Chatbots are the big trend in customer service today and many experts predict that they’ll completely alter the way that people and brands interact going forward. Chatbots can not only ease the burden on customer service agents but they can in eliminate the need for costly mobile apps that many smaller businesses can’t afford. But before you invest time and money in developing and deploying a chatbot for your small business, here are three things you need to know first.

Who is your audience?

Your chatbot can’t interact effectively with your customer base if it doesn’t understand who they are and what makes them tick. And the only way your chatbot can be programmed to know your audience is if you already know them and make the effort to program your bot with that same knowledge. Some obvious places to start is with obvious demographics. Are they primarily male or female or an even mix? Are they younger or older or does their age vary widely? Do they come from wealthier or poorer backgrounds? Do they lean conservative or liberal? Chances are your customers will usually divide along these lines. Another thing to consider about your customer base is where they usually turn for customer service help. To they go to your website, call a customer service line or do they turn to social media for help?

What is your goal and how can you achieve it?

You need to have well-defined goals for your chatbot or it will be a complete failure. A surprising number of companies are just programming chatbots just to do it because everyone else is. To improve the customer service experience is a given but how specifically do you want to improve it? Are you trying to reduce wait times? If so, how can your chatbot help you accomplish that? Also recognize that your chatbot won’t be an overnight success. Chatbots learn by making mistakes. You will almost certainly need to go in and make adjustments to make it more effective and achieving the goals you’ve set for your bot.

How will you get customers to use it?

No matter how much time and effort you put into creating a useful chatbot, it will all be a waste if your customers don’t know about it or don’t wish to use it. Revisit the question of audience and where they turn to for customer assistance. If you have a customer service line they usually call, maybe you can provide instructions for reaching out to your chatbot in the automated phone answering system you use so customers waiting for a live agent might hang up and go to your chatbot. If they go to your website, you might have your chatbot initiate a conversation when it seems your customers are stuck on a webpage. You can use existing marketing channels whether that’s email, SMS, or something else to tell your frequent customers about your newest customer service agent. Give it a catchy name that people will remember and be excited about.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: smallbiztrends.com/2017/08/chatbots-for-customer-service.html

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The mobile app marketplace is extremely overcrowded. Between the IOS and Google Play stores (the two most popular) there are approximately 5 million apps available for download. The vast majority of mobiles apps that are downloaded are used once or twice and then never used again or they’re deleted soon after being downloaded and never downloaded again. The trick to developing a mobile app that is continuously used is two-fold. The first requirement is to develop an app that offers real utility and value. It needs to be able to do something that no other app does, or it has to do a thing better than any other app. But even having done that, it’s not a guarantee of success, you have to promote your mobile app to your frequent customers. SMS is a great way to do this because your audience are all mobile phone users with the capacity to download the app and those who’ve opted in have already demonstrated a desire to be loyal customers. You can use SMS to promote your mobile app in the following ways:

To acquire new users

Getting people to download and begin using your mobile app in the first place is often the hardest part. You have to generate awareness of your app in the first place. A great way to do this via SMS is to include a download link which will take people right to your app’s page on the app store. Include a call to action and an incentive for downloading such as a freebie or mobile coupon of some kind.

To reengage dormant users

If you’re noticing a drop-off in the number of people regularly opening and using your mobile app then it’s time to send a reminder message. Often a reminder alone won’t be enough. You may first need to conduct some research in the form of short surveys to determine your app’s weaknesses when it comes to retaining users and you may have to go back and make improvements to your app before promoting it again via text.

To reacquire users

For those who’ve deleted your app completely, you can use SMS to inform them of updates you’ve made to the app since they’ve deleted it being sure to include new features that were requested by users and fixes to problems that were stumbling blocks for users. By using SMS to keep loyal customers updated, you improve the odds that people will give your app a second chance.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: customerthink.com/make-your-app-a-success-through-marketing/

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Online mega retailers like Amazon have changed the way America shops, and not just online; more than three-quarters of US consumers own a smartphone and nearly everyone takes it with them when they shop. Store owners refer to this as the Amazon effect and you’ve probably done this yourself. You see a product on the shelf that you’re interested in. You might try reading information on the box but that’s insufficient. You want to know what actual customers think about the product. Of course you’re also confident that you can find it cheaper online and you can afford to wait since you have unlimited free two-day shipping. You end up buying it online and leaving the store empty-handed. It’s a win for Amazon and a loss for the store.

