Bojana Vojnovic December 7th, 2020

How to Use Chatbots to Cultivate Meaningful Conversations in Time of Crisis

chatbot tablet

In light of recent events, only one thing springs to mind when the word crisis is mentioned - the Coronavirus pandemic. It has swept the world by storm, leaving us to cope with the "new normal" as best we can.

There's constant unease that lingers in the air as we go about our daily routine while keeping physical distance, avoiding crowds, significantly increasing standards of hygiene, and basically, just trying to stay afloat both in business and personal lives. However, regardless of the sacrifices we make for the sake of our own health and the health of others, there's one thing that brings support and comfort in these delicate times, and that is remote communication.

In our time of need, we have turned to various communication tools to have a safe conversation without the fear of being infected. Online communication in all its forms has surpassed traditional telephone calls and provided us with the opportunity to stay in touch with our loved ones, as well as conduct business at a satisfactory level. Companies that have harvested the internet's potential have found it much easier to maintain efficiency, and most importantly, stay in touch with their existing and potential customers. But aren't all those calls and video conferences overwhelming? How can the staff find the time that each customer deserves? Easy. With the use of chatbots.   

Teach your chatbots to communicate effectively

Meaningful conversations are no longer restricted to humans. As people, chatbots also gather experience which will enable them to provide necessary information and be accurate and responsive to most customer inquiries. And as people, these intelligent machines learn how to communicate that information professionally and authentically. All you need to do is teach them.

Primarily, it is essential to decide on the content and the manner in which it will be communicated to your customers. This means that you need to give your bot clear instructions. Gather your experience with your target group, all the frequently asked questions, anticipate what may follow them, and most importantly, add that irreplaceable touch of humanity. AI bot can personalize conversations in ways that will make your visitors feel comfortable and engaged. For instance, by acquiring information from social media platforms, a bot can address the customer by name or even recognize a returning one.

Bots as ambassadors of goodwill 

Profit is not the only thing your bot can obtain. Since the whole world is still in turmoil due to the ongoing pandemic, we have found ourselves in dire need of non-profit organizations and their valuable work. However, non-profits and NGOs are struggling themselves and fundraising has met a significant obstacle. Also, due to social distancing measures, it has become impossible to gather crowds to support a cause and doing it via telephone just can't yield satisfactory results.

Fortunately, artificial intelligence steps in once again. A chatbot is an effective and accessible way to engage donors on your website, page, or social media profiles. There's no coding experience required, so they’re easy to build and implement.  With the GivingTuesday coming up, it is vital that we do everything in our power to spread the word. This big day of giving is actually a global, 24-hour campaign that advocates non-profits and NGOs' purposes and encourages people to make donations. Thanks to machine learning, bots can now communicate your message in a timely and emphatic manner, answer questions, send notifications, and guide visitors to donation pages. 

Meaningful AI conversations can be loads of fun

One of the most prominent traits of the art of conversation is humor. The good news is that chatbots can be taught to weave in charming, funny comments into the conversation, which is very much welcomed in these delicate times. Implementing a quiz is a great way to guide potential customers towards a buying decision. Bots can even spice things up by telling a joke or even sending a meme. While engaged in a relaxed and engaging conversation, the buyers are given detailed instructions, directions, and clickable links.

Mind you, this kind of online fun has to come paired with convenience. Let's take Dominos Pizza, for example. They have a friendly yet informative bot integrated into their Messenger, so they can manage smooth and informative communication with customers without them having to download apps, make phone calls, or go through any hassle just to order a pizza. Which is exactly what they want. Your brand image is reflected in the level of your customers’ satisfaction, so every positive experience goes towards building a reputation and brand voice that will resonate with your audience.

A crisis demands timely, regular, and accurate information – bots can provide

One needs to stay on top of the situation at all times and in all walks of life to manage the challenges of the pandemic. Both entrepreneurs and their customers need to know precisely how to go about their decisions in accordance with the situation. An excellent example of this is Mona – the chatbot of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs. Mona caters to business people, answering the essential pandemic-related FAQs. Current infection numbers, opening time restrictions, and mandated social distancing rules, among others, are all available to everyone at all times.

The customers, on the other hand, have turned to online services since most shops remained closed. Needless to say, business establishments have found themselves overloaded with demands and inquiries about home deliveries or product information. Had there not been for chatbots, the sales would have experienced a major drop, directly affecting the brand's reputation and setting an unfavorable tone for future business. This silver lining extends to the period after the pandemic dies down since the services have now been improved as AI will continue to provide for a significantly larger number of customers without putting a strain on the staff.

Building a meaningful relationship with your target audience is based on recognizing their individuality as well as their needs. Chatbots are able to do just that by keeping the lines of communication open 24/7, adding the feeling of comfort while providing the necessary information. Customer loyalty is what places you above the competition. Your courteous yet informative bot can add all that to its indisputable efficiency.  

Featured Image by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Bojana Vojnovic

Bojana is a content strategist with a finger on the pulse of the world of Messenger chatbots. She oversees a content creation strategy that helps business owners take their brand to the next level. In her free time she runs a magazine that spreads the word about sustainable life and culture.

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