How Chatbots are Helping Small Businesses Succeed
While chatbots may not necessarily be a new development in the tech space, within the last few years they have exploded in popularity, becoming the newest and most exciting tool for handling customers for businesses of all sizes. While companies such as Facebook have introduced chatbot services that have been used for almost 11,000 bots, using these same bots on a smaller scale is a no brainer for any small business.
What is a Chatbot?
Even though the term chatbot may sound daunting, they are actually fairly simple programs. These computer programs are designed with scripts, all with the goal of mimicking human conversation. In the case of some more complicated bots, these scripts are combined with artificial intelligence, empowering the bot to understand complex information and learn how to make informed responses to users’ questions and concerns.
Benefits of Chatbots
Chatbots are quickly being put to use all across the internet, in every sector from healthcare to law to even entertainment. From their conversational capabilities and multitasking features that cater different goals, these are just a few examples of ways that chatbots can help any small business.
- Customer Service
Chatbots are an extremely valuable tool when it comes to customer service. This is particularly true when dealing with millennials, who vastly prefer chatting over calling a customer service representative. Scripted chatbots are capable of holding conversations with users and customers 24/7, and anything outside of what your chatbot is capable of can be funneled directly to team members. From a cost perspective, running a chatbot 24/7 is vastly cheaper than fully employing a call center or full time customer service representative, and for a small business with limited means, a chatbot is a perfect investment.
- Increased Customer Engagement
While setting up a chatbot on your small businesses website may initially have been for customer service, these bots can serve many other means for increasing revenue and helping your customers. One of the biggest things a chatbot can do is increase customer engagement. There are a variety of ways a bot can do this, but a popular method is asking customers who are already engaged with the bot to put down their phone number or email address. By doing this, bots can amass a large base of customers, and the sales team can track down these interested parties and complete any sales that may have been left unfinished.
- Streamlined Payment Systems
Chatbots don’t just have to be used for conversation- they can facilitate payment as well. For many small businesses, finding the perfect method to allow customers to complete purchases is always a struggle. However, with a well designed chatbot, customers can pay for their goods through the chatbot, without ever having to leave the dialog box, giving them the ultimate one-click shopping experience.
Chatbots are here to stay. As their usage has increased, many businesses have reported significant increases in revenue and traffic, all thanks to these chatbots. While it’s not too late to get a chatbot for your small business, it is important to find the perfect chatbot to suit your specific needs, and use it effectively to build a robust relationship with your customers.