What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is short for Chat Robot. Simply,a chatbot is acomputer program that converses with the user through an interface. Fundamentally, a chatbot allows a form of interaction between a human and a machine. It is programmed to work independently from a human operator.
Interactions with Chatbots
The user can interact or have a conversation with the chatbot by typing or simply by using their voice. This totally depends on the type of chatbot the user is interacting with. Some very popular chatbots that almost everyone has heard of are Apple Siri and Alexa that take voice as input.
The rise of Chatbots
Today, we cannot imagine a world without chatbots since it has become part of ordinary transactions. In 1995, A.L.I.C.E, a language-processing bot, gained popularity and therefore in 2016, Facebook enabled the development of AI customer service. This eventually allowed business developers to create bots that would converse with their followers. Businesses have also integrated chatbots into their websites.
Chatbots can bring you up to speed with technological advancements and vastly improve customer engagements.
If you’re an e-commerce company, a brand or anyone running a business, then chatbots are the strategy that you must adopt. Chatbots provide a great business opportunity for both small and larger companies. More and more businesses are using them for online customer service to resolve issues and answer simple questions. Many companies are looking at various ways to use chatbots to improve and scale the customer experience whether for shopping, booking or customer service.
If you are an impatient person then certainly chatbot is for you! A Customer always desires a fast response. According to an analysis, 40% of customers don’t care whether a human or a chatbot responds to their question as long as they get quick help.
But, a chatbot may not always know what and how to respond to several customer questions. That depends on its programming and functionalities, and how intelligent they are programmed to be. So, if the customer does not use the correct phrasing, that chatbot may not know how to respond.
Chatbots are most beneficial when it comes to availability. They help to reduce operational costs by being available 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. Obviously, if we compare a human counsellor and a chatbot counsellor, the best thing about the chatbot is that it’s always there and is super-efficient. The user can have instant knowledge of anything and anytime using a chatbot.
Chatbots are the future of communication that save a lot of time dealing with customers and guiding them physically and individually.
Chatbots can be used in marketing and are one of the advanced ways of communication between a business and the customer. Also, if we have a look at the statistics, more than 86% of people are interested in talking with chatbots because chatbots can solve their basic problems and is the better alternative to email marketing or Messenger marketing.
Increase repeat Marketing
When we buy something using a chatbot and process payment, we are often asked at the end if we would like to stay up to date with our order. So, chatbots basically keep us updated with our package information when it gets shipped or any other issues. After some time, chatbots may ask for a review of the product or service to keep us engaged.
Increasing sales using Chatbots
Chatbots are very useful in making suggestions or recommendations on everything, ranging from products to services. They are super intelligent and can help in capturing desired targeted leads in less time. They study their users/customers and make personalized recommendations by interacting with them to know more about their preferences. Chatbots also interpret their user’s likes and dislikes and make suggestions accordingly.
Social Media Chatbots
On Facebook there are over 10,000 developers building chatbots. Chatbots are becoming very popular in social media applications. Chatbots are also used on Messenger as well as many websites.
Brand or social media chatbots can converse with users about any customer queries and are pre-programmed to answer those specific questions.
Well-being of Business
According to Chatbots Magazine, customer support service businesses using chatbots have saved up to 30% in cost by answering essential client questions. Research confirmed that chatbots were responsible for $20 million in business savings in 2017. In addition, chatbots have also helped reduce workload and allowed business executives to focus on creating new business ideas.
Moreover, if optimized correctly, businesses can help customers make better decisions via chatbots. For example, customers who purchase something for the first time, especially things related to technical stuff with many alternatives, (i.e, WordPress hosting service) want extra help. You can optimize chatbots with information like which WordPress hosting service is suitable for what purpose and how it should be optimized to get remarkable results.
Personalization is a major factor in modern marketing. You can program a chatbot to recognize a person’s name from his/her Facebook profile by programming your bot correctly. You will then be able to push information to each individual that is specific to him or her. Conversational data can be analyzed and provide invaluable insight into individualized marketing campaigns.
Combine Artificial Intelligence with Human Intelligence
Online businesses are developing chatbots that you can message and talk with regarding any issue. It is just like having a conversation with a human. More companies are using chatbots as a way to engage with and assist their audiences.
Chatbots can understand and reply to users more casually and will also get smarter with time as they interact with users.
Unfortunately, Customer service agents can make mistakes in relaying information to customers. Using a chatbot, we can provide accurate information and results to the customer. For example, Google’s new chatbot “Meena” is said to be the most human-like AI chatbot ever. This is the SSA analysis which means that we can easily mistake Meena for a real human.
Managing Customer Requests
Too many customer requests? Well, a chatbot can easily deal with countless client requests. Chatbots save the hassle of having to place a call, having to wait to speak to a person, then trying to get the information from that person. AI chatbots can help handle up to 85% of customer service interactions within a year.
Certainly, there are many reasons to have a chatbot, but sometimes when a customer’s question is not too clear, a chatbot may not be able to help, resulting in user irritation. Consequently, customer experience suffers and this can negatively impact a company’s image.
Chatbots are designed to respond to simple customer questions automated by the developer and have limited responses. So, sometimes they’re not able to answer queries that require cognitive thinking. This means the customer is left with no solution and has to eventually contact the support team.
Chatbots can be Expensive
Installing chatbots can be a very costly process. Chatbots vary for different types of businesses. Some chatbots with limited resources might be low-cost but then again, they can lead to user frustration and impact customer experience.
Chatbots don’t fit in every Business
Some businesses can be far too complex to utilize a chatbot. It’s legitimate to use chatbots as a way to cut costs and augment benefits, but the potential drawbacks should also be considered prior to adding them to a business.