Fortunately for store owners, there are ways of using mobile technology to your advantage instead of the other way around.

Take advantage of proximity marketing

One of the biggest benefits that mobile technology offers to store owners is that they have built-in GPS. That means when customers give permission, and store owners have access to the right bulk SMS platforms, they can know where customers are and send mobile advertisements at the most opportune times. Ask yourself this question: are you more likely to take advantage of an in-store mobile coupon that’s sent to you when you’re sitting on your couch watching TV in your pajamas or are you more likely to use it if you’re driving right past the store-in question or walking through the doors of the mall where the store is located? Proximity marketing can increase foot traffic in the first place which you’ll need if you want to see higher profits.

Cross channel integration

Now that you have customers in store, you need to take more control regarding how they use their phones while they shop. If you don’t want them opening up Amazon, then offer your own mobile experience in the aisles. By using retailer specific SKUs you can prevent customers from scanning bar codes in apps to find lower prices elsewhere. You can use those same retailer specific SKUs to connect shoppers with your own online content such as reviews, recipes, videos, or coupons that will influence them to buy there in the store.

More personalized SMS strategy and more optimized mobile coupons

In connection with proximity marketing and cross channel integration, more personalized text messages can push consumers to buy when they otherwise wouldn’t. Solutions that allow you to track customer behavior as it relates to in-store trends and how they use cross channel integration features can allow you to tailor your SMS strategy to better find what kinds of offers lead to sales and which ones result in them shopping online instead.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/06/23/mobile-marketing-methods-that-move-customers-to-buy/#630181724087

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The US, collectively, will send approximately 72 billion text messages this year. Billions and billions of those will be business-customer interactions. Text message marketing is popular and it’s still growing and it’s here to stay. There’s a good reason why virtually every major brand and many smaller businesses as well are using it. Text message marketing has an engagement rate over 90%. That means that for every ten recipients of a text message sent by a business, nine will engage with that text in some way by reading/responding/clicking/redeeming a coupon. Here are three big predictions for text message marketing in 2017.

It will keep getting more popular

Okay so this one isn’t exactly a big prediction, it’s a very safe one. Text message marketing has been growing in popularity every year since it started and 2017 will be no different. Texting is increasingly becoming the preferred method of communication for virtually everyone. Even older generations are starting to embrace text messaging as they realize it’s the most likely to get a quick response. Businesses are finding out the exact same thing so expect text message marketing to keep growing this year.

SMS engagement rates will fall

What’s a negative prediction like this doing in an article singing the praises of text message marketing? It’s worth remembering that email marketing used to have engagement rates that were as high as text message marketing’s is right now. But then as so many businesses started doing it and consumers were overwhelmed with emails from various businesses, they started ignoring them and email providers started using junk folders to automatically filter promotional emails and many were deleted unread and even unnoticed in some cases.

The good news is, the SMS marketing engagement rate isn’t going to drop from 90+ down to 20% where email’s engagement rate currently sits. SMS is different from email in that consumers have to opt in first so engagement rates will remain high, they’ll just drop a little due to the saturation of the SMS marketing channel. The other good news about lower engagement rates is that…

SMS marketing will get more creative

A positive side effect of a saturated marketing channel and lower engagement rates is that brands will have to start thinking outside of the box to be noticed. Mobile coupons, appointment reminders, order and shipping notifications, and loyalty programs are all relatively common uses for the SMS marketing channel but in 2017 and coming years as engagement rates dip, brands are going to start experimenting with new ways to use the channel. We might see multi-part short fiction pieces sent via text or mini content marketing pieces. Some will be flops but some might take hold as well and we’ll look back on 2017 as the year there was a shift in SMS marketing strategy in order to stay relevant.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: business2community.com/digital-marketing/crystal-ball-future-text-message-marketing-2017-01748347#V2V6JUukRdcmKc6d.97

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SMS messaging is used by the majority of the world’s population and for good reasons. SMS messages can span different carriers. Messages can be quickly sent and received. And now with companies using AI-backed SMS message technologies, people can text companies to get immediate responses to request and inquiries. But the powers of SMS messaging do not stop there.

