When we talk about digital marketing and different generations, there’s far more than content strategies and social media platform selection to talk about. The way a Baby Boomer views and uses technological tools can be profoundly different than how a Gen Xer, Millennial, or member of Gen Z views and uses those same tools.
Take for an example chatbots. Chatbots are automated computer scripts that answer customer questions, make product suggestions, and can even conduct sales. Chatbots can be built into your website. They’re also available for use on social media messaging platforms, as well as within certain apps.
Two-thirds of Millennials surveyed by RetaleBot, a company that is obviously very interested in the power of chatbots to sell products, replied that they have engaged with chatbots before and would consider themselves likely to make a purchase when prompted by a bot. Only 14% reported being not interested at all; the remaining 19% were neutral, having no strong opinion on the topic.
Millennials’ comfort with chatbots may spring from the fact that they’ve grown up with this technology. The idea that a computer can conduct a human-like conversation is nothing new: innovator Alan Turing developed his famous Turing Test to see if a disinterested observer could identify which intelligence in a conversation was human and which was machine in 1950.
Chatbots have seamlessly appeared as a customer service tool in the financial services industry, where they are ideal for routine tasks such as making balance inquiries or account transfers. Travel and airline ticket brokers have also adopted chatbots rather than routing customer service inquiries through call centers. By and large, these transitions have increased customer satisfaction ratings while controlling costs. Chatbot use in these settings increased as smartphone use became more prominent; today, more than half of all web traffic happens via a mobile device.
When it comes to retail and e-commerce, chatbot use is most effective when scripts are conversational and natural sounding. Even if a customer suspects they’re not actually dealing with a real person, they prefer feeling as if they were. The older a buyer is, the greater emphasis they place on person-to-person interaction. Gen Xers closely follow Millennials’ purchasing preferences; 58% indicate that they’re comfortable purchasing online. Baby Boomers come in closer to 30%, although that rate is steadily increasing as Boomers appreciate the trail of documentation that chat logs provide.
What does this mean for your business? The use of chatbots makes it easier to provide a superior level of service, given limited amounts of available manpower. Additionally, chatbots can make it easier for small business owners to manage interior functions, such as payroll tracking and benefits management. Many cloud based enterprise business tools use chatbot functionality. Understanding and making the best use of chatbot technology is part of today’s everyday business reality. Resolve to learn more about the possibilities and how chatbots can give you the ability to provide a higher level of service without increasing costs. You’ll be glad you did!