How Chatbots Fit Into Your Conversational Customer Engagement Strategy

Chatbot starting a conversational customer engagement chat

Chatbots are an important aspect of your website. Leads and customers expect to be able to click on a small chatbot widget and instantly get assistance. Chatbots have some downsides—for example, customers often can’t return to conversations they’ve left, and they can be cumbersome for handling complex questions. But, overall, it’s an important channel to maintain on your website. So how does it fit into your conversational customer engagement strategy? 

Let’s dive in. 

What is Conversational Customer Engagement? 

If you don’t yet have a conversational customer engagement strategy, you may wonder what it’s all about. 

Conversational customer engagement content focuses on encouraging active customers to participate in person-to-person chats with customer service team members, customer happiness team members, or expert consultants. These chats are centered around improving the customer experience.

Conversational customer engagement content can include:

  • Order or ticket follow-ups
  • Customer service surveys
  • Q&As with industry/product experts

Often, this content is sent through channels that can mimic in-person conversations, like business text messaging. Business SMS has a high open rate of 98%, fast response rate of three seconds for 90% of texts, and response rate of up to 80%

Teams make each SMS conversation as personal as possible by:

  • Centering content around the customer experience, always asking if there’s anything else they can do to help
  • Including each agent’s signature at the end of initial texts
  • Using brief sentences with polite phrases like “my pleasure” and “thank you” 
  • Adding emojis or GIFs when appropriate 

While conversational customer engagement is all about having authentic, personalized conversations that build strong customer relationships, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for chatbots. 

How Do Chatbots Fit In with Conversational Customer Engagement?

Chatbots are limited as personalized messaging tools. They won’t offer customers that complete, personal touch they’re looking for. But they are useful in certain cases. To empower chatbots to help with your conversational customer engagement strategy, you’ll need to integrate your chatbot or website widget with your business text messaging platform. This way, relevant chatbot messages can be routed to the appropriate shared inbox and team, whether customers message in from your website or their native SMS apps. After an integration, chatbots can:

Answer Basic Questions

Sometimes, customers will respond to your outgoing conversational customer engagement content with simple questions about business hours, return policies, or release dates. Your team doesn’t need to individually answer each of these incoming customer questions. Instead, let your chatbot or web chat answer them with an auto reply. Simply select key phrases and their corresponding auto replies. Try to make these replies as human-like as possible, using casual language and emojis if appropriate. 

Open Conversations and Gather Information

Customer engagement chatbots can save time for your customer service agents, too. Set your chatbot to automatically reply to initial messages. For example, if a customer texts in “Hello,” your chatbot can automatically respond with “Hi! How can I help you today?” Your customer engagement chatbot can even start a process. For example, if customers text in with key phrases like “make a return,” the chatbot can ask what their order number is. Then, when customers respond, the message can be routed to your shared inbox, where team members can quickly reply. 

Chatbot Customer Engagement Templates

It’s fine to use your customer engagement chatbot to automatically reply to certain messages, especially basic questions. But you want your auto replies to sound as though they’re coming from a human. This way, they’ll complement your other conversational customer engagement content. To help, we’ve rounded up three examples of templated chatbot customer engagement replies. Feel free to tweak and use these examples.

Hi there! Corner Bakery is open every day, from 8am – 4pm. We look forward to seeing you stop in! 🍵 (And be sure to check out our free tasting table out front!)

Thanks for texting in! How can Swift Software’s Happiness team help you today?

Hello, thanks for texting Acme Shoes’s returns number. Can you provide me with the order number? 

 

Want to learn more about conversational customer engagement or chatbot customer engagement? Check out our blog.

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