Just a couple of years ago, chatbots were a trending topic as “the next big thing”. While there is still a large conversation around chatbots today, they are well established so it is more about their evolution or how businesses can utilise them outside of customer service.
In fact, 79,943 chats are fielded by chatbots per month and 90% of businesses report faster complaint resolution with bots so if you are not using a chatbot yet, you are behind the curve. Chatbots represent the next generation of technology but let us dive deeper and examine the benefits they can bring to a business.
Using a chatbot as a customer service representative is the most popular reason for chatbot adoption with companies so far and it is working. 70% of millennials report having a positive chatbot experience. That positivity pools over to your brand and product or service as well, if maintained correctly.
To establish a positive customer experience, make sure your chatbot is:
- Using professional language
- Leading your customer down a clear journey
- Providing the correct answers or information
- Working across all devices in the same way
Another area to think about when adopting a chatbot for customer service needs is the ability to send customers to a live agent for support when needed. Not all companies are currently doing this and it could be an area of opportunity for you to get ahead of your competition.
Avoid customer frustration by letting live agents handle more complex issues and build brand trust by showing your customers you are willing to meet them through their medium of choice, you are not forcing a chatbot on them like many companies are now doing.
Cut Down Operational Costs
Before chatbots, companies had to have live agents to support the customer support requests coming in. If you are trying to keep up with the 24/7, 365 day model of support (which clients expect) it can be draining on your employees as well as the budget for your company.
Chatbots have allowed support requests to be handled more efficiently so you do not need as many live agents. Chatbots can resolve simple or repetitive tasks, freeing up your live agents for the more complex issues.
According to Chatbots Magazine, companies can save up to 30% by adopting virtual agents or chatbots.
Not only do chatbots help reduce operational costs, 57% of businesses agree chatbots deliver a large ROI with minimal effort.
Opens New Avenues for Marketing & Sales
Besides being a great resource to aid your customer experience strategies, chatbots are also opening doors in the marketing and sales journey.
Chatbots have evolved beyond a few programmed answers to the point where they have the ability to remember users and their activity to provide personalised feedback on purchasing decisions or product questions, which lead to much better customer engagement.
They also provide an immediate response to guide consumers through the sale and reduce the chances of them leaving your site for a competitor.
Instead of annoying popup messages as you go to leave a site, chatbots are tailored to provide the most relevant notifications depending on customer behaviors. The pop up is more discreet, not blocking the actual content of your website and is more relevant to the customer because it is triggered by an action they take.
Another marketing area that chatbots benefit is the reach potential for new customers. Chatbots attached to your social media pages can reach a huge range of prospective clients. It would take an extensive sales force to match which costs money, time and resources to accomplish.
By evaluating the interactions chatbots are having with your potential customers, you can effectively get the right message to the right people. All of the information being collected by the chatbot (name, job title, etc.) can be automatically imported into your CRM software to build your lead database.
All of these benefits combine to help you increase your brand's value.
Unlike humans, who can resist constructive criticism or additional training, chatbots welcome a consistent learning cycle.
Human error can occur repeatedly and if you have an employee with a poor work ethic, which can translate poorly to your brand but through constant evaluation and optimisation, chatbots only get better. The investment into improving that chatbot is also less than of a human employee because it does not require a separate trainer or training software.
With chatbot optimisation, you can:
- Conduct A/B testing
- Make sure consumers are receiving your entire branding message
- Add products or adjust pricing instantly
- Personalise offers based upon the customer journey
By observing and analyzing your customer’s needs compared to the performance of the chatbot, you can make adjustments to ensure it is helping you achieve specific business goals.
Showcase Products & Services
Instead of risking upsetting some potential customers with email marketing messages or cold calling, chatbots allow you to get your products and services in front of the appropriate people and the appropriate time.
This allows you to meet your clients on their schedule and provide the most relevant content to them. This helps your potential customers feel appreciated and cared for rather than irritated or annoyed.
With a human sales force, you have to train them on your product and the message intended to lead people to buy. Some people will be better at relaying the message than others and then some will go off and create their own script. By utilising a chatbot, it allows you to push out a consistent message to your entire audience.
All of these benefits combine and lead up to the increased purchasing power that chatbots can provide. They have evolved well beyond conversational messages to offer payment options and more.
Customers can be alerted of a product, given all of the information they require and complete a purchase all through your business’s conversational interface. Instead of pushing out large lists or irrelevant products, get the most relevant information in front of your audience at moments they are ready to buy.
Chatbots are already providing many benefits for business, including saving money and delivering a higher return on investment but what else is on the horizon for this transformative technology?
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are evolving at a rapid pace so the benefits are bound to expand far past these mentioned here.
If you want to learn about the trends and advancements around chatbots, join us and global executives at the 2nd World Chatbots Summit.
It will take place in Berlin, Germany on February 13th and 14th, 2020. Global brands will be presenting informative case studies on choosing the best technical platform for your chatbot, identifying essential factors for successful chatbot adoption and more.