Chatbots are set to make a major impact on healthcare marketing — and it’s going to happen a lot sooner than you think. In fact, we’re already taking advantage of them at fluidic for our clients, and using them to enhance products like the Your Health GP Marketing platform.
What Are Chatbots?
Chatbots are software widgets that can have natural conversations with humans, directing them down a pre-designed path to achieve sales and support targets. eCommerce sites have been using chatbots for years, guiding consumers along the path to purchase, answering queries and making suggestions along the way. However, as the technologies driving chatbots have become increasingly sophisticated, so too have their applications. Chatbots are now able to help customers troubleshoot specific problems, direct them to areas within a website, and can categorise visitors based on a range of distinguishing features to optimise their experience.
The Use of Chatbots in Healthcare Marketing
While the use of chatbots is often associated with startups and tech giants, they are increasingly being incorporated into healthcare marketing. The technology allows medical companies to have personalised and professional conversations with current and potential customers. As a result, routine tasks that would typically take up considerable time and manpower are automated, allowing for more effective use of resources.
On the Your Health GP marketing platform, we have developed a chatbot system that focuses on providing customer support and generating active leads. The bot uses a decision tree format, where predetermined questions and answers are used to guide the customer through the conversation. While this method is simple, with no machine learning involved, it has proven highly effective among small to medium healthcare businesses.
The Benefits of Chatbots
Chatbots can be used to:
1. Improve Customer Experience
Chatbots have been found to drastically reduce customer service wait times, solving many problems before human intervention is necessary. In fact, a study into the use of chatbots indicates that by 2020, 9 out of 10 people will have successful interactions with a customer service bot.
The ability to instantly respond 24 hours a day reduces frustration, providing a smoother journey for both current and potential customers. Given that 94 Percent of surveyed respondents “dread contacting customer support”, chatbots are a simple means of streamlining the customer service process.
By implementing chatbot technology, Your Health has reduced delays on replies to customer enquiries significantly. The bot automatically categorises and delivers messages to members of the team, reducing inbox clutter and enabling quick responses.
2. Save Companies Time
By automating a significant portion of responses, companies can direct time and efforts elsewhere. This improves overall productivity, without sacrificing quality or customer satisfaction.
The Your Health bot’s pre-programmed conversation branches have considerably reduced the number of enquiries that require human responses. The technology improves efficiency within the team by providing suitable answers to frequently asked questions, freeing up finite time and resources.
3. Qualify Leads
Beyond generating leads, chatbots can be programmed to ask users questions that are then used to categorise them based on their responses. This helps both sales and support teams to understand what challenges prospects are tackling, and determine whether they offer the appropriate services. Bots can also request specific information from customers, such as company size, which is used to score leads and identify the hottest prospects.
4. Increase Engagement and Conversions
Chatbots increase engagement by delivering content in one convenient place, rather than expecting the user to navigate through different pages on the site. Concentrating the site’s most important content through a chatbot adds value for the visitor, as it allows them to seek information and resolve issues quickly. This, in turn, has a positive flow-on effect on conversions.
By prompting site visitors using the chatbot, Your Health has seen increased requests for GP newsletter samples and further information on the service. Beyond this, 100 Percent of engaged visitors are following the bot’s conversation branches to completion, indicating its effective design.
Adoption numbers are expected to further rise as artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated and more aligned with the needs of healthcare companies. To stay competitive and best serve their customers, companies in the healthcare industry should familiarise themselves with the technology, and explore the benefits of bots in their workplace.