Today’s world is growing increasingly digital and interconnected every day. Technology automates nearly everything possible and our lives are better because of it. Evidently, the current world is where businesses use chatbots to answer and engage with their customers. Chatbots are seeing widespread usage across every business and industry.
Chatbots are conversational robots designed and programmed to answer users’ questions in place of a customer care representative. For example, several financial, eCommerce, and services sites have chatbots you can interact with and get answers from.
However, Chatbots are not limited to customer interactions alone. They can also be used in Human Resources management, school administration, and various other contexts. Chatbots are very versatile tools and every business can therefore benefit from what they provide.
There are two types of Chatbots in the industry today. They are
These are the basic chatbots found almost everywhere. They respond to pre-written keywords or commands programmed in by a developer. Their nature makes them limited and simple in terms of communication and customer interaction.
For example, there are many instances of users asking questions or typing in words that the chatbot does not recognize. In those cases, the bot fails to understand, the customer becomes aggravated and the company’s reputation is damaged.
The most notable difference between simple and advanced chatbots is that advanced chatbots use AI when interacting with online visitors. The inclusion of AI helps the chatbot understand basic language and generate more than one response. The chatbot does this without needing any pre-programmed keywords or terms entered by the user.
In both cases, there is no human interaction. However, advanced chatbots give the impression that the visitor is having a natural conversation with someone. This immersion helps the visitor better connect with your brand and keep them coming back.
Are chatbots worth the hype?
Many often wonder how a chatbot improves your marketing strategies or adds value to your business. Is it useful when a company is small or only after it grows a little?
Chatbots provide several benefits to their companies and we’ve listed them here for easy viewing. These are the reasons why Chatbots are worth it in 2022 or any other year.
Chatbots are always available to visitors
Typically, it is difficult for any business to stay open 24×7. Startups and medium-sized businesses struggle in this regard. The problem here is that if a customer reaches out to a business during their off-hours, they only get a response once the employees return. This issue can be a problem for people looking for immediate answers or can cause others to lose patience.
Chatbots here can rectify this problem.
A chatbot ensures your business remains open all the time in one form or another. Chatbots can provide additional help beyond answering customer questions. You can program a chatbot to make reservations, provide details on the business, and list out various services and deals to the customer. For example, Pizza Hut launched a chatbot that takes personalized pizza orders from customers and lets the users place orders through their virtual accounts.
Chatbots build trust between customers and the brand
Many businesses start in sectors that have established brands. This approach means that competition is fierce and these businesses need help to stay relevant.
When a customer has a question about your business, they approach the website to find answers. However, no human agent can provide immediate answers to every customer query. Chatbots though, give you the ability to answer the most common questions a customer has.
A chatbot programmed with a set of frequently asked questions helps customers search for the right answers to their questions. This approach builds trust with your customers.
Chatbots are helpful when scaling up a business
Chatbots are automated services that handle several customer doubts and questions all at once. A current customer solution powered by human force can be augmented with the inclusion of a chatbot. A robust customer service utilizes a combination of human agents and chatbots to give customers a stellar experience.
Using humans and chatbots is the best solution for companies looking to scale up their operations. Dream11 is India’s biggest and most popular fantasy cricket site. The platform saw its userbase grow from forty thousand to forty million in six years. This steady increase resulted in an increased number of queries that were more than what human agents could handle. The site integrated chatbots into its business to answer the increasing number of questions.
Analyze consumer data and gain insights
Chatbots are a valuable tool for a business to track purchasing patterns and analyze consumer behavior through data monitoring. This data helps a company change its marketing approach and expand to a broader audience.
Additionally, chatbots can collect feedback from users by asking them simple questions. The bots can use the data to optimize and improve the website. For example, Sephora is a globally famous cosmetics company. They integrated a chatbot in partnership with the Kik app. Through this approach, customers could ask for makeup recommendations or product reviews and get the relevant information.
It is also possible to use chatbots to generate customer profiles, send push notifications to established consumers, and suggest relevant content to the customers.
Helping in developing a conversational marketing strategy
This strategy utilizes present customer interactions to convert visitors into customers through the sales funnel. A good conversational marketing strategy helps a business builds relationships and creates genuine experiences with customers.
Brands can use chatbots in their marketing strategies. Here, they can engage with users through targeted messaging and drive up the conversion rate. Domino’s AnyWare for example takes the idea of conversational marketing strategy to its logical next level. The strategy gives customers the chance to order their favorite items.
Other benefits of this approach include things like individually responding to customers, improving the customer experience, and engaging with more leads.
Providing human interaction and automation
The benefit of integrating a chatbot with live chat software means a brand can empower customers to connect with a human agent or self-serve when needed. The inclusion of AI-powered chatbots for any business vertical ensures that business provides several benefits. These benefits include answering questions or clearing doubts, boosting customer satisfaction, and providing real-time support.
However, there are always times when the bot cannot identify the user’s intent, despite having an AI backing it up. These instances require a human touch to handle this specific issue. Hence, companies must understand the differences between live chat and chatbots and integrate them into their verticals to provide a superior customer experience.
Reaching customer expectations
A typical customer expects a quick response from any business or organization. The rapid growth of chatbots means that brands can use them to automate several interactions. Brands can automate several routine interactions and answer the basic questions most customers have.
Beyond that, automation ensures customers won’t wait long for human agents to engage with them. They can get their answers quickly and this speed ensures they have a positive experience with the brand. These positive responses contribute to the brand’s customer loyalty and retention.
Provide support scalability
Any business focused on providing a stellar customer experience can benefit from the option of scaling the support. Achieving this feat enables the business to successfully handle increased traffic surges without investing significant resources.
Chatbots can help businesses reach this goal. The bots can manage conversations and answer queries during a business’ peak hours. That way, a business can provide answers to their customers without adding support experts or investing in customer training exercises.
Many restaurants utilize chatbots to handle increased traffic when the need arises. Many restaurants operate with a moderately-sized staff who may not be equipped to handle the increased customer orders. Brands like Dominos and Taco Bell utilize chatbots to oversee parcel deliveries.
Streamline the customer journey
Many reasons keep a customer from completing their purchase. These reasons can range from problems like hidden costs or an inefficient checkout process. These problems also affect a business’ sales funnel and that is not ideal. No business wants their customer to stop their purchase for any reason.
Chatbots here can help overcome this problem. Deploying them here can reduce the customer churn a business faces and streamlines the overall customer journey. Chatbots with the right scripts and responses can engage with customers and answer their queries at various stages of the journey. That way, the customer wants to complete their purchase.
Developing a chatbot is cost-effective, and efficient
The development time required to create a fully working smart chatbot does not require significant time and investment. For businesses, time is the most important factor in developing a solution. A faster turnaround time enables the business to quickly execute its strategies and utilize its marketing analytics.
Additionally, a friendly chatbot deployed on a website adds to a positive customer experience. These chatbots can convert potential traffic into paying customers if nurtured after proper segmentation according to their buyer personas. This approach saves a business significant time and investment compared to companies that spend money on gathering and training customer service time.
Equip your business with a chatbot and enjoy the benefits
We live in a world where chatbots are transforming the way businesses interact with customers. These tools add a new dimension to various industry verticals such as customer service, marketing, engagements, sales, etc.
The best way to integrate a chatbot into your business is to first identify areas where your business sorely requires them. That way you can deploy them into those areas and see their work. The many benefits they provide are the reason why it is better to integrate a chatbot into your business sooner than later.