Technology is changing our lives so much in the modern world that it is being introduced into more and more industries. Enterprises are not an exception. Most successful state-of-the-art businesses are already fully automated. They use SMS chatbots as a marketing tool.
SMS chatbots are a breakthrough in retail. Statistically, users spend a lot more time on the phone, so they’re more likely to read a text message than an email. But the main argument is that SMS offers the most user-friendly and familiar interface.
A chatbot allows you to take communication with the client to a new level at a relatively low cost. Traditionally customers are handled exclusively by humans, but now it is possible to automate some of the repetitive communication tasks that take time away from the company’s sales and support departments.
SMS bot automates interaction with the buyer, personalizes it, and allows the client to contact the retailer at any time, 24/7. There is no need to hang in the line or wait for an answer from customer service: the chatbot will give an answer to your client within seconds. Let’s take a closer look at all the features and technical features of SMS chatbots.
What is a chatbot?
Chatbots are software programs that can mimic human conversations using templates or scripts. For some reason, text chatbots are not as popular as email marketing, but they are a reliable way to attract potential customers because you can message them directly without using the Internet or being online.
Users love to communicate via text, and they are more comfortable doing so. Just like that, they can do it no matter where they are located. By enabling this channel of communication for your business, you open the door to one of the most valuable possessions in your clients’ daily lives: their text message inbox.
SMS chatbots are more promising than Facebook bots, Twitter bots, or Websites because they don’t need to be integrated into an app or Web-platform to send messages or notifications. In addition, they can provide more than just push notifications and promotions to your existing customers, they can also identify potential customers, share links, conduct surveys, provide information, etc.
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Why do you need an SMS chatbot?
With the help of chatbots, you can solve various business problems. For instance, you can send a user a link to their shopping cart in your online store in order to keep the customer interested in the product. It is possible to generate additional sales if the chatbot sends a promotional offer to the shopper. Sometime later you can also remind the client that they need to replenish the stock of some goods, in other words, to entice him to make a second purchase.
However, the most significant task of the chatbot is building a client database. This is accomplished by encouraging customers to engage. For example, to send a word or their data to a certain number. At this point, it is necessary to decide in advance what is the best SMS option: short code or long code. Fortunately, this task is not complicated, as there are many comprehensive guides on the Internet, which will help your business make the right choice.
So, let’s take a look at what chatbot service features are the most useful for the retail sector. Our experts point out the following:
- Checking the order status.
- Locating the nearest offline store.
- Enticing customers to partake in loyalty or referral programs.
- Showing balance and transaction history.
- Providing clients with personalized offers.
- Sending links to entice the customer to go back to the cart or a certain item.
- Instant responses. A human operator can focus on a single customer and respond to just one question at a time. At the same time, however, the chatbot can answer thousands of inquiries at once. Due to the speed of the Internet, Cloud connection, and software, the answers can be delivered instantly via SMS. This way, buyers receive a superior level of service as they aren’t stressed out waiting for a response.
- 24-hour availability. According to research, more than 50% of customers expect business to be available around the clock. Maintaining a twenty-four-hour response system ensures an uninterrupted connection between the seller and the customer. This increases the chances that the client will remain loyal to your business’s products in the future.
- Saved Dialogue. When talking to a customer service representative, the customer does not receive a recording of the conversation. However, a person can take a screenshot at any time to recall the conversation or disagree with the answer provided by the bot. This is very convenient when resolving disputes.
- Multilingual support. One advantage of SMS chatbots is that they can text in multiple languages, which is especially useful for global brands. They can either ask the user what language they prefer at the beginning of the conversation, or they can determine the user’s language from their input phrases.
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Advantages for business
- Patience and stress resistance. Frankly speaking, communicating with customers can sometimes throw customer service off, since some clients tend to be unbearable. Fortunately, SMS bots do not experience such problems. They remain polite and patient with each customer and provide excellent service. Most buyers are very happy with the company’s level of customer care after interacting with an SMS bot.
- Multitasking. Bots are suitable for a wide range of tasks and functions, they can be “taught” not only to take orders but also to send links, book items online, and provide information. For this purpose, it is necessary to program an SMS chatbot for a certain action in advance.
- Immediacy without the Internet. Sometimes customers don’t have internet or have a poor network connection, so they are unable to enjoy the online features of your business. In such a case, the SMS bot saves the day. Its artificial intelligence processes request almost instantly and send a response via SMS, which does not require an internet connection. This significantly increases customer satisfaction.
- Personalization. Chatbots offer a more individualized experience than customer service professionals, who need to understand the context during the call. A chatbot can access the history of your interactions with the company to provide a highly customized experience.
How to create an SMS chatbot?
To create an effective chatbot that will be a profitable tool for increasing sales and customer satisfaction, you must follow some simple steps:
- First, you need to think carefully about the concept of an SMS chatbot, which will fit your business and target audience. You should always contact a company that specializes in this area.
- Next comes an analysis of the needs of the audience, its frequent requests, and problems.
- The next step is to build the logic and functionality of the future chatbot (mind map).
- It is important to pre-write a script of SMS chatbot messages.
- Then the technical program-building should be done.
- Now you need to decide what number to work with: a short or long code.
- Before launching, do not forget to test the performance of your SMS chatbot.
- Finally, send the first SMS to your customers and get a bunch of benefits!
A multipurpose SMS bot is an ideal solution for small and large businesses alike. It’s a quick and easy way to increase average conversions and loyalty by 11%. Many marketers forget this, but today’s social surveys show that about 80% of people would rather read an SMS message than a letter, and 74% would like to receive current information about promotions and new arrivals through texting. That is why implementing a chatbot into your business’s daily operations is a must.
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Although SMS has been around for a long time, it is still popular as a ubiquitous communication channel that can help businesses reach and support their audiences round the clock all over the world.
Despite the rapid development of social media and the transition of businesses to the online space, SMS notifications remain the most reliable and accessible channel of communication with any client base. Unlike an Instagram profile, every citizen of our country, of any profession and social group has a cell phone. It may be an iPhone or a simple phone with no touch screen, nevertheless, SMS functions will be built in without a doubt. So, with the use of an SMS chatbot, it will be even quicker and easier to “reach” the client.
Using short and long codes can make this process easier. It provides two-way communication options and ensures that even consumers with the simplest phones get flawless support.
To choose the right SMS mailing option, you should consider the specifics of your business, your target audience, and the message you want to convey to your customers. But do not think too long: while you decide, your competitors are already more successful by keeping customers informed via SMS chatbots!
The future of any business is in chatbots. Today SMS chatbot is another method of marketing and sales. It allows you to interact with the consumer through channels neglected by competitors. SMS chatbot of tomorrow is an indispensable tool for effective competition; without which the battle for the consumer will be knowingly lost.
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