A chatbot is a program, powered by rules and AI, which simulates a real interaction with users via a chat interface. In other words, a chatbot is a service that can have a conversation with you just like a real person. Chatbots are based on Machine Learning to gather conversational cadences that allow them to copy human conversations and react to written or spoken requests to deliver a service. They comprehend language, not just commands, since they use AI. Therefore, the more conversation chatbots have with users, the more intelligent they become. The purpose of chat bots is to support and scale business teams in their relations with customers. It could live in any major chat applications like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc. They are changing the way companies and customers interact, helping to create powerful, engaging human-to-AI agent experiences.
The number of businesses using Chatbots has grown exponentially. Chatbots docked to Facebook’s Messenger have increased from 30,000 in 2016 to over 100,000 today. Every major company has announced its own Chatbot and 60% of the youth population uses them daily. These statistics prove that Chatbots are the new-gen tech. No more waiting for the right time to incorporate them into your business. By the year 2020, nearly 80% of businesses will have their own Chatbot. And shipments of virtual digital assistant systems are beginning to touch every industry, from the banking and financial services space to travel, retail, education, and more. It’s estimated to grow into a $7.7 billion market by 2025
Below are some of the benefits of Chatbots.
1. Chatbots will excite your customers, keep them satisfied
“When the customer comes first, the customer will last.” — Robert Half
People are very excited about technology and love exploring it. According to an online survey, about 44% of U.S. consumers prefer Chatbots over humans for customer communication. Therefore, businesses excite their customers when adopting a new Chatbot.
Still, it’s the businesses’ responsibility to ensure a smooth experience. To be successful, they must ensure their Chatbots are:
- Professional and bug-free.
- Aligned with the brand rather than just random affairs.
- Providing good linguistics.
- Providing well-defined tasks.
- Answering queries with proper answers.
- Working seamlessly on a variety of devices.
2. Always-Available Customer Support
According to research by Gartner, customer service is the most important factor in success. So, whether you are an international or a local business, having a good customer service 24/7 has a positive impact on your customer satisfaction.
Customer support process can be improved with the help of chatbots. Bots can be programmed to give automated answers to repetitive questions immediately and forward the request to a real person when a more complicated action is needed. This enables human customer service representatives to save time and assist more important cases rather than time-consuming simple tasks.
Additionally, with the help of chatbots, organizations can handle more tasks at the same time so that no customer has to wait. This will allow companies to scale up their operations to new markets globally without multiplying incoming requests to be handled.
3. Extensive Customer Assistance
A survey shows that 83% of online shoppers need support during shopping. So, your customers may require help trying to understand which products fit their needs/budgets any time of the day. Moreover, shoppers may not find what they are looking for due to navigation issues when they are on your site, they may have a registration, payment, checkout, and delivery questions or there may be a lack of information about a product.
In all these situations, chatbots can provide assistance real-time like a salesperson in a real store. Moreover, chatbots can offer interactive communication where they also ask questions to understand the real problem. Furthermore, along with text and voice, they can present customers rich content with product pages, images, blog entries, tutorial videos based on their responses that can help them through their journey.
4. Chatbots won’t replace the humans
The biggest Chatbot misconception is that they’ll take over services and automate everything so businesses wouldn’t need humans to function.
This won’t happen; at least not completely. While Chatbots may appear to replace apps and will minimize human efforts for more productive outcomes, they cannot completely replace people and services.
Chatbots merely interact with people to clarify their queries within the preset scope as much as possible. For issues outside the scope, Chatbots are still able to determine a customer’s initial query. A chatbot is more helpful when customer ask repetitive questions because all information required for further resolution has already been gathered, saving time and energy, resulting in more expediency and accuracy.
5. Chatbots help reduce costs
Every year, around 265 billion customer support requests are made and it costs businesses whopping $1.3 trillion to service them. These costs can significantly be reduced with the help of AI Chatbots. Implementing virtual agents or Chatbots can help businesses to save up to 30%.
Chatbots ensure lucrative productivity from the investment in agent or employees. Hiring agents for 24*7*365 and adding resources to give support to the customers round the clock can be too costly for the company. Virtual agents or Chatbots will be the first point of contact and for more complex queries it can be escalated to human agents, hence Chatbot helps in improving customer service and reduces cost.
6. Lead generation and pattern recognition
Users interact with chatbots in very personal ways, much like they do with friends and family, chatbots are able to ask much more personal questions as well — questions that would normally be intrusive and annoying coming from a company or brand. These can range from ‘What music do you like? to ‘Where do you like to go on holiday?’. The answers to these questions provide valuable data that can be referred back to in follow up conversations and offer ways to further personalize the experience the customer has with the brand. Chatbots can, for instance, offer special discounts on a customer’s birthday, or suggest songs as per the previous requests and genres.
A bot can ask the necessary and related questions, persuade the user and generate a lead for you. Chatbots ensure the flow is in the right direction to get higher conversion rates. Of course, this also raises privacy concerns, and companies will need to find a balance between privacy and their quest for increasingly extreme personalization.
7. Increased Customer Engagement
Needless to say, it’s important to keep your customers engaged with your brand. According to research, companies that engage with their customers on social media were able to increase the customer spend by 20% to 40%. While social media is doing its job, chatbots can contribute by making the engagement more interactive — usually with a great sense of humor!
A conventional customer service interface usually provides more information than it receives from the users. However, Chatbots, in contrast, give only a slice of information at a time and can lead the interaction based on the input the user provides at each specific time. Therefore Chatbots don’t bore customers with irrelevant and unnecessary information and keep your customers on your platform longer and keep the content flowing by maintaining the conversation.
8. Easier Approach to Global Markets
Whether you are already an international brand with customers all over the world or a local brand who is ready for global business, chatbots can solve your customer care problems in multiple languages and 24/7, 365 days a year. This allows your business to scale up its operations to new markets without having to worry about multiplying incoming requests to be handled.