Have you ever visited a website and used their chat service online? They’re a really handy tool if you need further information quickly, or you just don’t want to pick up your phone there and then. Their uses aren’t just for convenience either – they’re also a great tool for users who have problems such as hearing impairments.
But did you realise that sometimes you’re not talking to a real human, but actually a chatbot? Chatbots have become increasingly popular for companies who run chat services on their websites and sometimes they’re so human like, you may not realise you’re not talking to a real person.
In short, a chatbot is a computer program which mimics conversation between users, usually powered by artificial intelligence. A user could ask the chatbot a question or provide it with an instruction and the chatbot will respond.
Chatbots are usually integrated with various platforms such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, or can be found inline on a website. They’re typically considered either an informational bot or a utility bot; a utility bot is generally one that takes instructions such as scheduling an appointment, and an informational bot is one which is pretty self explanatory – it provides the user with information, usually about the website they’re on.
Chatbots are used across all different kinds of websites from charities, to tourism boards, to Skyscanner who recently hit one million unique traveler interactions on its chatbot service.
You might be thinking that your SaaS business isn’t suited for chatbots, but many successful SaaS companies have developed and are using chatbots to their advantage.
Lyft, a competitor to Uber has developed a chatbot which enables a user to hail a Lyft via either Facebook Messenger, Slack or Amazon Alexa within seconds, making it easier for users to request rides whilst on the go without switching apps.
Evernote, Spotify and Airbnb have started to use chatbots on Twitter, allowing their uses to contact them 24/7 for customer service. Chatbots have even been created for finding love; instead of swiping left or right on an app, a Facebook Messenger app named Foxsy vows to help you find a “beautiful and meaning connection with the right person”.
RapidMiner, a B2B data science software platform company went full force and removed their forms entirely in favour of chatbots. This ultimately resulted in 4,000 new leads, whilst solving around two-thirds of their customer enquiries. RapidMiner claims using chatbots allows them to qualify leads and book demos 24/7 by having a bot ask the same qualifying questions their sales team would ask – all their sales team then need to do is perform the demo. They have in total, attributed 10% of all their new sales to their chatbot and claim those who have used it are 30% more likely to remain active monthly users of RapidMiner.
Besides general questions and weather enquiries, a chatbot can be a way to turn a conversation into a conversion. Users tend to favour an interactive medium for making their online purchases, and ultimately users want their information as quickly as possible. Chatbots allow your user to get their answer straight away, and if the bot is integrated with an app such as Facebook Messenger, there’s no need for them to download an additional app or keep changing between screens.
But how could chatbots help your SaaS business? Besides the convenience for your website visitors, a chatbot allows you to be present online to assist your potential customers even when you’re not there, providing customer service and even booking demos for you.
It might seem like robots are taking over the world, but you might find a chatbot is the tool you never knew your SaaS business needed.
Xander Marketing works in partnership with SaaS businesses around the world to support growth through new customer acquisition, increasing leads, generating more website traffic and raising industry awareness. If you lack the time, resource or know how to undertake marketing then get in touch and book your free one hour consultation.
When it comes to marketing, SaaS has its own set of rules!
Get leading edge insights into marketing your SaaS business by downloading our free white paper.