you how your day is going. Followers can buy tickets to performances and get special discounts.
Get details on membership packages and pricing, see pictures of the facility, and connect with staff who can help you join the gym.
Welzen offers followers a unique, guided meditation experience through the creative use of Convos. We especially recommend the 2.5 minute Stress Exploration guide!