Are you a business considering utilizing chatbots on your website or app but want to know more about what they are? Well, you are in the right place, as this article will discuss all you need to know about chatbots.
Chatbots are gaining popularity, and you can see them on most reputable websites, applications, and services. Some examples include voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Assistant.
Let us dive right in and find out what chatbots are and how they can be a helpful feature to your existing customer service program.
A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) based software application that uses both AI and natural language processing (NLP). This allows the chatbot to understand what you want and offer you the right information, solution, or instructions.
The AI-based chatbots learn from each interaction and use the information in future scenarios. However, this requires extensive “training” time for the chatbots.
In 2016, Facebook integrated the chatbots into its eco-system, and Google followed the trend by introducing its very own Google Assistant. Apart from that, chatbots are available in all forms on several websites, social media platforms.
The idea to deploy chatbots on these platforms is to save you from the trouble of hopping from one app to another manually to get what you want. Chatbots offer a one-stop solution for a pleasant and convenient user experience with faster and simple life-like interaction.
You can use chatbots to streamline the interaction between your brand and the customers. This is a unique and state-of-the-art opportunity for your company to improve the customer experience via efficient customer engagement.
Moreover, chatbots can help eradicate several operational expenses, such as reducing your customer service budget. In simpler terms, chatbots can help your company operations become more efficient and error-free.
That said, you will still need some human intervention to configure, train, and optimize your chatbot based systems.
Like the companies relying on physical AI-based robots to improve their business operations, chatbots are the digital equivalent in the customer services department. Tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Skype use chatbots with many other start-up businesses using these cutting-edge helpers for impeccable customer services.
Here are some ways chatbots can assist your company.
You can use chatbots to offer initial digital assistance to your customers/ visitors on your websites. They can collect information from the customers, answer their questions, and provide an adequate answer, information, or solution.
If you are a business selling products and services online, you can use chatbots to simplify the shopping experience for your customers. A Chatbot can assist with online purchases, provide information to shoppers, and simplify payment processes.
Chatbots can also help perform searches for your customers and offer them products similar to their interests.
Think of chatbot as a digital brand ambassador. You can use a chatbot as your strategic digital marketing assistant to send promotional news to your customers.”
You can program a chatbot to capture information such as name, contact details, emails, etc. Moreover, a chatbot can forward this information to the relevant sales department to follow- up on the conversation between the chatbot and the customer.
A chatbot can also filter and identify the qualifying leads by asking specific questions. This enables your sales team to get only potentially valuable leads to make a sale.
In order to make the most of the chatbot, you must use the most appropriate solution for your business. The below-mentioned steps will help you pick the right kind of chatbots for your business.
First, you must research what type of AI capabilities you need in a chatbot. Find a chatbot system that can learn from the interactions and adapt to future situations without any intervention from your end. This will be a one-time exercise because your chatbot will use valuable data from each interaction and improve its capabilities.
Integrating a chatbot system into your digital infrastructure will allow you to build a personalized online experience for the customers. Your chatbot will learn from your customer’s online activity on your website and identify what each customer is looking for.
Ensure that your chatbot system has enough training to deal with the most probable scenarios and queries related to your business.
According to Statista, 32 percent of customers say that their chatbots’ interaction has been unsatisfactory due to lack of usefulness and confusing results by the chatbots.
In order to offer an impeccable user experience, you must train your chatbot to engage in a natural conversation with the customers. This will help make each interaction more credible and authentic.
You do not have to revolutionize the interface of a chatbot system. There is no harm in taking ideas from other competitors or services and customize them as per your needs. You can personalize the color, images, and emojis to make the system your own.
Integrating predictive text, proposed response, and autocorrect can be useful tactics too. You can even get off the shelf customizable chatbot systems.
Whether you build a chatbot system from scratch or buy a ready-made one, the challenge is to integrate it into your existing eco-system smoothly.
Whether it is a website, an app, or any other interactive product or service, it requires rigorous testing to improve your new chatbot system’s performance. Moreover, it will allow you to make adjustments to the chatbot’s functionality for optimal user interaction and experience.
There are three main phases of chatbot integration into your company’s existing eco-system.
