Powered by natural language and pre-defined decisions, chatbots help prospects navigate your website via conversations with a pre-defined Artificial Intelligence. Giving you an opportunity to control the buyer journey via conversation, chatbots open up a new avenue for B2B businesses to engage with and nurture leads.In fact, these simple conversational tools have the power to fundamentally change the way prospects expect to be communicated with throughout the funnel. Turning one-way communication into quick two-way conversations, chatbots harness the principles of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to create a familiar and comfortable engagement experience on your website.
When you consider over 50% of consumers are interested in interacting with businesses through messaging apps (HubSpot), it makes sense to do everything you can to give them exactly what they want, and chatbots do just that.
By 2021, 4.5 billion dollars will be invested in chatbots (Opus Research)
Chatbots Empower Your Prospects
With the power to educate prospects, capture their data, book meetings and enhance the communication experience, chatbots can add value by generating leads quickly. This versatility combined with the fact that chatbots also empower prospects differentiates the channel from traditional communication (such as email).
Empowerment really is the key here. Your prospects are now used to controlling their own destiny in everything from entertainment, via the likes of Netflix and Spotify, to the day-to-day buying process. Whether it’s clothes, games or cars, they will decide how they want to engage with a brand before buying anything.
With this modern consumer in mind, you need an always-on channel that gives them that level of control in B2B - and chatbots are the answer.
Chatbots vs. Live Chat: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to adding any new channel to the marketing mix, the first concern is often focused on resources. How can I afford to pursue this opportunity? How will my team manage this on top of everything else? These are good questions, but unlike other channels, chatbots sidestep them almost entirely.
As chatbots are built using a combination of predefined answers to guide prospects, they require no monitoring or management from a human at any stage, beyond the original build.
Unlike live chat, that needs to be manned at all times, once your chatbot is up and running, that’s it. You can choose to integrate human engagement into your chatbot, via Live Chat integration for example, but this is not necessary. Most chatbots use no form of human contact at all.
Chatbots ‘Protect’ the Funnel
Nurturing prospects through the funnel has always been a challenge. There are plenty of cases where they can run into a blocker, which naturally leads to a drop-off in your funnel.
Chatbots can help lessen the drop-off and ensure your prospects can find the information they’re looking for and take action when they’re ready. No more waiting for a salesperson to book a call, and no more mandatory form-fills to access great resources, everything can be done in a natural conversation with a chatbot.
It really is that simple.
Chatbots Help You Get to Know Your Prospects
Beyond improving the quality of engagement throughout the funnel, chatbots also offer a great opportunity to get a better understanding of your audience through dedicated analytics.
Everything from chatbot engagement, to the choices your prospects make in the chats, can be monitored and evaluated, giving you critical insight into what they’re looking for and whether you’re actually meeting their needs.
As chatbots can present users with open fields, you can enquire about your prospect’s problems in a natural and conversational way. This can then help guide the messages you create to engage and nurture your prospects.
Delighting Your B2B prospects with Chatbots
Chatbots in the B2B buyer journey open up new opportunities to engage and nurture your prospects in a way that they’re familiar with.
By tapping into the power of conversation, chatbots lower the barriers to connecting with your with a channel that is comfortable, informal, controllable and perhaps most importantly, human.
Chatbots give them the power to progress at their own pace and dictate how they engage with your brand and your content. In a world where consumers expect this level of control, it only makes sense to embrace the trend and give them exactly what they want.
For more insight into the power of chatbots in B2B, take a look at our guide.