Communicating with customers is an essential part of business, and that’s why most serious businesses have a customer relations department. As businesses scale, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to hire enough representatives to attend to every customer inquiry or complaint.
That’s where the idea of chatbots comes in. Just a few years ago, the idea of having a semi-meaningful conversation with a computer sounds bonkers, primarily because it is. Not only is it possible today, but companies are actively using computer programs (aka chatbots) to replace human labor, and it’s proving to be effective.
Before adopting a chatbot solution for your business, you may want to understand what added advantages it brings to the table. In this article, I’ll show you some of the most essential chatbot benefits for businesses and why you should even care.
What are Chatbots?
Before going on to learn some of the chatbot benefits for businesses, it’s crucial to understand what chatbots mean and why they’re useful for your business. As the name suggests, a chatbot is an AI-powered robot designed to converse with humans, in most cases, customers of a specific business.
If you can remember messaging a brand over the past few months, you’ve most likely interacted with a chatbot. Of course, chatbots aren’t robots in the physical sense; they’re only a set of programs designed to learn from real conversations between people to help them get better at simulating a conversation with a human.
Most chatterbots combine the power of natural language processing and machine learning to string helpful sentences that can help them converse with a customer helpfully. These technologies help the chatbot in different ways, but they all combine to make it beneficial for a business.
There are different types of chatbots, and the functionality depends primarily on the type. There’s the set guidelines chatbot, which, true to the name, works only with a specific set of guidelines. It has no intelligence whatsoever, and it’s designed to respond to exact match queries with an answer.
On the other hand, there are machine learning chatbots that are built to be intelligent. Instead of having a hardcoded set of questions with appropriate answers, a machine learning chatbot constantly exposes itself to conversations that enable it to learn new words and phrases to answer queries better than a set guidelines chatbot.
With the basics of chatbots out of the way, it’s time to jump into the chatbot benefits for businesses. The next section will convince you to get a chatterbot for your business by listing the benefits that are in it for you.
Chatbot Benefits for Businesses
As a business owner especially product and service-based businesses you should be more interested to understand chatbot benefits for businesses. People don’t use chatbots just for the fun of it. There are real benefits of this communication technology to businesses and customers alike. In this section of the article, however, I’ll focus only on the benefits of a chatbot to the business keeping and managing it.
Here are some of the best chatbot benefits for businesses that should spur you into creating one for your organization.
- Simplifies Lead Generation
The most important chatbot benefits for business is generating and qualifying leads. In most cases, you’ll notice a popup each time you visit a website, spurring you to have a conversation with a seemingly active customer support representative.
When you interact with the popup, you may get an offer to buy the company’s offering at a discount, in exchange for your email or contact. These chatbots are usually simple on the backend, having enough functionality to keep a potential client engaged until a human representative is available.
In some cases, businesses use chatbots to collect information from potential customers. The information that they collect can help the overall AI system recommend better services or products, and in some cases, place the said customer in a relevant email list. Bottom line; chatbots are beneficial for generating leads and turning them into repeat customers.
- Enhances Availability
Most small businesses are incapable of hiring enough customer support representatives for 24/7 customer support. However, the added trust that a 24 hours support system adds to your business cannot be ignored, especially in the 21st century when everyone else is doing it.
If you’re still uninitiated, the reason why every Tom, Dick, and Harry offers 24 hours support is that they use chatbots. Whenever a human customer support representative is unavailable, a chatbot can receive customer queries and try to answer them to the best of its ability.
According to data collected across different industries, chatbots can be insanely beneficial in this regard. It was estimated that a chatbot can solve around 80% of customer queries with ease. That statistic becomes even more believable when you learn that around 40% of calls to IT support were for a password reset.
Instead of spending hundreds of thousands for enough customer service agents to keep you available for 24 hours, why not invest that in chatbots? Enhanced availability is certainly one of the chatbot benefits for businesses.
- Reduces Human to Human Interaction
With the advent of the covid-19, companies must cut back on anything that facilitates employees meeting with customers. If you keep your phone lines open, customers will be more willing to schedule a meeting with a company representative, enhancing person-to-person interaction.
Even without physical interaction, conversing with abusive customers can be very damaging to the mental health of your employees. To avoid ever having to deal with that, you can simply replace most of your messaging channels with chatbots, making it harder to reach any representative through phone, SMS, email, or social media.
- Reduces Costs
Let’s be honest; the primary reason why anyone ever considered the use of a chatbot is that it helps to save on operating costs. Managing a customer support system that works 24/7 is neither easy nor cheap; there are several investments you must make to keep it running.
By switching to chatbots, you can save on the training costs for human representatives. Additionally, you don’t have to pay monthly salaries to anyone and chatbots require no physical office space. It doesn’t matter how little the customer service department contributes to your business, you’ll always save some money by integrating chatbots.
However, the chatbot benefits for businesses shouldn’t make you think hiring humans are useless. As this article has insinuated from the beginning, there’s only so much that a chatterbot can do before it will need an experienced human to take over.
- They Help You Meet Customer Expectations
When most customers run into an issue on a business website, they don’t usually care about troubleshooting, and that’s justified. Why should I take the time to troubleshoot when I’m also the one paying hundreds of dollars for the service monthly.
Since they don’t take the time to solve the issue on their own, they expect your customer service to be eternally available for service. If you’re running on a limited budget, the only way to make that work is by employing the services of an intelligent chatbot.
While it won’t be able to solve all problems on the spot like your average customer service representative, it will be better than nothing. The feeling of having a computer program fix around 80% of your organization’s support problems without being on the payroll is incomparable.
- Helps Grow Your Business
Adding business growth to the list of chatbot benefits for businesses is a no-brainer since that’s what you get when you meet customer expectations without increasing the overhead cost. If you’re using chatbots on your website, your business is already bound to grow.
However, a problem with most businesses’ implementation of chatbots is that they use them exclusively as the only support solution. That doesn’t work in most cases because they always default to annoying replies when they have no idea what the customer is talking about. That happens to be one of the only chatbot disadvantages that
If you’re running a business in 2022, the benefits of incorporating a chatbot have become so numerous that you don’t want to miss out. From helping you generate crucial leads to making them repeat customers and also meeting their expectations, there’s always more functionality to a chatbot.
Before deciding on what technology to use and what kind of chatbot you need, it’s essential to review what you want from one. If your customers ask questions with straightforward answers, a set guidelines bot should suffice, otherwise, you may have to invest in an intelligent alternative. Bottom line; this article has shown you why chatbots are important and some of the benefits of chatbot marketing.