With the current COVID-19 situation, it’s important to offer consumers front-line support and communications. Chatbots can help your multi-location business do this by automatically responding to inquiries that your customers submit in real-time. A chatbot can respond to customer’s most frequently asked questions and give customers the information they need to help avoid any confusion during this time.

Chatbots: What are they? 

Before diving into how chatbots can help strengthen a localized marketing strategy, let’s define chatbots and explain how they work. A chatbot is a software application used to conduct an online chat and simulates human conversations. Through the use of chatbots, computers can understand and respond to human input through written or spoken language. Many industries utilize chatbots to improve or streamline customer service. 

You may be asking yourself, how exactly do chatbots work? While some of it can get pretty technical, it’s essential to understand that chatbots work through a mixture of artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Essentially, a chatbot tries to match what a customer has asked to an intent that it understands. The more frequently that a chatbot is used, the more understanding it has. There are ways to program responses in chatbots, which we’ll get into later in this blog. 

How chatbots should be utilized in localized marketing

With more than 1.3 billion people on Facebook Messenger and 64 percent of people prefer messaging over emails or phone calls, chatbots are a lifesaver for localized marketing. During this time of social distancing and increased restrictions on in-person interactions, chatbots can be an effective way to stay in touch with your customers in real-time. 

There are a variety of ways that chatbots can function in localized marketing. Consumers are looking for local business information digitally, and chatbots can help bridge that gap to provide those answers on certain channels. For instance, chatbots should be included on your business’s website and be used on Facebook Messenger. If a customer comes to your website or a local Facebook page to look up information about your local business hours or a specific product, it provides an opportunity for the chatbot to step in. Instead of having to spend hours searching for information, the chatbot can pop-up instantly and answer the consumer’s questions within a matter of seconds. 

How to implement chatbots into your localized marketing strategy

After setting up your chatbots on your website and Facebook Messenger, it’s time to start implementing a strategy. First, your multi-location business must decide what it wants to accomplish with the chatbot and how sophisticated you want it to be. Do you want your chatbot to be able to answer basic questions for consumers, or gain insight into their business or needs? Chatbots can do all of the above! 

As a multi-location business, think about how chatbots can help your marketing strategy. For instance, if there are frequently asked questions your business receives, make sure to find ways to answer those questions through the chatbots. On the other hand, if you’re offering a promotion or have exclusive news about a local business location, include that information in your chatbots as well. The main benefit of chatbots is that it allows you to communicate to your customers efficiently and easily, allowing you more time to focus on other aspects of your localized marketing strategy. 

Programming chatbots, especially for multi-location businesses, may seem overwhelming, but there are a variety of platforms available to do that work for you. Don’t let the logistics of setting up chatbots keep you from utilizing this great tool!

Choose the right chatbot solution

With so many chatbots out there, it can be difficult to choose a solution for your multi-location business. When selecting a chatbot, you should look for a tool that delivers localized responses to questions about your business locations, including hours, products, services, pricing, offers, and more. 

In addition, as a multi-location marketer, it’s important to find a chatbot that deploys localized chatbots across 100s or 1,000s of Facebook Messenger accounts and prioritizes chat conversations to various team members across business locations. SOCi is excited to announce that we will soon offer a SmartBot to fulfill multi-location business’s needs.

As we continue to navigate this pandemic, it’s crucial to be strategic about your localized marketing plans. If you don’t already have chatbots as an integral part of your localized marketing strategy, what are you waiting for? To get more insight into how chatbots can support and strengthen your localized marketing efforts, email help@meetsoci.com.

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