SyncShow B2B Marketing Blog

Increasing Customer Usage by 95% with HubSpot’s New Chatbot Feature

The intense focus on artificial intelligence (AI) has sparked many questions from our clients about how to use it to streamline their communication processes. A chatbot is one of the simplest AI tools to use for this purpose. Our clients have had a ton of success placing HubSpot's chatbot feature on their websites and other digital channels. For this blog, we'll dive into the details of using this specific chatbot and follow up with a success story to show real-world results. Let's get started. 

What is a chatbot, exactly?

A chatbot is a computer program or artificial intelligence (AI) designed to interact with humans through text or audio. It is often used to simulate conversation and provide automated responses to user input. These tools use machine learning or natural language processing (NLP) to decipher user inquiries and generate appropriate responses. They can handle simple queries, provide information, perform specific tasks, or assist with customer support. Some chatbots are rule-based, following predefined scripts or decision trees, while others are more advanced and use AI algorithms to learn and improve their responses over time. You can use chatbots in a wide range of applications, including customer service, virtual assistants, information retrieval, and even entertainment. Because chatbots automate many routine tasks, they are great for optimizing your team's time and other resources.

How have perceptions of chatbots changed?

HubSpot recently posted an interesting study about how both business leaders and consumers have shifted their thoughts and perceptions around AI, including chatbots. In 2017, about 86% of business leaders wanted to try AI but hadn’t yet. Also, only 40% of consumers said it didn’t matter to them if they were supported by a person or AI tool in customer service situations. Many consumers were not aware that they were using AI regularly. However, when pressed, it was revealed about 63% had used AI through voice search or chatbots. There was a need for AI to build positive perceptions at both ends of the spectrum. 

HubSpot’s 2023 survey revealed that perception of AI and chatbots are now very favorable. 80% of business professionals agree that AI helps them spend less time on manual tasks like data entry or scheduling meetings. 62% say that AI tools help them understand their customers better, and 71% say AI helps them improve their overall customer experience. More consumers are using chatbots daily and are actually choosing them over a human representative. 

AI and chatbots are changing the way consumers interact with businesses. It’s becoming a necessity for any organization that wants to stay competitive. 

What are the basic uses of a chatbot? 

Not all chatbots are created equal. The most common use cases are to enhance customer interactions or automate customer service and sales processes. Here are some of the capabilities of a website-based chatbot:

  1. Conversational interactions: Chatbots can engage in conversations with website visitors through a chat interface. They can greet visitors, ask and answer questions, provide information, and offer assistance. Chatbots have become commonplace in many customer service situations and can be capable of completing 70% of conversations.

  2. Lead generation and qualification: Chatbots can collect web visitor information, such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers. They can also qualify leads by asking relevant sales questions. The data can be stored in an integrated CRM for further nurturing and lead management.

  3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and self-service support: Chatbots can handle routine inquiries by providing instant answers or guiding visitors to relevant web pages or resources. This helps users find information quickly without needing human intervention. 74% of customers would prefer to interact with a chatbot instead of a human agent when looking for answers to simple questions.

  4. Routing and escalation: Chatbots can route conversations to the appropriate department or team within your organization based on predefined rules or user inputs. They can also escalate conversations to human agents when necessary or based on specific triggers.

  5. Appointment scheduling: These chatbots can assist in scheduling appointments or service calls. They can check availability, offer time slots, and integrate with your team's calendars to streamline the scheduling process.

  6. Content recommendations: Chatbots can suggest relevant content or resources based on user interests or specific queries. They can provide links to blog articles, ebooks, videos, or other materials to keep visitors engaged and informed.

  7. Lead nurturing and follow-ups: These chatbots can start sales conversations, send automated messages, and nurture leads through personalized messaging based on user interactions or triggers.

  8. Surveys and feedback: Chatbots gather insights, measure customer satisfaction, or perform market research by asking visitors questions during or after an interaction.  

  9. Reporting and analytics: Most chatbots track conversation volume, response times, user engagement, and lead generation metrics. With this data, you can analyze the chatbot's performance and optimize your strategy. 

How can a chatbot benefit my business? 

You can already deduce the benefits of using a chatbot, but for clarity's sake, here are some of the advantages of using a chatbot. 

  1. 24/7 Availability: A chatbot can provide around-the-clock support to website visitors so that users can get help or information whenever they need it, enhancing customer satisfaction. 62% of consumers would talk to a chatbot than wait for a human agent. This round-the-clock customer support saves companies 2.5 billion paid employee hours every year.

  2. Instant responses: Chatbots can provide immediate answers to queries, eliminating the need for users to wait for a human agent. This can significantly reduce your average response time and improve the overall user experience.

  3. Scalability: Chatbots can handle multiple conversations simultaneously, allowing you to manage increasing customer demands without hiring more staff.

  4. Cost savings: By automating customer support or FAQs through a chatbot, you will reduce the need for staff to handle repetitive queries. You can redirect staff to more complex or specialized tasks that build your business. According to IBM, chatbots can save your business up to 30% in total costs.

  5. Consistent and accurate information: Chatbots always provide the same information. They deliver a standardized customer experience and avoid inconsistencies that can arise when multiple team members handle inquiries.

  6. Lead generation and qualification: 55% of companies report earning better quality leads because of a chatbot. Your chatbot can engage with website visitors, collect their contact information, and qualify leads for you by asking pre-programmed questions. Your sales team will have access to better-qualified leads and a streamlined sales process.

