The chatbots have arrived.

The instant gratification of @-mentions, DMs and chatbots has influenced the trajectory of social messaging and customer care. The need for conversational commerce remains high as customers want to interact with brands in a way that feels natural (and efficient). Over 70% of customers expect a conversational care experience when they engage online with brands.

According to the Sprout Social Index™, nearly 55% of brands use private/direct messaging for marketing purposes, showcasing the enormous opportunity that 1:1 communication provides.

More brands are adopting chatbots for customer care requests because they can address concerns around the clock, but these digital personal assistants can provide much more.

Data visualization about the role of private messaging in brands' social media strategy from Sprout Index

How your brand can bloom with chatbot marketing

Your brand can benefit from chatbot marketing in several ways. Here are a few:

Save time and resources while serving more customers

Chatbots are available 24/7, allowing them to service more customers whenever they need help. Bots can answer frequently asked questions, provide discount codes—and so much more. They can also create tickets for a human agent to address during working hours. When social bots resolve simple issues, human agents can focus their attention on more complex problems.

Essentially, these instant replies provide the quick solutions and information consumers crave, leading to a positive customer experience. If executed properly, bots can help boost your brand image and reputation as well.

Provide a personalized experience by segmenting traffic

Chatbots can segment inbound traffic by leading the conversation based on the customer’s needs. For example, if a customer asks about pricing packages, a chatbot could identify them as a warm lead and suggest that the user complete an order. Many chatbots complete orders directly in the chat, freeing the customer from going to the website on their own.

Removing those extra steps on the customer’s end reduces friction in their journey. The chatbot is a catalyst that speeds up the step from browse to buy. Since bots provide almost all of the necessary details about a service or product, they can hyper-personalize the chat experience.

Capture data to refine your marketing strategy

The messaging data bots collect can provide insights into your audience’s needs and wants. Social messaging data can highlight important voice of customer feedback. The information you gain from this data can inform other chatbot marketing strategy tactics, future campaigns and your product roadmap.

Provide support via familiar channels

Integrating chatbots on social messaging channels like Twitter Direct Messages, Instagram Direct Messages, WhatsApp and Messenger allows brands to connect with customers online in a quick way. Using these familiar channels also makes your brand more accessible to audiences who will never reach out via email or phone. Meet your audience where they are and use a chatbot to carry out your marketing strategy at scale.

10 chatbot examples to boost your bot strategy

There’s a huge difference between a bot answering “yes” or “no” questions and a bot that provides meaningful experiences.

The positive impact of chatbots hinges on the quality of a brand’s bot. This begs the question: What makes a “good” chatbot?

We’ve put together a list of chatbot examples that show practical uses of bots online and the diverse range of businesses rolling them out. Check out why these brands are deemed the best of the bots and what your business can learn from them.

Ecommerce chatbot examples

1. HelloFresh

HelloFresh is one of our favorite chatbot marketing examples because it ticks all the boxes of what a bot should do.

For starters, their Messenger chatbot is self-aware—in the sense that HelloFresh immediately acknowledges you’re speaking with a chatbot, as opposed to a customer service rep.

Your customers are smart. They know when they’re talking to a bot and when they’re not. HelloFresh manages to show off their brand voice by playfully introducing the bot as Brie.

Screenshot of Hello Fresh's chatbot

Also, note that HelloFresh provides a variety of prompts to help guide the conversation from point A to point B. The bot suggests questions, likely based on the most common questions their human reps receive. Users have the option of typing in a question as well.

As you’ll see with most of our chatbot marketing examples, these bots try to stay away from totally open-ended messages that could result in errors. Remember: bots should make for better user experience, not a more complicated one.

In addition to answering questions, the bot has a built-in social selling component by offering bot-exclusive discount codes if the user asks about them. Instead of just offering the discount in the chat, Brie takes it a step further by automatically redirecting to HelloFresh’s Hero Discount Program page. The page highlights the discount program, along with testimonials and frequently asked questions. Using the bot to push this program is a great example of how brands can track and assess the ROI of these helpful digital assistants.

