First impressions are important, which means your initial contact with an event attendee is crucial. When guests arrive at your meeting or event, they’re greeted, provided with information or instructions, and made to feel welcome. We do this because our goal is to have attendees feel at ease and engaged from the start.
However, the event experience truly begins far sooner than the guests’ arrival. The first interactions you have with your guests likely occur online, on your website, or via an event app. That’s why a chatbot can enhance your attendees’ experience by engaging your audience while also providing imperative information, helping them through registration, and saving your team time and money. In short, chatbots are a remarkably important and useful tool for your team and your guests.
- What Is a Chatbot?
- Why Chatbots?
- What Is an Event Chatbot?
- Five Reasons to Use a Chatbot for Your Event
What Is a Chatbot?
Whether you know the term or not, you’ve likely used a chatbot. In fact, most people use them regularly. These applications automate conversations by answering frequently asked questions or moving guests through conversations while being responsive to follow up questions and answers. As chatbots evolve with some incorporating AI, this allows them to become even more responsive to website or application users.
Chatbots have been around for over half a century but have only recently become popular in mainstream media and with mainstream brands. A perfect example of a chatbot people use often (and arguably the most famous chatbot) is Apple's Siri. Apple was the first to make chatbots commonplace. Though there is debate on whether to call tools such as Siri a virtual assistant or a chatbot, for this blog, we will be viewing them as AI chatbots.
If you have used Siri or an automated customer service bot on a website, then you understand that chatbots respond to keywords, and those keywords trigger the next interaction. This makes them incredibly useful for guiding guests through routine processes, such as registration. These assistants can be invaluable for starting off guests’ experiences with a personal, nearly-human touch.
More than just lessening the workload of your staff, chatbots have also proven useful to establish a tone and feel for your brand from the moment they greet a guest. In fact, chatbots have a myriad of advantages, including:
Customizable - The language, look, and feel of your chatbot can be tailored to shape guest experience. In fact, you can surprise attendees and give your bot a playful tone by using emojis, gifs, and images (or any tone that matches your brand).
Available - Unlike humans, chatbots are available 24/7/365. Further, they are on just about every platform guests might use. This ensures that your guests are getting attention when and where they need it.
Flexible - Not only can chatbots help more than one person at a time, but they can be programmed to answer a variety of questions and take multiple pathways depending on a person’s needs. Additionally, chatbots can handle language barriers and other issues that may prove complicated for a human agent.
Consistent - One of the most important components of customer service is providing consistent, quality service. By delivering the same product day in and day out, chatbots supply that consistency.
Personalized - By asking simple questions, a chatbot can not only gather data about who is visiting your site and what questions they’re asking, but it can also offer personalized service and answers based on that data.
In short, there is added value in employing a chatbot. Automating this part of customer service can have significant rewards in terms of guest experience and satisfaction, as well as by saving your team time, effort, and money while providing a high level of service.
What Is an Event Chatbot?
Event chatbots act as a guest service attendant for your meeting and can help your attendees get any information or guidance they may need. If guests need assistance registering, retrieving schedules, obtaining information, or more, they can do so without ever leaving your website or event app. Further, your chatbot can steer attendees to parts of the site or app that you’d like them to visit (sponsor offers and more).
Five Reasons to Use a Chatbot for Your Event
Since Facebook launched chatbots for Messenger in 2016, the technology has not only become cheaper to manage but also easier to implement. If you are not already using chatbots for your corporate event, here are five reasons you should.
Appeal to Your Target Audience
These days, chatbots are ubiquitous. In the last few years alone, usage has soared with nearly every industry utilizing them to provide customer service. In fact, 67% of consumers have used a chatbot within the last year, and 58% of them noted that chatbots have changed their perception of customer service for the better.
While millennials are among the most likely generation to use chatbots, by 2022, 40% of all generations were using them for basic customer service. The 24/7 availability and response speed were the most appreciated aspects by all consumers.
More Cost Efficient Than Staffing
Chatbots don't take breaks. They can help multiple customers at the same time while their human counterparts must serve one customer at a time in a queue. An additional factor is that when employees are working, they are being paid. On the other hand, chatbots have minimal cost. In fact, bots may save operating costs by up to 30%.
Increase Positive Customer Experience
In the corporate event world, attendees want to be helped—typically immediately. The easiest way to increase frustration among your guests is through delayed responses, especially when issues may be time-sensitive. Unmanned live chats and delayed email/phone call responses are a guaranteed way to decrease positive customer experiences.
Unfortunately, if customers have a bad experience, they are more likely to tell an average of 22 people about that experience. The good news is that chatbots increase the number of positive experiences for attendees. In fact, 80% of consumers are happy with their interactions with these time-saving bots.
Free Up the Line
Typically when an attendee calls or emails, they may face lag time due to staff availability. However, many attendees ask questions that can be easily resolved by reading content already provided on your site. At Bishop-McCann, our operations team estimates that almost 70% of attendees who contact the help department could find their answers on the registration website. When faced with these frequently asked questions, your chatbot can direct guests to the answers, providing faster and more efficient service.This leaves your team free to assist guests with more complex problems, so they can deliver excellent customer service without being overwhelmed.
Targeted Meeting Research
We’ve already mentioned potential demographic information a chatbot can collect, but demographics aren’t the only data that can be gathered. Tracking attendee communication and the time your team spends with each guest is difficult as it often occurs across teams and among several individuals. As a result, predicting attendee needs for future events can be difficult as well. Chatbots provide a history of every question asked by attendees and how long they engaged with the bot. This information is invaluable in helping you and your team create content for future events that addresses attendee concerns.
There’s no doubt that your next corporate meeting will have a website and potentially an app, but will you employ an event chatbot? If you want to create an amazing experience for your attendees from their first interaction to their last, then a chatbot may be the tech you’re looking for.
The team at Bishop-McCann has years of experience in every facet of event planning and execution. From the early stages of planning through post-event evaluation, our team is ready to assist you. Get in touch with our team today, and let’s talk about how we can make your next event memorable for your attendees and easier for you!