Terms like bot, AI, and machine learning get tossed around frequently, but how can a small business with limited resources take advantage of these technologies?  Can chat bots really help SMBs with sales and marketing? 

Facebook Messenger bots are definitely not new, and many businesses already use one whether they realize it or not.  If you set up the auto-reply feature on your Facebook page, you are using a version of a messenger bot.  

Messenger bots have evolved into chat bots and can now have conversations with your customers via text, email, and Facebook Messenger.  

There are a few messenger platforms out there and the one we use is ManyChat. Another option is Mobile Monkey and they have a great in-depth article discussing the top 10 use cases for using Messenger Marketing

Here are 3 reasons small businesses should use chat bots in 2020.   

  1. Collecting Prospects Information 

Connect a chat bot to your Facebook ad that offers a piece of valuable content.  When someone interacts with the ad, they are taken directly to Messenger where your bot can give them the information.  They don’t need to leave Facebook and go to a landing page hosted somewhere else. 

If you would like to collect an email address or phone number before they get the free download, you can have your bot collect that and send them the PDF to download.   
What happens to the customer’s information you collect?  It can either remain within ManyChat, export to Google Sheets, or a CRM automatically. 

Another example is you can set up the bot on your website or Facebook page.  If a prospect interacts with it and wants some information on your products or services, your bot can quote the prospect, collect their info, and then your sales team can follow up with them.   

You can also ask if they would like to receive coupons or promotions in the future.  If the prospect says yes, the bot can collect their information and send them texts, emails, or messages with offers in the future. 

  1. Sell Products 

Hold on Ryan!  Are you telling me some silly AI bot can sell my products for me?  There is no way that would work for MY business. 

I hear what you are saying, and I agree there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution for most businesses’ marketing, so why should it be different for your business.  But let’s think about a scenario like the following.  
Let’s pretend your business sells XYZ mattresses.  You decide to run a promotion offering free delivery and set-up in the Quad City area.  Someone interacts with your Facebook post and is taken directly into the messenger platform where your bot takes over.   

You set up your bot properly by asking some simple questions that can lead someone through the buyer’s journey.   
For example, the bot could behave like this.  

“Thank you Mary for your interest in XYZ mattresses…what size mattress are you interested in?”  

Mary types in King Size. Your bot responds, “Great, you are looking for a King Size mattress, do you tend to like a soft mattress, medium, firm, or are you and your partner on opposite ends of the spectrum?”  

Mary chooses firm mattress, and the bot says, “Excellent!  Here are our most popular mattresses that are both King Size and firm. If you have any questions please be sure to ask.”  

Since you can integrate your Shopify store, Mary looks at the different options, chooses the one she likes, enters her credit card info, and you just sold a mattress AND provided a great experience for Mary by making it simple. 

  1. Nurture Your Prospective and Past Customers 

With the integration of text and email marketing, you can now nurture your prospect list by providing valuable information, sharing event details, and sending out coupons or discounts to drive the customers to your physical or online store.   

You can even setup up a cart abandonment sequence so if someone didn’t make the purchase, you can circle back to them with a discount to help them purchase.  You can also answer any questions that might be preventing them from purchasing. 

There are many uses for chat bots and these three are only scratching the surface.  If you have any questions please email Info@NoCoastSocial.com 

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