Expect these sorts of offers to become more common as brands look for new incentives to encourage people to interact with their bots.

Screenshot of Hello Fresh's chatbot providing info about discountsScreenshot of Hello Fresh's chatbot providing info about discounts

2. Domino’s Pizza

With the rise of mobile and social shopping, brands are constantly looking for ways to drive revenue from their social channels.

Domino’s has a chatbot for Messenger and their website. Staying true to its brand voice, the chatbot is named Dom. The bot allows customers to place orders and customize their pizzas all within the chat, making it a cinch to buy your favorite pie. Dom has the ability to save and repeat orders and find the closest store to you.

This is arguably one of the best chatbot marketing examples for highlighting how a bot can take something done via mobile and make it just as good (if not better) on social. Although digital ordering is nothing new, ordering through a chatbot requires no native downloads or sign-ups on an app.

Domino's chatbot gif

3. Sephora

Sephora became one of the first brands to integrate chatbots when they began using them in 2017 via Kik. Today, Sephora’s beauty bots boast a bounty of features.

Want to browse products? Book an appointment? Try on makeup using augmented reality technology? Your virtual beauty coach can do all of that and then some.

Sephora elevates customer care to the next level, creating a compelling experience while supporting brick-and-mortar sales with chatbot services on Messenger and Kik.

Similar to Domino’s, Sephora lets users take a variety of actions without having to leave the chat. The bots answer basic customer service questions like order tracking and product availability, but each platform leverages its own unique features to offer a more personalized shopping experience.

On Kik, the beauty bot asks users to take a quiz so they can provide recommendations based on their preferences. If a user wants to purchase a product, they are redirected to the mobile site or Sephora. The bot also features makeup tips, tutorial videos and reviews.

The beauty bot on Messenger is more extensive. Like Kik, the bot offers beauty coaching via makeup tutorials and product reviews, but it also provides news stories, trend reports and two unique features, Sephora Reservation Assistant and Sephora Virtual Artist.

The Reservation Assistant books appointments for makeover services at stores while Virtual Artist allows you to try on looks via AR technology. Beauty enthusiasts can use Color Match to find their perfect shade of lipstick or foundation. And, of course, users can also use Messenger to connect with a live agent.

4. River Island

London-based fashion company River Island uses chatbots to help streamline their customer service. This popular High Street fashion brand has over 350 stores internationally and a strong online presence with millions of followers across social media, so they get thousands of online inquiries each day.

Screenshot of River Island's chatbot on TwitterScreenshot of River Island's chatbot on Twitter

River Island’s chatbot, RI-bot, is available on Messenger and Twitter Direct Message. Customers can use RI-bot to check on orders, ask about a product, locate a store and more. The bot provides links to the website’s frequently asked questions page as well.

The brand launched the chatbot in mid-April 2020. Within six months, they earned 15 million content engagements and 6.1 million post links. With these kind of metrics, River Island proves to be fashion-forward and future focused.

Chatbot marketing examples

5. Mountain Dew

As the self-proclaimed “unofficial fuel of gamers,” Mountain Dew used a chatbot to directly connect with this customer base, leveraging advocacy and engagement to take their bot and brand to the next level.

The energy drink brand teamed up with Twitch, the world’s leading live streaming platform, and Origin PC, a PC gaming rig manufacturer, for their “Rig Up” campaign.

As Twitch’s first branded chatbot, DEWBot played a major role in the larger promotion of Rig Up, an eight-week streaming series where fans could tune in to see exclusive content and win prizes, including the grand prize of a fan-assembled Super Gaming Rig worth $50,000.

Mountain Dew streamed episodes in their Twitch studio, featuring top gaming hosts, industry insiders and professional players. Each episode highlighted a core gaming rig component for the grand prize. The chatbot pushed out polls so fans could vote on rig components. The poll data allowed on-air hosts to update the community in real-time, including the crown winning rig feature. Each weekly vote earned viewers an entry into the grand prize drawing for the Super Rig.

