Welcome to the future. We are now in a time in history when technology is moving at the speed of light and consumer behavior is trained to expect instant answers to their questions. How can a company stay up on it all? This is where a chatbot can help. A chatbot is an artificial intelligence program that uses natural language processing or machine learning algorithms to converse with customers as they would talk to another human being. Chatbots don’t just answer common questions like business hours, menus, and location information; they also provide information about products and services, schedule appointments, book tickets, pay bills, make reservations, complete transactions, etc. The possibilities for businesses using this new wave of AI are endless! So, if you want to know more about chatbots and how they work, keep reading below.
Chatbot Definition: What Is It & Why Do Businesses Use Them?
The first chatbot ever was developed by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum in the 1960s. It was called ELIZA. ELIZA was a computer program that acted as a psychotherapist and would respond to the user’s input with appropriate feedback. The more time you spent interacting with ELIZA, the more human-like it would become in terms of its responses and the longer your conversations would be. (Source: https://onlim.com/en/the-history-of-chatbots/)
Weizenbaum’s initial purpose for creating ELIZA was not for it to replace human therapists, but rather to demonstrate that the computer could be programmed in such a way as to “simulate” intelligence. This allowed him to explore how humans interact with systems and taught several lessons on the limits of communication with computers.
Since then, chatbots have become increasingly popular among consumers and businesses because of their ability to interact naturally online through text-based messages. They are able to engage users and understand various forms of communication – not only written but spoken too. Moreover, unlike other types of software applications such as email marketing tools, social media apps, or webinars, chatbots do not require any technical skills to set up and manage. Instead, they simply need some training data so that they learn to reply appropriately to user queries and requests. As a result, there has been explosive growth in terms of adoption rate over recent years. In fact, there are over 1.4 billion people are using chatbots. (Acquire) And there is little slowing in sight.
Why Is Having a Chatbot Important for Businesses?
Businesses who plan to thrive as we approach 2022 and beyond should think about having a chatbot on their sites. Here are some of the benefits companies can expect when implementing this new technology:
1) Customer Service Assistance
With the current rise of digitalization, many people are turning away from traditional ways of communicating like phone calls, emails, voicemails, etc., towards texting via mobile devices instead. According to statistics provided by the World Economic Forum, nearly half of global internet traffic comes from messaging platforms including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Google Hangouts. With these numbers projected to increase significantly over the next few years, it makes sense for businesses to consider adding a conversational interface to their website, app or even physical storefront location. Customers will feel more comfortable asking questions and getting quick replies without feeling intimidated or frustrated while waiting for someone else to pick up. It is also very easy to pass an automated chat over to a human agent without any friction to the customer. Furthermore, most millennials prefer chatting with brands than talking to salespeople anyway. By offering live customer service assistance 24/7 across multiple channels, customers can get answers quickly whether it happens to be after hours or during an emergency situation. This will help sure your customer experience is the best it can be and help increase your customer satisfaction rates without even needing human interaction.
2) Assist with Sales and Marketing
Why not let chatbots assist with sales and marketing? Chatbots can be programmed to send targeted messages based on the customer’s previous purchase history. A smart chatbot can even provide additional information on items that interest a specific user and teams of bots can work together in unison to offer assistance. For example, if a customer has shown interest in both men’s and women’s shoes, a bot can ask them what type of shoe they are looking for before suggesting relevant products. Some bots are able to handle specific tasks, such as processing transactions or booking appointments, without needing to transfer the user back to a human representative. There are even types of chatbots that integrate with ai to easily generate automated answers to customer questions without ever having to transfer the customer over to customer service agents. These smart chatbots can really help improve the user experience and create more sales conversions for the business.
3) Lead Generation
In addition, chatbots can assist in generating leads by providing the business with necessary demographic information they would otherwise not know. For example, a company selling sunglasses could ask their potential customers if they own a car or motorcycle and then offer them an upsell product based on the user’s answer. These types of follow-up conversations may include a discount for a limited time in order to convince the user to make a purchase. Lead generation automation can also help build email lists and create more warm leads in a company’s sales funnel.
4) Save Money
Businesses can take advantage of chatbots to save money in a number of ways. First, they can have an accessible “live” chat without needing to pay for overheads such as salary and other expenses. Second, a company does not need a big budget or an entire team working on customer service all the time and lastly, chatbots can automatically send information to customers about their purchase history. As a result, business owners save time by not needing to do the work themselves and they still get the same benefits as if they had someone on staff.
With all of these incredible features available at such an affordable price, companies would definitely be foolish not to implement chatbots into their business. They will provide customers with the best customer service experience possible and it is definitely worth investing in them now before these numbers increase even further.
You should consider your specific company needs when thinking about whether or not a chatbot is right for you, but there are several benefits to using one that make it worth the time and effort. In fact, chatbots can be used in any business industry to promote better customer service and strengthen relationships between the company and its customers.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to chatbots, but they can be a worthwhile addition to your marketing plan if you feel that your company could benefit from them. With all of the benefits and only a few drawbacks, why wouldn’t you want to use one?
Are you considering chat automation or chatbot strategy for your business or as a new service offering? Here are ways Baby Got Bot can help:
- Join Baby Got Bot Insiders and learn how to build chat automation yourself. As a member you will get access to live office hours, monthly training, our beginner manychat course, a huge library of bonus materials and so much more. The program is for those who wish to sharpen their skills building messenger chatbots, building an agency and expanding services.
- Hire one of my vetted chat marketers to help build your chatbot or the chatbots you are offering to your clients.
- Schedule a complimentary call and let’s see how I can help you get started with chat automation. www.callstellar.com
Chatbots offer businesses the ability to provide customers with a personalized experience without needing an in-house customer service team. Chatbots can also drive leads and sales, create more warm leads in your marketing funnel, assist with lead generation and save you money by doing work for you while still providing the same level of quality. With all these benefits available at such an affordable price point, there is no reason not to invest now before it becomes more costly or difficult to find someone on staff who has enough time to handle everything themselves! Let me know if we can help make this happen for you today.