In today’s fast-paced world, information is available on our fingertips. Similarly, when it comes to your business websites, customers don’t want to wait in a queue or wait for 24-28 hours for a mail reply when it comes to getting basic information about products or services you provide.
The customer wants a fast, reliable & accurate answers to their questions.
Hmmm, what-to-do then?
Most of you have used or had an experience with a chatbot while surfing the internet on one or more websites.
What Is A Chatbot?
A chatbot is a software application which can conduct an online conversation via text or text-to-speech without a human agent. Chatbots are typically used for customer support, gathering information or do some task on behalf of the customer using predefined keywords & responses. Smart chatbots use natural language processing or word classification processing.
How Does It Work?
Depending on the type of the chatbot and mechanics behind it, a chatbot uses rules-based conversation flow, word classification processing or natural language processing.
1. The first step is to analyze the request based on user input.
2. Based on the request input, the processing layer identifies the related data and entities.
3. The next step is to generate a response;
- It is a predefined text or set of options to offer
- There are a set of various answers stored in the knowledge base and data store.
- Based on the user’s input it produces or fetch the relevant data
- Return the response to the user.
The first two steps are most crucial in the process, as failure to understand the request correctly can produce wrong, or rather we say the non-relevant answer.
There are various aspects behind why the chatbots are important such as,
1. The chatbots are beneficial to both customers and business owners.
2. Most ready-made chatbots provide support for various industry-specific needs. It includes Customer Service, Financial & Legal, Hospitality, Brands, E-commerce, Healthcare, IoT, Education, Government, Information Technology, Airline, Insurance etc.
3. Improve and enhance customer engagement experience
4. Excite your customers and puts you 1 step ahead in market competition.
5. It serves many business needs from a simple information gathering to allowing a booking or purchasing product/ services for your customers with a few clicks.
Benefits To Customers
The most important and far more useful benefit for the customer is 24/7 availability. Instead of waiting for an answer in manual chat, e-mail or overcall, chatbots can answer to most of the questions on the spot.
A chatbot can provide a personalized experience to the customer based on their needs. Though it depends on how well the chatbot is trained or configured to cover from a small-to-vast range of questions.
Instant & Consistent Answers
As the name represents a chatbot is a machine program which is available 24/7 to provide instant answers to customer questions. And compared to human agent it can provide consistent answers without a fail to all of your customers each day.
Proactive Customer Assistance
Unlike the passive chatbots which only interacts when customer initiate the chat, there are chatbots which detect the customer presence and initiate the communication. There is a limitation with human agents that stops them from being in contact with each customer. With a chatbot, it can help and improve business branding in the long run.
Boost Brand And Customer Experience
From initiating a conversation as proactive assistance to helping the customer to choose the product, a chatbot can become a useful and friendly tool which enhance the customer experience and leaves a brand impression on the mind of the customer.
Purchase And Receive Recommendations From Customers
At times it may become difficult for a customer to choose based on their needs. In such a situation a chatbot can act as a friend and help the customer by providing a set of relevant information and suggest recommendations.
Benefits To Business
Boost Sales & Customer Experience
A chatbot can attract customers and boost sales over the period.
No Programming Skills Required
There lots of ready to use chatbots available in the various category in the market which doesn’t require major programming skills. A ready-made solution which needs to be integrated into your website. The main skills are to define the process and ready a knowledge base for your business needs.
Each business is unique so does is your customer. Similarly, the question will also vary from person-to-person. The diverse range of industry support provided by various ready to use chatbot platform provides you with a way to create a personalized experience which fulfils both your business and your customer’s needs.
Fit All Scale Systems
From a small CMS to an eCommerce, hospitality to IoT there are tailormade solutions available to match different industry and small-to-large scale business.
Automate Everything, People Not Needed: A Misconception
The chatbot will neither automate everything nor replace the job of your peoples. The biggest misconception is that you no longer need people when the chatbot can take the survey, gather information or make a purchase on customer’s behalf as per their need. Rather adding chatbot omit few processes from human agent’s to-do list and you can utilize them into other fruitful tasks.
Chatbots are cheaper compare to the manual customer service cost and it keeps reducing it over the period. However, if you need complex chatbots or AI-specific which learn own their own it will have a higher cost.
Showcase New Products/Services
A chatbot can be used to showcase newly added product/services and draw customer’s attention.
Though chatbots offer plenty of benefits to both customers and businesses, there can be some scenarios where it can fail to meet all your requirements.
Not all chatbots use 100% AI processing and learn on its own. Most of the smart chatbot uses partial or rules-based conversation flow or a word classification processing. Meaning it can have a limited set of question answers in its knowledge base. It will depend on the business and how much detailed knowledge base you create. This is not a pure disadvantage as it depends on the business scale and its side. For a small-to-mid scale business, it can have a fixed number of services or options to offer to the customer.
The way your business website needs time to time maintenance, chatbots are no different. If you want to keep using its benefits its needs to be reviewed, maintained and optimized so they can provide accurate support to the customer. In terms of the knowledge base, one has to include more question/answers if needed or removing old product/ services which you stopped offering or update it periodically.
Lack of Emotions
Chatbot work based on the user input words or options selected. It won’t understand the sarcasm or able to help outside its predefined knowledge base.
Though there are some risks involved when using a chatbot, having one saves lots of time, money and resources. The numbers of business websites which uses chatbots have increased exponentially over the past few years. A chatbot is an innovative way to attract more customers & boost their experience. Get in touch with us to find out which chatbot technology & platform is suitable for your specific needs.