Is chatbot really a necessity for a business nowadays?

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In the past few years, we all have interacted with chatbots in some or another form. And looking at trends, the usage of chatbots will increase further.

Today, we’ll discuss chatbots and how they’re going to benefit the education sector.

With an ever-changing working environment, more and more people are seeking additional education or technical training, either to remain relevant or to stay ahead of the competition. And as a result, a plethora of educational institutions are coming into existence. With an increasing number of players in the market, whether someone is a new player or an established player, acquiring a new customer is always a challenging task.

Similar to many other sectors, getting pre-qualified leads in the education sector is quite an arduous task. Today’s customers have multiple options, be it in selecting an Executive program for an additional qualification, or choosing a pre-school for their kid’s admission, or perhaps customers who are interested in acquiring new art forms such as singing, dancing, playing musical instruments.

Customer’s Buying journey

Customer’s buying journey has changed drastically, thanks to the internet and a mushrooming tech called “Chatbot”. To reap the benefits of this tech to its full potential, one has to have an understanding of how a chatbot can be a blessing in each stage of the consumer buying process. Let’s dive into that.

Whether a consumer is buying a physical product or a services product, they tend to go through the various stages (consciously or unconsciously). Each stage has many sub-stages. Identifying and targeting those stages to craft the marketing strategy will definitely impact significantly in the outcome.

Tradition customer’s Journey has 3 stage

  • Awareness stage
  • Consideration stage
  • Decision stage

To be ahead of the competition, businesses have to focus on how they can make life easier for their potential customers with the use of the latest technology like Chatbot.

Awareness stage:

Awareness is the first and foremost stage of the consumer buying journey. It is the most crucial stage for both consumers and service providers. We can label this stage as a problem recognition stage for a consumer whereas an opportunity for the businesses. In the awareness stage, potential customers are likely to realize their needs and do a little bit of research on their needs.

Over the years, businesses have engaged in different kinds of traditional advertising such as television advertisements, Billboards, newspaper magazines, etc to spread awareness about their product. But from the last few years, advertisers are replying more to online advertisements on various platforms like Facebook ads, Google ads, etc. the most important reasons to choose Online/digital advertisements over traditional advertisements are

  • The accessibility of high-speed internet made more and more people available online than ever. So these Digital ads become self-nominated.
  • Digital campaigns are more measurable than the traditional advertisements
  • It is a cost-effective option with higher returns.

All these advertisements are good but they all have one flaw, they are one-way communication. To increase engagement with visitors/potential customers, a business needs a better option other than just navigating the customer through a tiring website. Chatbot can be the best tool to have two-way communication.

Let’s take an example of an Education institute or learning center,

Let’s assume an Educational institute is running a targeted campaign over Facebook or any other digital platform to spread product awareness. The potential customer came across that ad and he/she is curious to know more about it. To satisfy his/her curiosity, potential consumers are likely to turn to a very platform on which they encountered the ads. The chatbot can be very useful to answer customer queries and gather important information like course details and personal information which helps the sales person to reach out to the customers.

At the awareness stage, its marketers’ job is to drive the customer to the chatbot and the chatbot will handle the rest. Marketers can link the chatbot with a Facebook page or they can share a link to the blog.

Consideration stage:

As we move forward in the consumer buying journey next stage come is the “Consideration stage”.

Till now, consumers realized their need and made some research about it, This is the stage where potential customers seek some fundamental information like Fee structure of the course, duration of the course, batch timing, etc. This stage is all about seeking various information. A quick and reliable response will always help increase the customer experience as well as the company’s overall image. Chatbot ticks all both boxes. It generates quick and reliable responses repeatedly that too 24*7. Many people avoid facing a representative because of a number of reasons. The chatbot will help those potential customers to access the required information at their convenience. Moreover, Business owners will get the notification whenever a lead is being generated, This will help them to attain the consumer requirement quickly and to make follow up based on that.

One of the good chatbot examples is PK- Educations Chatbot, it’s an Al -Chatbot developed by Pragnakalp Techlabs. PK-Educations is a very basic lead generation chatbot that is integrated on various chat channels such as Website, Google Assistant, Facebook Messenger, Telegram. PK-Education helps business owners to have better customer engagement across the chat channels.

So coming back to the consideration stage, it is the stage where chatbot comes most handy and makes an actual difference. As we stated earlier, consumers make lots of research regarding products and services. It’s the time when new potential loyal customers make or lose the business.

Chatbot also helps the business to scale up the cold calling by automating the prospecting. At this stage it’s a marketer’s job to convey that the particular product or service is best suited for the customer and knowing the fact that no “one product” fits for all, it becomes important to understand the customer’s requirement and suggest the product or services accordingly.

Decision-Making stage:

Supposedly the last stage in the Buyer’s journey, the “Decision making”. It’s a step where customers generally add up all the aspects of the business and compare with others (consciously or unconsciously) and take the decision. It’s a time when businesses pitch the product. With well-crafted dialog and flow, a chatbot can help businesses and customers by suggesting the product according to their response and even schedule the demos if required.

Also, there are chatbot that helps the businesses to manage the Admission process through the chatbot itself which help in scaling the activities with lesser efforts

When it comes to the education industry, Chatbots are an excellent way to nurture the consumer at every stage of the buying process. Many studies are suggesting having positive experiences when they are talking to a chatbot. It is a great way for any organization to communicate with its customers. Chatbots can also help educational institutes to learn more about their prospective customer, and they can help businesses to deliver the primary information quite effectively.

Is chatbot really a necessity for a business nowadays? was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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