In our last post, we talked about how chatbot marketing strategy works and why restaurants in particular can benefit from it due to their unique challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However…this strategy is also necessary for other businesses that have been impacted in different ways.
As we’ve explored, this situation has caused all businesses to rethink the ways they connect and communicate with customers. Just to recap…
- 56% of customers would rather talk to a customer service chatbot than speak to a real person
- 68% of people would rather have someone send them a text than talk on the phone
- Facebook Messenger, one of biggest chatbot platforms, is the 2nd most popular iOS app, outranked only by Facebook itself. Facebook Messenger also does not require users to have a Facebook account, which opens up possibilities for communication beyond social media.
Keep in mind that these statistics were compiled prior to the pandemic. With most people staying at home, scrolling through Facebook and texting friends and family, the urgency for businesses to implement messenger bots into their marketing strategy is likely much higher…
…and it could make the differences between businesses that continue to excel after this ends and those who close their doors for good.
But How New Is Chatbot Marketing Strategy, Really?
It’s surprising that messenger bots are a new concept for many businesses because virtual assistants are already so integrated into daily life. People use their phones to ask Siri or Cortana to call people, play songs, get directions and recommend places to eat for dinner dozens of times a time.
Not to mention Alexa, who can do pretty much everything and has her own personality to boot.
With these virtual personalities already present and Messenger integrated into the lives of millions of people, a chatbot marketing strategy makes for the perfect tool to engage with consumers…
…especially in a time when many of them have little else to do but hang out online.
3 Industries That Need A Chatbot Marketing Strategy During COVID-19
We’ve already been over how bars and restaurants can experience growth by using chatbot marketing strategy, even during a time when the hospitality industry as a whole is hurting.
But other industries have been impacted by the pandemic, be it positively or negatively. Regardless of where they currently stand, unique strategies for using chatbots can lead to more leads, customers and sales.
With many medical practices offering virtual office visits to keep people at home and prevent the spread of illness in waiting rooms, as well as a universal concern about health, messenger bots are the next logical step in being able to serve the needs of as many people as possible.
One option is to use messenger bots to book appointments, allowing patients to select their main health concern and then set up a time for their virtual meeting.
Messenger bots conveniently allow users to answer a succession of questions, which doctors could use to gather important details.
With many doctors’ offices also getting inundated with calls from panicked citizens who think they may have the virus, they can also use Messenger to quickly “qualify” visitors for medical attention.
Many tools like this are already available from iOS and the CDC, but a chatbot tool that is native to the practice’s website would create a convenient experience that doesn’t require patients to go somewhere else for information.
Patients would answer a series of yes or no questions related to virus symptoms, then receive a message informing them of what to do if they need medical attention.
The bottom line? With medical personnel overloaded with calls to schedule appointments and questions about COVID-19, this type of chatbot marketing strategy offers an effective solution.
Grocery stores are already swamped with both customers and questions about important topics (like, when toilet paper will be back in stock).
But as concerns about the virus continue to build and more people shift from actually shopping in-store to placing orders for pickup, chatbots could become a valuable marketing tool that could set them apart from competition, much the way that our restaurant chatbot strategies can.
Grocery stores could use messenger bots to issue announcements about safety policies, as well as send them to a page on their website to schedule a grocery pick-up and place an order.
This would allow them to automate more customer service interactions and enable them to stock stores faster and more efficiently.
For the duration of the crisis, all classrooms, from elementary to college, have been moved online, and businesses that produce interactive educational resources, particularly for young children, are experiencing growth.
These can include online learning apps, video instruction, toys that promote creative problem solving and thinking and e-readers.
There are 2 approaches these companies can take to using chatbot marketing strategy. The first is to use a bot from their homepage to gather information from leads and find out what types of learning resources they are looking for, directing them to the right products.
The second is to make the bot itself a part of a sample lesson offered on their website to engage families and show how their products work.
Learning with artificial intelligence as an “instructor” is nothing new—various educational training programs have been creating interactive lessons with these programs for years.
But with children and teenagers already using Messenger to talk with friends, chatbots can provide a unique way for educational companies to engage their ideal audience.
Another use for chatbot marketing strategy is the promotion of higher education. People were already earning degrees online before COVID-19 and they will continue to do so even after it ends.
However, universities can use chatbots to give information about their programs, gather lead information about prospective students so they can contact them later and offer downloadable applications and other resources.
The pandemic has put limitations on businesses—but now is also the perfect time to adapt to customers’ needs for simple, convenient communication.
And regardless of what industry you are in, there is a way to use chatbot marketing strategy.
Want to learn more? Schedule a free 30 minute Growth Audit to talk about 73 strategies to help your business continue connecting with customers. Click here to grab some time on our calendar now.