  7. Increased engagement: The best chatbots make interactions more engaging and interactive. By offering personalized recommendations, suggesting relevant products or services, or even incorporating gamification elements, chatbots can keep your visitors on your digital channels longer.

  8. Data collection and analysis: Chatbots can provide valuable data about user interactions, preferences, and FAQs. This data can be analyzed to gain insights into customer behavior, identify patterns, and help you make informed business decisions.

  9. Multiple communication channels:  Some chatbots support engagement across various digital channels, including your website, Facebook Messenger, Slack, and others. This multi-channel approach helps you reach your customers where they are, providing a seamless experience.

    As you can see, incorporating a chatbot on your digital channels can enhance your customer support function, improve user experience, increase efficiency, and contribute to your business growth. But which chatbot is right for you? We recommend Hubspot's chatbot. 

What about HubSpot's chatbot is so special?

HubSpot chatbot builder is powered by HubSpot's CRM tools, which means it can personalize the automated messages using content directly from your library. When website visitors use the live chat tool to receive more information about your product or submit a customer service request, the Hubspot chatbot will send them automated, on-brand welcome messages. You can set up customized if/then branches to triage the messages based on the type of inquiry. For example, the tool will send sales questions to your sales team and service requests to your customer service team. Also, attaching your CRM to your chatbot will store all data and interactions for future analysis and insights. 

What are the best practices for using a chatbot? 

Here are ten best practices when implementing any chatbot on a digital channel. 

  1. Define clear objectives: Spend time defining the goals and objectives you want to achieve. They could be lead generation, customer support, improving user engagement, or a combination. Having a clear understanding of your objectives will help shape your chatbot strategy.

  2. Design intuitive conversational flows: Plan and design conversational flows for different scenarios and user interactions. Make them as intuitive as possible so users don't feel lost or misunderstood. Create a logical structure for the chatbot's conversations. Make sure it guides users effectively and provides relevant information or assistance.

  3. Personalize the experience: Tailor the chatbot's responses and interactions to match your brand's voice and tone. Personalize the messages to make the conversations more engaging. Make sure to maintain clarity and professionalism. Don't ever try to fool the visitor into thinking they are talking with a human when they are not. Be clear about the automation to maintain credibility.

  4. Start with FAQs: The easiest place to begin is by incorporating FAQs into your chatbot's knowledge base. This allows the chatbot to respond quickly and accurately to common queries and improve efficiency and user satisfaction while learning about your business.

  5. Use automation and routing strategically: Automate routine tasks to free team members for more important tasks. Route critical conversations to the appropriate teams or departments. Create automation rules to handle specific inquiries and escalate conversations to human agents when necessary. Make sure the handover to human agents is seamless for the best customer experience. 

  6. Test and iterate: Continuously test and iterate on your chatbot's performance and effectiveness. Watch user interactions, gather feedback, and adjust based on user behavior or insights from analytics. This iterative approach helps refine your chatbot's responses and improve its overall performance.

  7. Provide exit options: Offer clear exit options within each chatbot conversation. Users should be able to easily navigate away from the chatbot and reach a human if needed.

  8. Integrate with your CRM and other tools: Integrate the chatbot with your CRM system to capture and store lead information, track interactions, and streamline lead management processes.

  9. Analyze performance metrics: Use your chatbot's reporting and analytics capabilities to track metrics such as conversation volume, response times, user satisfaction, and lead generation. Use this data to identify areas for improvement.

  10. Provide ongoing support: Regularly review and update your chatbot's knowledge base to ensure it remains up-to-date with accurate information. Watch user feedback and address any gaps in service, issues, or concerns.

By following these best practices, you'll have a chatbot that effectively engages with your digital visitors, delivers value to your marketing and customer service teams, and supports your overall business objectives. Let's look at a real-life case study to see how a chatbot benefited one of our clients. 

Chatbot Success Story

The client asked SyncShow to help them optimize their HubSpot website by driving more qualified lead generation and developing pipeline automation. The goals were to improve efficiency, eliminate manual tasks, streamline recurring activities, and ensure that no critical sales tasks or opportunities fall through the cracks. One of our initiatives was to replace the old live chat feature with an automated chatbot. The new chatbot provided an opportunity to qualify leads, provide answers to common customer support questions, and reduce the need for manual monitoring. The chatbot offered various pathways for prospects, customers, and job seekers to get the needed information. We built automated tasks into the chatbot to notify salespeople when to follow up with leads based on their user's answers. 

The client experienced an astounding 94.78% increase in usage with the new automated chatbot. The chatbot became the highest lead conversion channel on the website, with 29.27% of new contacts converting through it. In the first ten months of use, the automated chatbot took care of 1,083 user requests, completing 844. This is compared to 516 requests and 366 completed during the same time the year before. 

It's clear this client found measurable value in utilizing an automated chatbot on their website. The tool drove more leads and conversions, streamlined processes, and optimized the team's workload. This small but mighty tool was one of the reasons the client saw a 157.56% increase in lead conversion that year.

While chatbots offer many benefits, it's always important to strike a balance between automation and human interaction. Some customer or prospect interactions still require human intervention and a personalized touch. Don't forget to consider your customer's experience when implementing a chatbot. The effectiveness of any chatbot depends on the design, implementation, and continuous improvement based on user feedback and evolving customer needs. 

If you are ready to add a chatbot to your digital channels, we can help you develop the best strategy for your business goals and guide you through the process. Schedule a discovery call today.


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