People can also use SMS messages to interact with other smart devices.

Texting Within a Smart Home

Smart homes and appliances now have the ability to receive and send SMS messages. One example is a smart thermostat. You can send an SMS message to your thermostat to request an increase or decrease in the set temperature. And since SMS messages do not require a wireless internet connection or an installed app, you can even control the temperature of your home from anywhere you go. Imagine that you just left on vacation and are an hour away from your house. You forgot to turn off the air conditioner so now the air conditioner will be running the entire week that you will be gone. You can text the thermostat to turn off the air conditioner.

The Potential for SMS Messaging

The potential for smart appliances and SMS messaging is expansive. Imagine being able to send a text message to set the alarm system or receive a report of what is in your fridge. Because SMS messaging is so versatile, it sets up the potential for unlimited use and growth.

Whether you need to send a text message to a friend or message a question to a company, SMS messaging is a great tool for communication. AI-backed SMS messaging services allow companies to expand their customer service and marketing tools. The versatility and potential of SMS messaging is endless.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

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Customer service can be handled through a variety of platforms. Today’s world features customer service being handled through phone calls, SMS messaging, Facebook, Twitter, messenger apps, and almost anywhere where there is some form of communication. A customer can write a review on a website, whether negative or positive, and a company can respond through a comment on the same website. Customer service is being handled on every platform, but no matter where it is taking place, it is important to remember the basics.

At All Costs, Do Not Argue

Nowadays, social media seems to be a popular outlet for people’s frustrations. People argue on and on through endless comments and posts. But if you want to have good customer service, avoid arguing. People might bring up a variety of problems about a product or service you offer. Rather than get defensive and argue about it, recognize that they have the right to their opinion and their feelings. First thank them for the opportunity you have to listen to their concerns and then offer a way to use the information. You might respond by saying, “Thank you for your comment. We are always looking to improve and we will take your concerns into consideration.” You do not have to accept responsibility for whatever someone accuses or apologize. Just be willing to listen to what they have to say without arguing. Arguing will only lead to further complaints and concerns, which is probably not the most effective approach to customer service.

Try to Keep Things Positive

Staying positive can be difficult when you are handling customer service calls and messages. Approach every phone call and message with a positive demeanor. The Small Business Chronicle suggests that no matter what happens, staying positive can help the situation; getting angry will only make things worse. “Even if the customer begins to lose their temper, your customer service associates need to maintain a professional and pleasant demeanor at all times. Do not give the angry customer a chance to point out flaws in your customer service approach.” It can be easy to get frustrated and aggressive when you are communicating with people who are angry and rude. Just remember that they are not angry at you personally. Try and be positive until the end. If it is hard to be positive, at least try and stay calm and collective. Being calm will allow you to better listen to a customer and help them understand the situation.

There is a substantial amount of advice out there already for customer service representatives. There may be certain rules and guidelines that your company requires when it comes to customer service relations. But if we can stay positive and avoid arguing, we have accomplished half the battle by not making the situation worse. So whether you are talking to someone on the phone, responding to a text message, chatting with someone through a messenger app, or replying to a post on social media or a website, remember these customer service basics.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com


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Technology is continually improving the efficiency for people to interact both in the real world and the digital world. Someone can send a text message and get a response in the time it would take that same person to look up someone’s number and actually call them. Anyone too busy or overwhelmed to drive to a store can order food, clothes, and anything else online. A flustered web user can chat with an automated chat service to find answers to questions. The ability for people to live their everyday lives has become much easier due to improved technology. But as these aspects get better and more efficient, people expect the same easiness and efficiency in everything else, including customer service.

