From automating your pizza order to managing customer feedback, the uses of chatbots are far more than the novelty applications they arrived as.
Put simply, a chatbot is a piece of software that interacts with customers through a familiar chat interface. It’s a simple way of helping a user complete a complex task or query while also helping the business gather more usable data (that magic currency we’re all after). When used correctly, chatbots can help businesses scale their marketing and customer service operations for a low cost.
Here’s five reasons why your business should be using chatbots today.
1. They’re available 24/7
Chatbots are a way for you to deliver one-on-one customer service at scale – all day, every day. Instead of having to hire extra customer service reps and trying to anticipate customer service demands, you can rely upon a chatbot to deal with as many queries as needed.
2. They help you to know your customer
We operate in a world where customers are increasingly expecting personalised experiences. By gathering data from social media profiles and past interactions, chatbots can learn about consumer behaviors, shopping preferences, and more.
With the extra information these bots can glean, you can upsell and cross sell products that meet your customer’s preferences.
3. They generate lots of data
Every time a customer interacts with your website there’s valuable data to be collected. Chatbots are a means of gathering more data than a simple website visit can provide, helping you understand things like:
- What questions are customers regularly asking?
- What information do they seem to be lacking?
- What kind of feedback/sentiment are we receiving?
The more data the better - what gets measured, gets managed.
Advancements in machine learning mean that when built correctly, chatbots are able to learn and get better from every single customer interaction. For big businesses, this data extremely valuable.
4. So you don’t get left behind
Research from Forrester showed 5% of companies worldwide said they were using chatbots regularly in 2016, 20% were piloting them, and 32% were planning to use or test them in 2017.
Research from Gartner has predicted that 85% of customer service interaction will be done by means of artificial intelligence by 2020.
While there’s vast amounts of potential, utilisation of chatbots won’t ensure success. Facebook reported that its chatbots failed 70% of the time. This is due to companies not identifying their chatbots’ set purpose or by simply being too ambitious (the tech is still in its infancy).
Here’s how some companies are utilising chatbots:
The Wall Street Journal chatbot makes it easy as sending a few messages with Facebook Messenger to stay on top of big news.
Clothing retailer H&M has a chatbot that allows you to define your sex and style and help you find outfits that suit your style.
1800 Flowers is a US based business that allows you to send flowers to someone using their chatbot on Facebook Messenger. There’s no need to visit the online store!
Duolingo’s chatbot app can help you learn a new language. Duolingo’s bots are powered by artificial intelligence and react differently to thousands of possible answers.
When utilised correctly, chatbots can help you save on customer service, generate usable data for your marketing efforts and more easily identify issues that your customers may be facing.