The ways in which small businesses can (and should) harness the power of chatbots to see their business thrive are remarkably vast. The purpose of chatbots is to aid business teams in when and how they relate with customers. Therefore, many small businesses are adopting this technology as a way to balance their budgets while expanding their resources to better meet their customer’s needs. Think about it: chatbots can be integrated almost anywhere customers can be found — from Facebook Messenger to Slack to individual company websites.
According to Global Web Index statistics, about 75% of internet users are adopting one or more messenger platforms. Chatbots have gained popularity due to its reputation as an incredibly useful tool that helps brands expand themselves by becoming more available to their customers.
Let’s talk about some other key benefits that chatbots provide:
Always available: Customers no longer have to “hold for the next available operator”. Chatbots are replacing live chat and other forms of contact such as emails and phone calls. On average, customers can spend 7 minutes (!) until they are assigned to a human agent. Since chatbots are virtual agents they remain at the ready, never tired and always available to assist. Unlike humans, they can continue to operate every day year-round without needing a break.
Ability to quickly process large volumes of requests: Humans can only do so much at any given time. In fact, one study suggests that humans can only concentrate on up to three to four things at the same time. Beyond that, errors are more than likely to occur. Chatbots, on the other hand, can have a thousand different conversations with thousands of people–at the same time. Regardless of the time of the day or the number of people contacting you, every single one of them will be answered immediately.
Concierge service: Chatbots are intelligent, virtual agents so customers could potentially use them as a personal advisor for everything from restaurant reservations, to clothing recommendations, to suggestions for places to visit. With chatbots, users can experience a more personal and insightful touch since the chatbot will remember all their choices and provide them with relevant options upon their next visit. Companies can get real insight into what customer preferences are, which then informs their ability to improve special offers and answers to FAQs.
Low maintenance costs: Not only do companies save money with chatbots, but since they are easy to configure, you can also save resources and meet the different needs of your business. Once chatbots have been built, the maintenance costs and keeping them updated are relatively low.
Improved customer service: A survey shows that 83% of online shoppers need support during shopping. Even today’s super-informed customers need help determining which products best fit their needs and budgets. Also, navigation issues may make it tough to find what they are looking for when they are on your site; not to mention the registration, payment, checkout and shipping/delivery questions that may occur. Chatbots provide interactive communication–asking customers searching questions to derive the real issue at hand. In short, chatbots can provide (arguably, better) assistance in real-time like a salesperson, easing them seamlessly through the buyer’s journey.
So now that you know the key, tangible benefits of chatbots, are you ready to join the 80% of businesses who want chatbots by 2020, according to Business Insider? Share your thoughts in the comments below.