Here are some facts and figures of companies using chatbot systems on a full scale.
You can imagine how challenging it can be for traditional customer support or sales teams to handle this kind of growth rate. Therefore, using a much more advanced and efficient means such as chatbots seems the right way forward.
Chatbots such as Wingstop Chatbot has been helping companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. Your customers can also order food, access the menu, and make payments via Wingstop chatbot. Kip is another chatbot system helping teams manage group shopping convenience.
Chatbots have been helping the e-commerce industry to generate revenue. Moreover, they are making operations time-efficient to shorten the purchase cycle and boosting conversion rate.
The Healthcare industry demands a lot of attention to detail and can be very hectic for medical healthcare professionals such as employees, nurses, and doctors. Research suggests that physicians waste their time and energy by spending one-sixth of their working hours on administrative tasks.
This is where chatbots come into play and synergize healthcare workers. That is why UCLA scientists created a chatbot system for clinicians. This way, a clinician can ask chatbot relevant questions and refer patients to the radiologist if need be.
Similarly, you can use Medwhat and talk to a chatbot asking general health questions, conditions, and symptoms. SafedrugBot is another chatbot helping healthcare professionals to make the right decisions for breastfeeding women.
If you wish to connect with your care navigator throughout the recovery period, the AI patient engagement chatbot by Northwell Health is leading the front.
A Business’ HR department has a plethora of operations to deal with. Using an HR chatbot can help you make your HR more efficient. A chatbot can help you handle interest generation, candidate screening, running background checks, and communicating with qualifying candidates.
Verloop is one such HR chatbot that can increase your company’s HR engagement by identifying adequate representation of your employees’ performance.
A chatbot allows the companies in the financial sector the ability to offer 24/7 customer service. You can train chatbots for several jobs, such as a digital version of a personal banker, loan service advisor, ATM locator, wealth manager, etc.
One of the most promising examples is Bank of America using Erica in their online banking app.
Erica is a chatbot that streamlines all banking features for online consumers. It can send personalized offers to the customers and assist them with their online banking sessions via chat. Erica can also provide information about account balance and credit scores.
Several other banks, such as Chase, Wells Fargo, Capital One, etc., are also using their own versions of financial chatbots to help their customers.
Cleo is another financial chatbot that allows customers to inquire about personal budgeting, financial transactions, etc.
Chatbots in the customer service industry come in a wide variety depending on business needs. According to IBM, their chatbot Watson can reduce customers’ waiting time by 99 percent. Companies use chatbots on their platforms to answer frequently asked questions.
According to Tec inStore, their customer services received 80 percent more positive reviews from the customers.
Other examples include:
HubSpot’s HubBot can book meetings, and you can integrate it into a complete ticketing system that offers links to self-service support blogs and articles.
Insurance agents are constantly communicating with businesses and customers answering queries, providing quotes, informing them about premiums, balances, and payment dates. Chatbots such as Nienke and GEICO have been helping their proprietary owners to communicate with their consumers.
Now you do not need to visit an automobile shop or a car dealer to get the information. A chatbot allows you to get all the information you need without feeling pressured into buying.
YourMechanic is one of the leading chatbots in the automotive industry with the capabilities to book, receive quotes, and offer technical advice on mechanical issues. On the other hand, IBM’s Watson is a chatbot offering handsfree assistance to passengers in self-driving cars.
The ability to confidently offer 24/7 visibility of customer’s orders can be a huge advantage. A chatbot can help avoid long queues while offering real-time tracking information to your customers.
Instead of making a call or waiting in a queue, a customer can simply ask the chatbot about their shipment status. You can now merge a smart assistant with your UPS account. This will enable you to verbally ask the chatbot to check your order’s shipment status, delivery date, and location. Similarly, DHL is using Amazon Alexa to offer similar services.
The real estate industry is always booming, especially now when the interest rates are at their record low. Missing a customer in real estate comes at a huge cost; therefore, in order to capture as many visitors on your website and not miss a potential lead, you need an efficient chatbot.
B2b transactions are way larger and more complicated. Unlike salespeople dealing with your regular customers, b2b sales professionals are experts in their area. As your customers are the experts, you need a salesperson or customer service representatives that are also well-versed in their niche.