Innovation professor Enrique Dans says, “If you thought that customer service was simply putting a phone number on your advertisement, think again.” As companies are using technology to better meet the demands of customers, those customers are getting more demanding.

In a recent article in Forbes Magazine, Micah Soloman, president of a customer service consultancy, suggests a few ways that companies can better meet the customer service expectations of customers.

Self-Service Customer Service

Soloman suggests that companies “invest in well-designed customer-facing self-service.” The majority of companies have great employees who are available for customer service calls. Trained in professionalism and kindness, these employees work wonders in meeting the customer service demands of customers. But real customer service agents are not enough. Solomon notes that people need customer service at all times of the day, whether because of conflicting time zones or because people work through the night. By providing self-serving customer service, companies can be available to customers any hour of the day.

Self-serving customer service also benefits the modern man or woman who yields a smart device on the run. People might not have time to stop and chat while driving to work or roaming the halls. Customer service that can be provided through SMS messaging, social media messaging, and other quick means allow customers to multi-task their lives and receiving the customer service they need.

Customer Service for the Consumer

As technology better provides consumers with what they want, when they want it, and how they want it, those consumers will expect the same of customer service. They will want customer service when and how they want it. For some people, that will be a phone call to the company. For other people, that will be a text message. And for the rest, it might be an email or Facebook message. Dans encourages companies to not neglect any potential channel of communication.

Recently Twitter saw the possible frustration of only offering customer service through AI chatbot or other AI-powered means. They rolled out a new system that allows customer to recognize when they are messaging a bot and when they are messaging a real person. By giving some of the control back to the consumer, Twitter is hoping to alleviate potential stress and frustration from consumers.

There are many ways to improve customer service experiences for consumers and companies. Providing various platforms to for people to receive that customer service will help better meet the expectations of consumers.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Sources:

medium.com/enrique-dans/customer-service-in-the-social-web-era-f3dc8cbaaf07#.28iqzpvoe

forbes.com/sites/micahsolomon/2017/02/23/the-only-customer-service-experience-trend-you-need-to-be-worried-about#7b8baca52b51

marketingdive.com/news/twitter-tries-to-humanize-customer-service-interactions/436728/

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Customers need to be able to contact you when they have a problem or even if they just want to tell you what a great job you’re doing. That is why you need to have a lot of different ways they can communicate with your customer service department. Here are 5 ways you should offer customer service.

1. Phone calls

Being able to call a business when you need help is important. While other means of communication are nice, sometimes you just want to be able to talk to someone and describe the problem you are having. Customers hope the traditional phone call will yield better results. Make sure you have other forms of communication in place to help shorten phone call wait time, or add a feature where you will call back customers instead of making them wait on hold for an hour.

2. Texting

Customer service texting is a newer form of customer service, but it is proving to be very effective. In fact, over half of customers polled said they preferred texting customer service over other methods. That’s a pretty good margin. Text marketing and customer service texting should be an important part of your business.

3. Email

Letting your customers email in when they have questions is also effective. It is starting to fade out slightly as more and more consumers are picking up on text marketing, but for now, it is still a valuable way to communicate, especially with the older generations.

4. Social Media

Use social media to communicate with your customers. 67% of consumers have lodged a complaint over social media, which means you need to be on social media to field those complaints and answer customer concerns. It is also a great place for you to get positive reviews and bolster up your company.

5. Review sites

There are plenty of review sites out there where customers are already ripping your business a new one about some complaint they have. Rather than working with you to get it resolved, they complain on the sites and prevent you from getting new customers. Your customer service people should be scanning these sites, looking for bad reviews, and addressing them publicly on the sites. It will hopefully repair the broken relationship with your customer and help future customers see you care about them and want to make things right.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: eweek.com/networking/consumers-like-using-text-messages-to-solve-customer-service-issues.html

time.com/money/4672443/social-media-hacks-customer-service/

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Technology has jumped leaps and bounds in the last few years, and the ability to market to your customers has grown with it. Everything is getting smarter and better, so you can give your customers more of what they want. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and smart apps are no longer a thing of the future. The future is now, and it is time you start marketing smarter.