By the end of the campaign, Mountain Dew won a Shorty Award for Best Use of Chatbots and saw some impressive metrics. Viewers watched over 11.6k hours of branded content and the campaign earned 48 influencer shoutouts. Mountain Dew’s Twitch fans increased by 265% and the channel engagement increased by 572%. The campaign also reaped long-term benefits by collecting insights about Mountain Dew’s Twitch community for future promotions.

6. Arsenal Football Club

The English soccer powerhouse Arsenal Football Club (FC) uses bots to engage with their audience while promoting their brand. The sports team is also a great example of timely content delivery and how you can use bots for more than just customer service.

Meet Robot Pires, the digital doppelganger of the French football coach and former professional player.

Robot keeps soccer fans up to date with the latest news about the clubs, upcoming fixtures, real-time match updates and more. Plus, he can help you purchase tickets for the next game, view player stats or find videos including player interviews and moments from some of the team’s greatest victories. Superfans can dive in even deeper with reports, analysis and play-by-play match commentary.

The sports team scores extra points for creating a personalized marketing experience as well. Users can customize alerts, follow their favorite topics and players, and more. This online coach is available on Slack, Skype, Telegram and Messenger.

Gif of Arsenal FC's chatbot on Messenger

Customer service chatbot examples

7. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is an excellent example of using chatbots in hospitality. KLM’s bots streamline their internal operations by providing fast, personalized customer care.

The airline’s bot is nicknamed “BB” for “BlueBot” and available on Messenger. BlueBot is multilingual and provides 24/7 real-time service for various travel inquiries. Users can book tickets, view baggage information, ask about refunds, check flight status and more.

Screenshot of KLM's chatbot on Messenger

If BB can’t answer a question, the bot will connect you with a live agent. The chatbot also offers emoji direction services, which give travelers information based on their location. The bot will show directions to a destination of choice once the user sends a relevant emoji and their location on Messenger.

8. Babylon Health

Chatbots are common in the healthcare space and many brands use them to help patients and provide telemedicine services. Babylon Health uses AI-powered bot technology with Symptom Checker, which is available via the app and their website.

Although a robot should never replace a physician or confirm a diagnosis, Babylon’s bot can provide information based on medical history, analyze symptoms, identify potential causes and set up patients with a live consultation with a doctor for next steps. Patients can also use the bot to book appointments. Essentially, the Babylon’s bot streamlines their customer service so patients can get the care they need faster.

9. Plum

Plum, a money management company, stands out with their chatbot-exclusive service. In other words, they are a bot. This London-based fintech company implements AI technology to help users manage their personal finances. The bot is supported through Plum’s mobile app and Messenger.

What’s notable about Plum is their onboarding process. The conversation with Plum is entirely prompted, giving the customer a choice to sign-up or learn more information in smaller “chunks.” The interactivity of Plum’s bot certainly beats a boring wall of text or a traditional Q&A.

The bot’s casual tone, emojis and conversational calls-to-action keep the reader naturally scrolling and tapping rather than feeling like they’re being sold to. This is a prime example of how to funnel a customer through a conversation to eventually lead them to take action.

Screenshot of Plum's chatbot on Messenger

10. Sprout Social

Last but not least, is our chatbot!  We provide a prompt-heavy bot to provide customers with exactly what they need.

Customer support? Account issues? Features and pricing plans? It’s all there and just a tap or two away.

And like most bots, we provide our customers with the option to speak directly to one of the lovely humans on our support team.

What’s even cooler than our own bot is Sprout’s chatbot builder.

Despite popular belief, you don’t need to be a technical wizard or programmer to get started with social bots. Sprout’s Bot Builder provides a variety of pre-built bot templates that make the process even easier. You can optimize your bot for customer care, shopping and leads.

Screenshot of Sprout's bot builder

Based on your business’ needs, you can put together actions and workflows that also show off your brand’s personality.

Whether it’s a few simple queries or something more complex, we can help you build an awesome experience for your customers.

Plan a smarter strategy with chatbot marketing

If you want to learn more about what bots can do for your business, we recommend checking out Sprout’s ultimate guide to chatbots.

And if you’re interested in building your own bot, watch the video below to see how Sprout can help.

 

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