How can I help you?
If you have encountered this message when you visit a page for the first time, you have encountered a “chatbot”.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a software application that conducts a conversation with you through text or text-to-speech. It does so instead of providing you direct contact with an agent. Chatbots are driven by AI, machine learning, natural-language processing, and automated rules.
Today, you can broadly classify chatbots into the following categories:
Types Of Chatbots
1. Menu or button-based chatbots
These chatbots are the most frequently used in the current scenario. They are used to answer frequently asked questions that can be pre-programmed. Your user will be required to select different buttons or options till they find the answer they are looking for. However, these chatbots have the slowest process in giving your user their desired answer.
2. Linguistic or rule-based chatbots
These chatbots are ideal if you can logically predict what a customer will ask when they visit your page. If you can predict this correctly, you can create a conversational flow through this chatbot. It is done after assessing words, their order, and synonyms, making it a time-consuming process.
3. Keyword recognition based chatbots
These chatbots see what users type and respond according to that. They respond to particular keywords. These chatbots use customizable keywords and Natural Language Processing to come up with a response to answer the query raised.
4. Machine learning-based chatbots
It is the most advanced chatbot that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence. This chatbot remembers specific conversations they have previously had with the user. It helps them improve over time based on what the user is looking for or asking. For example, if a chatbot remembers a users’ delivery address or frequently ordered item from its store based on prior interactions, it is a machine learning or contextual chatbot. It makes the user experience convenient.
5. Why should my business care about chatbots?
With a multitude of chatbots available in the market, they are growing like never before. Currently, the market size of chatbots is expected to grow to USD 9.4 billion in 2024. It is a significant increase from USD 2.6 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 29.7%.
So, as a business owner, there are many reasons you should get a chatbot for your business. Here are a couple of them:
Chatbot Benefits for Businesses
1. Chatbots increase customer satisfaction
Today, customers do not like waiting for long before they get the information they are seeking. With chatbots, you can provide information conveniently and quickly. It is beneficial for your customers as they can instantly find the information they are looking for.
Chatbots also enable your business to initiate active customer interactions. It means that you do not wait for your customer to reach out to you to complain or ask a query. Instead, they receive communication on landing on the page. It helps the customer feel valued and appreciated by your business, which helps in the long run.
2. Chatbots help generate insights
When the chatbot interacts with your customers, it gathers a lot of information about them. It includes things they like or dislike about your business and its products. It also includes information like their address or billing information. With this data, your business can improve its products or services to meet customer expectations efficiently.
You can also use your chatbot to present surveys to customers. These surveys seek answers about how their experience with your business or website has been. The information will enable you to improve your business offerings. It helps in customer attraction and retention.
3. Chatbots help increase sales
As a business, one of your key goals is to drive sales. Believe it or not, a chatbot can help you do just that. Based on the insights gathered by the chatbot, it can recommend products and services to the customers. Chatbots can also promote products you want to push to your customers. They are a great way to provide product visibility in a one-on-one manner.
The chatbot can also be used to direct customers to the sales team. It can also schedule appointments if a customer is not comfortable with making a call. When this happens, you ensure your customers never chase anyone. Everything they need is provided to them at a single touchpoint.
4. Chatbots save costs
Chatbots are a great way to meet all your organizational goals at an optimized cost. If you are operating without a chatbot, you need to hire customer service executives to look after customers’ needs. It can turn out to be a costly affair as you need to invest in the training and salary of each employee.
Conversely, chatbots can meet the same organizational goals at a cheaper cost. They can be automated to answer customer queries, scale up operations, build brand value and increase satisfaction. All of this is done at a lesser cost. Another bonus is that once you program the chatbot, you do not have to reprogram it often. It also saves costs.
5. Chatbots save time
Chatbots save time for both you and your customers. It saves time for customers by responding to them in real-time. When interacting with your chatbot, customers will always get a response. It does not matter if it is 1 am or 1 pm, they can expect a reply. They can also book appointments seamlessly.
From a business perspective, chatbots handle basic queries. Hence, you can concentrate your business resources elsewhere. This helps improve your overall business efficiency and productivity.
6. Chatbots enhance your service
Customer experience impacts the success of your business. It is your responsibility to provide the best possible experience to people who are interacting with your business.
As discussed before, chatbots help you do this in a number of ways:
- Chatbots are automated. The possibility of human error reduces significantly.
- Chatbots are available at all times, day or night.
- Chatbots provide instant answers to consumers.
- Chatbots enable instant transactions.
- Chatbots provide a united brand message. It is as all answers are automated and programmed in a similar manner.
With a multitude of benefits, chatbots ensure your customers’ interactions with your business are smooth. They also ensure your business is better received in the market.
7. Chatbots act as a marketing channel
If used correctly, chatbots can help you reach your marketing goals. It is as chatbots are a personalized and non-aggressive way of interacting with customers. You can program it to only send a message to a customer if they first interact with it.
Based on past history and interactions, chatbots can also recommend products or services. Since it is based on the personal interests of the customer, it benefits your business. It can also push notifications to customers at the right time. Chatbots can also reach out to more prospects than you had envisioned across different time zones and locations. They unify and solidify your brand message in ways you cannot imagine.
If you, as a business owner, want to avail all these benefits, you should invest in a chatbot. The returns you will receive are unimaginable.
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