Did you know that chatbots have the potential to set your multi-location business apart from the crowd? While chatbots have been proven beneficial for localized marketing strategies, many multi-location businesses have yet to use them because they can seem intimidating. Don’t let your fears about chatbots prevent you from implementing them as a part of your localized marketing efforts. If your multi-location business is already using chatbots, good for you! We have some tips that will help you improve your chatbot strategy. 

Throughout this blog, we’ll break it down and share the best practices for using chatbots in localized marketing. By the end, you’ll be a chatbot pro and ready to start using them – if you haven’t already! 

1. Personalize the content

One of the most important things to consider when setting up a chatbot for your multi-location business is the type of content you want your chatbot to share. The more personalized the chatbot is, the more connected the consumer will feel, which will help strengthen their relationship with your company and increase their chances of taking action. For instance, at the beginning of your chatbot conversation, you can ask the user for their name and other details, which you can use to personalize the rest of the conversation. 

In addition to understanding why the user is interacting with the chatbot, you can also provide them with localized text specific to the business location they are chatting with. This will again make the experience more personalized and enhance their experience using your chatbot. If you’re wondering what type of localized content you could use, consider incorporating an image of your storefront as the chatbot image or provide details about your hours of operation or any upcoming events that are location-specific. If the consumer feels as though you have made an effort to personalize their experience, they will feel more connected to your business. 

2. Set the right user expectations

Another critical tactic to keep in mind is setting the users’ expectations up-front. Make it clear that the user is speaking with a chatbot and include a welcome message at the beginning of your chat explaining what it can do. At the beginning of a conversation, you can include quick reply options to highlight the main topics that the bot can handle.  

You can also include prompts to guide users on next steps and provide clear details on when to expect a response. At the end of a conversation with the chatbot, you can include a sentence like, “We hope you found this conversation helpful! If you still have some unanswered questions or need more information, please provide your name and email address and someone from our team will get back to you within 24 hours”. 

If you set expectations throughout the conversation, there’s a much lower chance that your users will be disappointed or unsatisfied with their chatbot experience.

3. Give your bot some personality 

The beauty of chatbots is that you can tailor them to match your business’s tone and personality. The chatbot doesn’t need to be formal and forced. There are opportunities to make the chatbot more conversational and add in some character. In many cases, your multi-location business will be able to write the script it wants to use for the chatbot. Make sure this script includes similar language that is used on your website and fits along with the rest of your brand. You want your chatbot to fit the persona of your company and provide a natural, conversational experience!  

4. Include qualifying questions 

Qualifying questions are also vital when setting up your chatbot. You want to ensure that you’re aware of what problem the consumer is trying to solve to drive them to the right outcome. 

You can include different options for the user to select for why they are using the chat. Are they looking for information about the business, do they have a question about a product, or are they looking to solve an issue? Those are just a few of the ways you can break down the introduction to get more information about the consumer and why they are using the chatbot. From there, you can tailor your content to fit the user’s needs and ultimately make the experience more positive. 

Also, if your multi-location business only serves specific types of consumers, it’s essential to ask those qualifying questions initially. For instance, if your business is explicitly targeting teachers, that may be a smart question to ask at the beginning of the conversation, so you don’t waste a user’s time if they don’t qualify. 

5. Include an offer or incentive

If you’re looking to drive a higher conversion rate through your chatbot conversations, consider including an offer or incentive. There are a variety of different incentive types you could include on your chatbot that would help drive conversions. For instance, consider sending a 10 percent off coupon code to those who fill out their email address at the end of a chat conversation. If you are a gym or beauty salon, you could offer a free class or haircut to those who use the referral code given to them on the chatbot. 

The key here is to be creative! You want to ensure that your chatbot stands out from others. An incentive is a great way to do this, and increase the likelihood that users will interact with your chatbot until the end of the conversation. 

6. Retarget users that click on a Facebook ad using a Messenger bot

Some chatbots, like SOCi SmartBot™, can set up your chatbot on Facebook Messenger. As analyzed in our most recent State of the Market Report, consumers are spending more time on social media while they are social distancing at home, and businesses are increasing the number of posts on social platforms, however, you can’t be available 24/7. Therefore, having the option to use your chatbot on Facebook Messenger is essential.  

 If your multi-location business is already running ads on Facebook, Facebook allows you to retarget someone who has interacted with the ad using the Facebook Messenger chatbot. If someone has already seen your ad on Facebook and gets a message from your chatbot, they will be more likely to recognize the brand. As we all know, sales come down to increasing your visibility and widening your net of prospective consumers, and a chatbot on Facebook Messenger can help you do just this. 

As we mentioned earlier, SOCi SmartBot™ can function on both your local websites and through Facebook Messenger. If your business is looking for a chatbot that was explicitly designed with multi-location businesses in mind, you’re in luck! 

And with the recent changes to Facebook’s Messenger policy, companies only have 24 hours to respond to messages from Facebook users — making it more important than ever to deliver timely responses, at all hours of the day.

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