AI Chatbot

With AI capabilities increasing and consumers demanding more conversational-like responses, your company needs to start considering how you want to incorporate chatbot into your marketing. You can use text customer service with AI Chatbot that allows your customers to have two-way text conversations with immediate responses.

We are also seeing more companies building apps with Chatbot in them. Starbucks, for example, uses Chatbot to take customer orders through text. A customer simply needs to say or type what they want, and the Chatbot will analyze the information and pump out an order for them.

Predictive Analysis

It is amazing that companies can analyze past trends and behaviors in order to kick out suggestions for a consumer's. And through this, your business is able to offer extremely personalized services to your customers. Personalization is the biggest thing in the marketing world right now, and using predictive analysis in your smart apps helps you give the personalization they crave.

And it is about to get better, soon, these programs will be able to not only make suggestions for consumers based on their past behaviors but also at the exact right time that a consumer needs to see it. With the data from past purchases, searches, and even GPS locations of your phone, computer algorithms can identify exactly when and where a consumer needs to see an ad to get them in your store to make a purchase.

Location-based marketing now

Even if the technology isn’t quite up to speed with predictive analysis to give you everything you want in a smart app now, you still have a lot of great options. You can use location-based marketing already to send ads to consumers when they are within a certain distance of your store. Sometimes, a customer doesn’t know exactly where they want to go next, and a reminder that you are close by will get them in the store.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/02/06/how-smart-apps-will-change-the-mobile-marketing-game-in-2017/

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With the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more and more prevalent in our society, it won’t be long before everything we have is somehow connected to each other. We can do so much more than text marketing with our smartphones. It is very convenient to be able to control things in our lives from them. We can view our security systems, change the temperature in our house, start our cars, and check our current heart rates. We aren’t that far away from having fully functioning smart home capabilities, and new things are coming out every day. The question is, which manufacturer will win the race to smart home?

Amazon’s access

The Amazon Echo has been around longer than the other home assistants, and has a a lot more accessibility for users. With 250 devices compatible with it, it is definitely the leader in the smart home market. However, it does have some problems with security. Because it only takes 10 days for the approval process to get set up with their devices, there are definitely security flaws that might make you less interested in using the Amazon Echo. It works very well for now, but both Google and Amazon have a lot more potential for growth.

How does Google compare?

Google is the newest addition to the smart home market and offers a cool virtual assistant that is always on to answer all your questions. While it does have some devices it can connect with such as the Nest system, SmartThings, and more, it cannot do other basic things such as create notifications for you. While it seems like there is a steep learning curve to the Google Home, it will likely increase the number of connectable devices quickly. Many people already have their lives connected with Google devices and products that it just makes sense to stick with Google Home. It will eventually learn to do everything you want it to do even if other products on the market are currently beating them.

Apple’s slow race

One thing is clear, Apple is taking the slow and steady approach. Apple currently only has about 100 devices that work with its HomeKit smart access. Just like you would expect from the large tech company, they won’t let just anyone run through their smart home. They require strict testing of the device, which could take from 3 to 5 months. They want to be sure the device will work smoothly with their system and there aren’t any bugs. But compared to Amazon’s 250 devices that are compatible, it is quite a bit further behind. Fortunately for Apple, they have plenty of customers who are loyal to them regardless of their capabilities.

So who is winning?

Overall, Amazon Echo is definitely winning at the moment because it does have such a huge edge over the other manufacturers. However, Google and Apple aren’t far behind. Google definitely has the greatest growth potential and will ultimately be at the top of the race neck in neck with Apple. You can’t beat Apple’s built-in fan base and ability to keep their devices extremely secure.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: appadvice.com/post/apple-amazon-smart-home-race/736365

cnet.com/news/ces-2017-google-home-preview-progress-report/

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