Over the last few years, tens of thousands of new chatbots have been developed for use on social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Skype. Chatbots can fulfil a range of tasks such as managing online sales from searching products to tracking orders, scheduling meetings or undertaking surveys.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a software app that communicates with your customers as if it were a real person. Chatbots may have been around for decades, the first one being written in the US in 1966, but it’s only in recent years that their market is growing exponentially. Research predicts that within a few years almost every second organisation will be using chatbots to assist with customer service. The artificial intelligence (AI) software is integrated into websites, applications or messenger services and basically simulates conversations with users to provide customer support, automate business processes or collect data.
Studies have found that the majority of online users appreciate chatbots because they are fast and convenient. However, if and how your business will benefit from implementing a chatbot depends on the industry you’re working in and the functionality of your AI software. Speed and cost are the biggest factors to consider.
In a world where instant access to information becomes more and more valuable, one of the biggest advantages of chatbots is speed. Users get answers much quicker compared to having to wait for human help. Chatbots are generally available 24/7 with no waiting line or queue, and depending on the complexity of the system, automated responses are given immediately rather than customer support people having to search for the appropriate answer. Therefore, chatbots are an absolute must-have if your customers rely on fast communication and information.
Implementing chatbots can also help businesses save time. Enabling customers to filter through a range of products or services allows your business to gather relevant information so that when an actual employee is talking to users, most of their questions will already be answered and their experience can be customized according to their individual needs.
One of the main aims of chatbots is to simplify and automate customer service procedures. Studies show that businesses worldwide spend up to US$ 1.3 trillion each year on 265 billion customer service calls. The majority of those calls would be dealing with similar questions and issues, wasting manpower on tedious work that creates little revenue. If even half of those queries could be dealt with by chatbots, businesses could significantly cut down on labour costs and redirect employees to more challenging and revenue-producing tasks.
Not only can chatbots increase your revenue and help you keep expenses down. If you’re looking at cost-effective ways to add new business value for your customers, chatbots are also relatively cheap to deploy, especially compared to Android or IOS based applications. Furthermore, users don’t need to download chatbots which again saves time and money as they are readily available.
Strengthen customer relations
Chatbots can add great value to your business by enhancing customer experiences. For example, they are a great way of enabling potential customers or clients to ask questions they may otherwise feel too embarrassed to ask a real person.
Because chatbots help personalize shopping experiences and often remember people’s preferences, they also help strengthen loyalty with your brand because users are more likely to receive a satisfied outcome to their initial problem. Also, by acknowledging customer feedback, complaints or any other query instantly via chatbot will go a long way towards users feeling heard and appreciated.
Furthermore, offering a chatbot means giving customers a new way of interacting with your business which in return can increase user retention rates. Since chatbots are text-based, they are perfectly well suited for mobile phone usage which research has shown has the highest impact on surfing the internet.
If you’d like to know more about chatbots and how you can utilize them for your business, contact the team at Energise Web today.