February 1, 2019
By now, most marketers are aware that chatbots are a fantastic way to improve your digital campaigns. But did you know that they can also help you grow your business? By automating the day-to-day tasks and processes that eat up your working day, chatbots can help you get more done in less time and take the repetitive aspects of running a business off your plate. Not only do they increase your efficiency, but they also make running a business a whole lot more pleasant.
Let’s take a look at the various benefits of chatbots for businesses and how best to implement them:
Chatbots Enable Fantastic Customer Support
Your business is off to a flying start and the money is rolling in alongside a lot of customer queries. Unfortunately, at this stage, you don’t have the resources for an around-the-clock support squad. A 24/7 multilingual team costs a lot of money, you say, and that’s absolutely true – if you’re talking about humans. Chatbots on the other hand need no sleep, completely do away with wait time, answer queries day and night, refer back to previous client interactions and never lose their cool with rude customers.
What’s more, the newer generation of artificial intelligence-powered chatbots have done their fair share to bring about a digital transformation in customer service. They learn from customer queries and build on them to improve their answers over time. Don’t worry about them getting too big for their boots though – when a more complex query comes in, chatbots are able to direct the customer towards a happy and relaxed customer service representative, who is no longer spending all their time handling trivial requests. And while you may think that customers would prefer to pick up the phone and chat to a real live human, that’s not quite true – according to statistics recently released by Facebook, 53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses they can communicate with via messaging. Basically, chatbots keep everyone happy.
Chatbots Are the Secret to Amazing Customer Journeys
Nowadays, customers have high standards. Tech advances over the past few years mean that they now take seamless experiences, personalised recommendations, instant answers and great support for granted. Standing out from the competition is no easy task.
Yet again, it’s chatbots to the rescue. They integrate easily with your customers’ favourite messaging platforms (such as WhatsApp, Viber or Facebook Messenger) and take into account a customer’s search history, previous interactions with your company, prior purchases and social media to find out exactly what they’re looking for. Chatbots will greet your customer as soon as they arrive on your homepage, point them in the right direction, ensure they find what they want and even follow up with them post-sale to check everything’s going swimmingly. Companies such as Starbucks, Sephora, Pizza Hut and Uniqlo are all upping their chatbot game, and for a good reason. But don’t panic, you don’t have to be a huge international chain with millions to invest. Chatbots have the advantage of being easy to set up from a tech point of view and relatively inexpensive.
Chatbots Can Streamline Lead Qualification
We’ve talked a lot about how chatbots can take the weight off the shoulders of marketing and customer service teams, which is already a big step forward when you’re scaling your business and looking to hook leads through your website. But did you know that live chat can also be a game-changer from a sales point of view? Young companies with smaller sales teams will be delighted to have an extra set of hands on board – one that handles all the more mundane exchanges no-one else want to deal with, such as scheduling meetings, redirecting pricing queries towards the most appropriate salesperson, and helping out leads that aren’t such a great fit but might become one at some point in the future.
Chatbots help salespeople by saving them time, starting more conversations, and providing staff with the information that leads to a better experience all around. Your team will be able to stay focused on the conversations that matter most, for a fraction of the cost of employing more reps.
Getting Started with Chatbots
While chatbots are a great way to scale your business and a huge timesaver once they’re up and running, setting one up can be a challenging process… and a rewarding one. In order for your chatbot strategy to be effective, it’s important to carefully figure out what you’re actually going to be using it for.
Is your goal to acquire new customers, engage with those that regularly interact with your brand via your website, social media or messaging apps, or provide your sales and marketing teams with a bit of extra support? Bring your relevant team members together and get brainstorming. The end result will be well worth it.
By automating time-consuming processes, handling mundane queries and generally sorting the wheat from the chaff, chatbots are set to become an essential asset to your business in 2019. And given the ongoing advances in artificial intelligence, it’s most likely just the beginning. Watch this space!
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.