How a chatbot can add authenticity and loyalty to your brand

Brand authenticity in the 2020s is increasingly important for all businesses as social media becomes the front page for many company’s efforts. Having a consistent and fun message is a great way for brands to be recognised, and in the chatbot age, they deliver that message instantly and with the perfect tone.

Brand loyalty is an issue for every company, not only the Apple and Coca Cola giants of this world. A Stakla report suggests it is important to 86% of consumers while Harvard’s Business Review reckons the difference between “emotionally connected consumers” and those who are merely “highly satisfied” is worth an extra 50% in sales, while reducing churn and boosting advocacy.

FMCG brands are increasingly adopting bots And brands continue to use them for sales and other purposes. Recently, a major FMCG brand in India, signed a deal with Bengaluru startup Yellow Messenger to use its AI chatbots to sell products directly to consumers via WhatsApp.

However, companies with limited marketing resources can often to struggle to deliver a coherent social media message, wasting what is potentially free advertising. Many companies often share their social posts among workers, with people giving different messages or visions of what the brand means.

Others fail to do anything exciting with social media or saturate their pages. Apple may have 11 million followers of Facebook but has only ever posted a few product photos. While some small companies post about every nut and bolt of the business, drowning any potentially useful message.

It isn’t just trendy brands that are using bots. Few come more traditional than Clarks Shoes, but their recent bot exploits as part of an omni-channel expansion produced great results. CAI, the chatbot, now takes 70% of incoming contact, half of them out of hours, resolving three quarters, with an 83% satisfaction rating.

Ways to build brand loyalty

The first exercise when doing any brand-building is to take a lot at where companies get it wrong. Even major organisations have made gross mistakes when faced with bad press or a customer problem. Learn the basics from these aberrations, and train any workers allowed access to your social media in these points, along with basic etiquette and language use:

  1. Be honest and fair - and don’t be rude to the customer.
  2. Be consistent - don’t say one thing to one person and then change for another.
  3. Use the right tone of voice - However hip or professional the brand, remain polite.
  4. React to wider issues, if every convenience food outlet is changing to paper straws, do it now!
  5. Don’t be afraid to say “sorry” over a mistake, however small.

Of those, honesty and good communication will help any brand develop a positive reputation on social media. When your teams are online, ensuring they show a caring side, but what happens out of hours?

Let the chatbot do the talking

Coming to the rescue is the chatbot, offering a consistent voice to customers 24 hours a day. Bots can take the essence of a customer communication on social media and react in a variety of suitable ways.

If a customer has a question, bots are the best way to answer it. If they have a problem, smart bots like SnatchBot use natural language processing to detect the meaning behind what can be quite a complex issue, and find the right sort of answer, or direct the conversation in a way to find out more detail.

Bots can have some personality embedded into the chats, or adopt a suitable tone of voice for the business. Whatever the business, a Facebook Messenger chatbot, or one on the front page of a website can help handle interest and enquiries from prospects and customers, and manage the load as your business grows.

Bots are also a great way to get more information out of customers, from their contact details if a person needs to get in touch with them, to their interests in your business or brand, all through a few clever questions.

Chatbots of the future are here today

When it comes to the personality element, bots can be fun, exciting and helpful. They can increasingly perform useful tasks for the person, or show specific information, offers or deals in a dynamic fashion, making them more useful and immediate than email campaigns or other brand-building efforts.

However you choose to engage with customers, the chatbot is the fasting-growing element across social media, and can provide an even keel for your brand message to remain consistent and authentic in the face of a changing social landscape.

Developing and running a bot now will help your teams also spend more time dealing with the important queries or issues, and the bot can grow with the business to deliver more service and information, at a faster pace than having apps or websites updated.

Finally, when it comes to promoting your chatbot, be realistic about what it can do and can’t do. Overhyping a bot can result in a PR storm for all the wrong reasons before your brand promotion has even started.