What Manufacturers Need To Know About Chatbots

When it comes to digital marketing, capturing leads is the ultimate goal. Always has been, always will be. How those leads are being captured, however, is changing right before our eyes. Landing pages with forms have another friend in the lead generation toolbox to help book meetings, qualify visitors, and provide information more easily.

You may have experienced them before. It’s midnight, and there you are, minding your own business, checking out a website, and hunting for information. A chat box pops up — bloop! — and asks you if you need help. This surprises you because you figured you were the only one awake at this hour. Surely their customer support isn’t available now, right?

As it turns out, you may be right. There may not actually be a human on the other side of that chatbox. You may be looking at a chatbot. These innovative bots represent a huge new shift in digital marketing and are proving to be highly valuable for companies across a huge range of industries. 

Chatbot for manufacturers

What Is A Chatbot?

Chatbots are platforms that provide automated, intelligent responses to website visitors. They give your customers instant access to information, and they give your business a way to engage with your customers 24/7, essentially providing you with a new, always-on marketing channel.

Think of it as the internet version of an automated telephone system. But chatbots work a lot faster since your customers don’t have to sit through a voice prompt listing all of their choices. With chatbots, users can either type in what they want, as it appears, or click on options presented to them. This allows for a streamlined, significantly less frustrating experience.

Why Do Chatbots Work?

When visitors land on your site, you want to know who they are. While there are some tools you can use to identify these visitors, the best way to get their information is to ask for it. An inbound marketing tactic like chatbots provides directly useful, helpful information directly to customers and prospects as they request it. Simultaneously they get familiar with your business and trust in your knowledge and expertise because they are using an innovative feature.

Chatbots are a way to step up your game. Buyers today want — and expect — immediate access to information, and a chatbot is the fastest way to deliver what they are looking for. That's because more than 70% of today's B2B buyers are tech-savvy millennials and 73% of them pay attention to the quality of your website when deciding whether to submit RFIs.

A chatbot hooks them up right away to the information they're researching, saving precious time and allowing for a seamless, enjoyable experience. And when a chatbot is properly implemented, interaction can be as engaging and natural as it is with a great customer service agent.

RelatedThe Manufacturer's Playbook For Direct-to-Consumer Selling

B2B Buyer Stats Infographic copy - chatbots on manufacturers website

What Are Chatbots Used For?

Studies show that conversations are a net new source of leads, adding 15% more leads to the top of the funnel. As sophisticated as these bots are, we can still count on a person to be a good choice than artificial intelligence when it comes to handling complex tasks and information. However, chatbots are perfectly capable of handling the following duties:

  • Providing answers to simple questions
  • Capturing complaints and feedback
  • Routing visitors to the appropriate resource or web page
  • Providing specs and facts related to products and services
  • Capturing visitor information

Plus, using chatbots to deal with these simpler, routine tasks frees up your customer support staff, allowing them more time to serve customers with more complicated matters to discuss. This results in a better customer service experience for everyone involved. Chatbots also serve as an additional way for you to grow your email contacts list organically.

Chatbots vs. Forms For Lead Generation

Building a website and leaving it as is without any optimization or features for lead generation may hinder your growth. Both bots and forms should be used where they make sense across your website and where you can best maximize their utility.

By offering a multi-pronged approach for lead capturing, your site can be geared to gather data from any type of user interaction, whether you're targeting an engineer looking for more education materials or a procurement manager assessing your certifications. Both forms and chatbots can be deployed strategically in order to optimize your ability to capture, gain insight into, and convert leads.

A leading custom plastic injection molding company, The Rodon Group, uses a chatbot and an array of forms on their website built through their HubSpot platform to foster lead generation. HubSpot’s tools helped The Rodon Group adopt an all-encompassing inbound marketing methodology to grow qualified website traffic and convert the visitors into leads. They're now experiencing a 53% YoY increase in new contacts. Read The Case Study: HubSpot For Manufacturers

Rodon Group chatbot function - chatbots for manufacturers

How Can Manufacturers Get Started With Chatbots?

There are several chatbot platforms out there on the market. Each brings different applications and features to the table, and price points will vary depending on the specific capabilities offered. When looking for a solution that best fits your needs, give priority to ease of use, and be sure you’re able to make your bot more personalized and “human.”

If you need help choosing the right tools for your industrial website, contact our team today. We've built more than 5,000 websites for manufacturers and industrial companies (see some examples here), generating hundreds of thousands of leads for our clients in the process. And our marketing experts are supported by degreed engineers so we have the knowledge to craft the right technical content to engage your buyers.

Staying on the cutting edge of new marketing trends and advancements like chatbots can help you increase your market share. But chatbots represent one way of doing just that, and there are other innovative tactics that should be part of your industrial marketing strategy. We offer a free digital health check to show you exactly what you're missing on your website to fully attract qualified website traffic and turn them into sales dollars.

"Thomas is an ideal partner for any manufacturer looking to expand and improve their marketing," said Jill Worth, Digital Marketing Lead at The Rodon Group. "They have an in-depth knowledge of all forms of digital marketing, future technologies, and the HubSpot platform, helping companies stay ahead of their competition.”

What's Next: The Ultimate Guide To Marketing For Manufacturers

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