It has been said years ago by many experts that chatbots are the future of marketing and customer service. Despite these predictions, chatbot use started at a slow pace, hampered by traditional practices mastered by professionals entrenched in the industry. That is, until the pandemic happened.
“Certain retail trends were already in place during 2020, but because of the pandemic they were accelerated to a much higher degree than anyone would have expected—progress that would normally take five or six years was achieved in just five to six months.” said Cristina Constandache, chief revenue officer of Rakuten Viber.
After a challenging period of establishing its value in the marketing industry, chatbots are now quickly being incorporated by the biggest retailers in their businesses. By 2024, the global chatbot market is predicted to be worth $994 million.
For Constandache, irrespective of how the world will be post-pandemic, it’s clear that chatbots are here to stay. One of the biggest factors is the customer journey made possible by chatbots. A brand can touch base with their customer at all points in the marketing funnel, from prospection all the way through transaction and post-sale engagement.
“There are now payment features within chatbots, so customers can finalize the transaction and go through the entire sales flow without having to leave the messaging app. But it’s never at the expense of customer service,” Constandache pointed out. “By integrating the CRM (customer relationship management) tools into the bot, you as a retailer can offer customer care and after-sales care through the same channel as your retail solution.” she added.
As chatbots are now an excellent way of instilling brand loyalty, local businesses are already integrating them in their digital platforms to ease their customers’ journey. One of them is Power Mac Center, which launched their official Viber Community and Chatbot to meet the demand of their patrons for convenient customer service. Through the platform, Power Mac answers queries and accommodates orders efficiently.
Having a hand in this is Megamobile Inc., a leading chatbot developer in the Philippines. Megamobile is at the forefront of enabling chatbots to help create better customer experiences and open new marketing channels for brands.
As predicted, the future of marketing and customer engagement is finally here.