Therefore, you must hire and train the right kind of people. However, this will take a lot of time, effort, and money to train a team of b2b sales experts.
B2b business deals are more value-centric, and buying companies are more quality and value-conscious. Therefore, you must get all the assistance you will need to nail the deal.
Instead of going through all that trouble of hiring and training a sales team, why not deploy a chatbot system. The AI-based assistant will have access to the most extensive database of information to correctly answer all the b2b client’s queries. Most importantly, it will learn from its previous interaction and get better with the passage of time.
Moreover, you do not have to worry about weekends, pandemic lockdowns, or closing hours. Your chatbot will be a 24/7 assistant available online to offer valuable services to your b2b clients.
Here are seven reasons why chatbots are becoming a must-have solution in your digital services arsenal.
Modern-day customers want accurate information, and they want it fast. According to a survey, 70 percent of customers expect the business to reply to their queries within 4-hours of their initial interaction.
The longer you take to reply to the customers, the lower the chances to convert the lead. Chatbots rectify that issue as they can respond immediately without any acknowledgment from your end.
Customers prefer using chat to interact instead of talking to a representative over the phone. 75 percent of the customers feel satisfied using live chat as a mode of communication. Thanks to smartphones, as most of us, prefer texting and using chats for communication.
Customers are more likely to purchase from you if you have a live chat/chatbot available on your website or application. According to 79 percent of the companies using live chatbots, they have seen an increase in sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.
Billions of messages go through WhatsApp and Facebook on a monthly basis. Moreover, most customers are familiar with chatting platforms and chatbots, so why not use this tool in your business platforms such as apps, websites, and other applications.
Chatbots are easy to communicate with, available 24/7, save times for both customer and the business. According to a report, the healthcare and banking industry save 4 minutes per inquiry by using chatbots.
The idea behind deploying chatbots into your eco-system is to create an efficient sales funnel. The quicker you can provide the information; the more are the chances of the customers to buy. Leave it for too long, and the customers may move to a different competitor.
According to statistics, chatbots can help businesses yield up to 70 percent savings in the customer service arena.
Moreover, chatbots offer a wide range of functionality. Not only do they give a face to your company, but they are instantly available 24/7. If you are looking for an AI-based tool to lay the foundation of your business’s conversational marketing strategy, chatbots are the solution.
You can train your chatbots to offer customized customer service to each visitor and help them find a product they want or may be interested in.
According to a survey, most CIOs and CTOs are already using chatbots in several domains, including sales, after-sales, and customer service.
Other areas include
Now you can use chatbots to send your promotional offers via text, chat, or email to potential customers. It is possible only due to the massive data collection capabilities of your AI-based chatbots. They collect information from the customer and learn about their purchasing behavior.
Moreover, your chatbot learns the email address, phone numbers, and other information about the visitors. The chatbot then uses this information to formulate a personalized promotional message to the potential customer.
Some chatbots can remarket your brand to the shoppers. You must have experienced this when you receive a prompt by a chatbot you complete the purchase for the item left in the online cart. Apart from that, you can also use the chatbot’s data to create customized campaigns for targeting or retargeting the customers.
For example, a customer bought a pair of shoes from your online store a month ago. However, the chatbot learned that those customers also checked another pair of shoes or left them in the cart. You can use this information to retarget that customer with a promotional offer.
Another example is a customer searching for a specific product on your website, but it was not in stock. A chatbot will record this information, and you can inform the customer once that product becomes available.
Learn from questions a customer asks your chatbots. Did a customer ask about a certain product or service when shopping or visiting your website?
You can update them whenever that product or service becomes available or provide any other valuable information. This will help build rapport with the customer and gain their trust and loyalty.
Some chatbots even let you chat to the entire list of contacts. Moreover, you can even integrate some chatbots into other marketing tools to build a text or email campaign. The best part is that chatbots serve businesses of all sizes and sectors.
You can customize a chatbot solution according to your business goals, needs, and budget.
Now that you know what chatbots are and how they can assist your business by complementing its digital marketing strategies, you can seek experts’ help to design and deploy a chatbot system. Engage our custom software development agency to create a customized chatbot system to make your operations more efficient.
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.