AI chatbots are no longer a novelty—they're quickly becoming a necessary tool for businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition. With statistics showing that companies that use chatbots experience a 67% increase in sales revenue, it's time to rethink our assumptions about this technology. In this article, we'll explore how AI has advanced in terms of chatbot technology, as well as how AI chatbots can drive sales conversions.
In terms of increasing your sales, there are 3 key areas to focus on that increase customer conversions—data mining, lead nurturing, and customer service. From finding insights into customer behavior and preferences, identifying hot leads, engaging with potential customers, and guiding them through the sales funnel, to providing quick and efficient troubleshooting and building trust and loyalty with customers—AI has your back.
But how do you know if chatbots are right for growing your business? We'll also discuss how to test out AI chatbots and find the right fit for your needs. So if you're still skeptical about the power of AI chatbots, keep reading to discover why they no longer suck, and how they can help drive your business's sales conversions to new heights.
Why Chatbots Don’t Suck—AI Has Upped Its Game
Despite the initial skepticism and criticism that chatbots received, businesses are quickly discovering the benefits of using AI-powered chatbots. In the past, chatbots were often seen as robotic, unhelpful, and prone to errors. But today, AI has upped its game, and chatbots are more intelligent and user-friendly than ever before.
Chatbots are being programmed to provide human-like conversations that feel natural and intuitive for customers. With advancements in natural language processing (NLP) and sentiment analysis, chatbots can understand and respond to customers' emotions, making them more effective at resolving issues and building relationships.
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And if you’re thinking—yeah, but I used a chatbot yesterday and it stunk on ice, that’s because not all chatbots are the same—and not all chatbots are powered by AI. So while the technology exists for sophisticated chatbot conversations, not all businesses have jumped on board, and not all chatbot companies have evolved.
To break it down, there are 3 types of chatbots:
AI chatbots use machine learning algorithms to analyze vast amounts of data and learn from past interactions, making them more effective at understanding and responding to customer needs. They can also be programmed to recognize and interpret natural language, allowing them to converse with customers in a more human-like way.
Rule Based Chatbots
Rule-based chatbots use a pre-programmed set of rules and responses to answer customer queries. They are limited in their functionality and can only respond to specific questions or commands. Rule-based chatbots do not use artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithms to analyze data or learn from past interactions, and as a result, they may not be able to provide personalized responses to customer queries.
Hybrid chatbots are a combination of rule-based and AI-powered chatbots. They use a pre-programmed set of rules and responses to handle basic customer queries, but they can also analyze data and learn from past interactions to provide more personalized responses. Hybrid chatbots can be programmed to escalate complex queries to a human representative, ensuring that customers receive the support they need. This type of chatbot is a popular choice for businesses that want to provide efficient customer support while still maintaining a human touch.
Which Kind of Chatbot Is The Best For Sales Conversions?
While it might seem like AI chatbots are the best option due to the reliance on superior technology, there are some other things to take into consideration. While pure AI chatbots are powerful due to their ability to understand human inquiries and generate customized responses, sometimes they can be imperfect in the answers they freely choose—and the last thing you want is for customers to have odd or off-putting interactions with your brand.
That being said, rule based chatbots tend to stink. If you’ve had a poor chatbot interaction recently, it was very likely with one of these. That’s because they follow a very narrow conversation path that isn’t a conversation at all—they are programmed to deliver the next response based on keywords and a set script. It’s extremely robotic and often unhelpful—especially when customers need help with unique situations. These types of interactions can actually leave a negative impression of your brand, with consumers feeling frustrated that they were left to waste time with an unhelpful bot, assuming you don’t care about their concerns.
The last option is the sweet spot most strong chatbot companies base their product on—and what we use here at Landslo—hybrid chatbots. This combines the raw power and complex capabilities of an AI chatbot with the safeguards and predictability of rule based chatbots. Essentially, it’s still an AI chatbot—just with some much needed guardrails to make sure every conversation goes smoothly and there’s a level of consistency in your customer-brand interactions.
3 Ways AI Chatbots Drive Sales Conversions
While sales performance can be measured across so many aspects of your business, there are 3 main areas where you might be losing leads in your funnel. Your ability to generate new business opportunities is no more or less important than your ability to convert them into sales—and neither of those functions are more or less important than retaining business.
Here’s how AI can help you get the most out of all 3:
The 1st step in any sales operation is lead generation, and that’s one of the primary reasons to switch to an AI chatbot, especially for real estate brokerages and other businesses that heavily rely on relationship building. As opposed to spending hours/days cold calling or emailing a database just to see poor appointment setting performance, an AI chatbot can connect with the entire database at once and fill your calendar—saving you an extraordinary amount of time, energy, and resources—while decreasing the chances your database might be talking to another brand because you didn’t have the time to reach them.
AI can increase sales by lead nurturing, which involves building relationships with potential customers and guiding them through the sales funnel. AI-powered chatbots can engage with customers at every stage of the sales process, from initial contact to final purchase. They can provide personalized recommendations based on the customer's needs and behavior, answer questions, and address concerns, building trust and rapport with potential customers.
By nurturing leads with personalized, relevant interactions, businesses can increase the likelihood of a successful sales conversion. Additionally, AI can help businesses prioritize leads based on their likelihood to convert, allowing them to focus their efforts on the most promising prospects.
So what happens when a lead becomes a client? Particularly for real estate brokerages, where converting a lead into a client doesn’t guarantee a sale—not until a transaction has been completed (which could take months)—this is a critical stage of the sales process where customers need access to instant, premium support, 24/7.
Every company knows that aiming for repeat business is the fastest track to increasing sales. And the #1 concern most consumers have with brands they do business with is a lack of support and communication. AI chatbots can completely eradicate this issue by conversing with customers at the time that’s convenient for them—not you.
Testing Out AI Chatbots For Your Business
So now that you’re thoroughly convinced that you need an AI chatbot for your business, what do you do?
Before you jump into working with the first company you come across, here are some things to think about:
What kind of chatbot do they offer? Rule based? Pure AI? Hybrid?
Are they willing to offer demos and test runs to demonstrate how their product stacks up?
What applications can their chatbot be used for? You’ll want a company that can work with you on all 3 of the areas we mentioned above—data mining, lead nurturing, and customer service.
Finding a good match for your brand is essential, and so is having a 1 stop shop in terms of sales growth. That’s why we offer the ability to license our software for all of your sales needs, and we provide a dashboard where all sales data is consolidated, giving you precious insights into your lead and customer behavior.
If you’d like to learn more about Landslo and what we can do for your business, book a demo with our team to experience our AI chatbot in action.