With the rise of technology, we see businesses opting for newer strategies and methods to leverage in their operations, in order to stand out from the competition and more importantly to fit the changes in consumer behavior during the pandemic.
Customer communication has to be prompt whether for sales, marketing, or support. If your brand or business is not delivering smooth engagement, customers would definitely never convert for any type of sales or services.
This is where AI-powered chatbots come in, as they are able to automate customer communication and support in a big way. According to a report by opusresearch, it is found that 35% of consumers want more companies to use chatbots to improve their communication strategy and to deliver a better experience.
What is a chatbot and how can businesses leverage on this technology in a long run? Read on to find out more.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program that is designed to simulate conversations with human users, typically on the Internet. They act as an automated virtual assistant, capable of communicating with people through text messages on instant messaging platforms, forums and even on on-site live chat apps.
Chatbots can handle many different areas for businesses, from supporting customers with FAQs, to streamlining the transaction process.
Benefits of Chatbots
Do you know if you have any online users browsing your site off-hours with questions about specific services or products? It might also be a customer wanting to cancel their subscription plan or a potential user researching a service. Either way, there are companies that hire additional people to serve customers at later hours. However, it still does not mean that customers are willing to wait long for their requests to be handled.
Unlike a real live support team, chatbots do not need any sleep. When a customer needs any form of assistance, your company can be there even outside of normal business hours. This facilitates greater customer satisfaction as people can get help without waiting around for a reply from a sent email or through a voicemail.
The best benefit of a chatbot is they are money savers! You may think it is an expensive venture for a small business to use this technology. However, implementing a fully-functioning or an advanced chatbot is much cheaper and quicker than hiring human resources for every task or even building a cross-platform application.
An actual single person can only handle at best 1-2 people simultaneously, and if this exceeds, the whole process becomes hard for an employee. Hiring new executives (who can support customers throughout the year) and appending other basic things for them can turn out to be highly expensive for the company. It cuts down on the cost on the employee and further prevents any form of human error.
Chatbots will help companies to save a lot of money and still be effortlessly changeable to meet various needs, depending on the type of application.
Higher Conversion Rates
It is proven that implementing chatbots on your site will increase conversion rates. Many businesses with chatbots say that live chat has had positive results for customer loyalty, sales, and revenue.
They are very casual and conversational, which appeals to customers these days. People will appreciate that type of customer service, which will make them more inclined to convert and to stay converted.
Automates Repetitive Tasks
No one likes doing the same task over again repeatedly. In the case of human beings, repetitive tasks are more prone to mistakes. This is where chatbots for business play an important role. Chatbots help in automating tasks that are to be executed at any specific time, and as a result help people increase productivity and save time.
5 Types of Chatbots Relevant To Businesses
To make conversational interfaces even more vernacular, businesses are now beginning to use voice-based chatbots or voice bots. Voice bots have been on the rise for the last couple of years, with virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri to Amazon’s Alexa. Why? Mainly because of the convenience they bring to their users. It is sometimes much easier for a customer to speak rather than to type.
Lead Generation & Retention Bots
Chatbots are also useful when it comes to lead generation. A chatbot can integrate with most lead generation strategies, from social media to content marketing. This makes the brand or business more accessible, as the chatbot can cross channels to meet customers wherever they may be.
Lead generation bots engage with prospects through conversation and maintain contact with specific useful answers and information. Thus, the lead is then kept entertained on a platform they regularly visit, all while being immersed with the brand. A chatbot can also reach out to anyone that has expressed an interest in your services.
For example, an old customer that has not been active in a while. A chatbot could automatically send an update or even a sale alert based on their past preferences, to entice them back to the brand or business.
Chatbots on Social Media
Social media is the hub of much social interaction in present times. We have moved on from just making friends on social media, to voicing opinions, ordering products and services, offering reviews and even getting in touch with businesses. Thus, it is, therefore, a necessity for businesses to use chatbots to facilitate interaction on these platforms.
Many industry leaders in various sectors have already employed chatbots to use this vital resource to understand the customer needs better, and even improve in the ways businesses could help consumers.
This brings us to another type of chatbot: the navigational bot. A navigational chatbot uses a conversational interface to help visitors locate the content relevant to them. For example, useful web pages, blog articles or any specific resources for its visitors.
A navigational chatbot can also direct website visitors to the products most relevant to them. For instance, a visitor looking for blue ladies’ shoes in size 6, the navigational bot then finds all products that match the request and provides a direct portal to that type of content.
Improving content findability means that the customer has a shorter and more streamlined journey from brand discovery to purchasing. Plus, unlike your navigation menus, a chatbot can adopt changing themes and messages. It could give seasonal greetings or mention an active ongoing sale.
Chatbots with Human Touch
Chatbots are improving at an unprecedented rate, and the market share is nowhere near saturation. Today, chatbots can carry out multiple tasks, such as suggesting options along with answering your questions. Soon, you can also expect chatbots to be more human because a more human chatbot will keep users engaged by driving the conversation forward rather than breaking it.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven chatbots will mimic human conversation and identify the intent behind the text that customers type. Chatbots will then deliver a response that accurately matches the query of a human being.
This year, with AI-integrated chatbots, chatbots will prepare customer service agents for high impact conversations. Chatbots powered by AI will pick up patterns in the customer’s behaviour by learning from their past interactions.
Benefit of a Chatbot
One of the biggest benefits of using chatbots is that they help you grow your business and brand by reaching more people and increasing your customer database. From marketing to sales to customer services, chatbots can help you improve and expand nearly every operation of your company.
Chatbots improve customer engagement by establishing personalized interactions with consumers, offering reliable shopping recommendations based on their buying history and preferences. They also help to quickly push your prospects further down the marketing funnel by seamlessly guiding them through every aspect of the transaction and answering each question as it arises.
As chatbots are able to predict customer behavior, you could also use them to send the right notifications at the right time.
Chatbots also empower to elevate brand value by capturing customer attention through past interactions. You can easily collect and analyse customer feedback and then use it to effectively communicate to the right people in the right manner.
Today, chatbots combined with cloud-based operations are a winning formula for businesses. From customer relationships and data management to internal communication and business agility, you can improve everything without worrying about the exorbitant costs of additional infrastructure and security threats.
For businesses, chatbots are crucial as they save both time and resources, offer a better return on investments and help offer exceptional customer service for your brand or business.
At Hashtaqs, we are always learning and strive to remain knowledgeable of the latest technological developments.
Hashtaqs can help analyse your business needs, research which is the best chatbot software for your business and launch your business into new heights with chatbots.
Hashtaqs uplifts business through brand transformation and marketing advisory and implementation online and offline, internationalisation through business matching and community development.
Our consultancy work is supportable with the funding scheme of up to 70% for local SG businesses. Contact us for a consultation at +65 8868 1418 or email us at [email protected]. For more info, visit www.hashtaqs.com