Chatbots have opened up new avenues of customer engagement and conversational commerce is ‘the’ new way of conducting business.
It is one of the world’s most useful technologies that businesses are relying upon to scale heights that were quite unknown before and surging ahead to possibly replace the traditional websites, apps and models.
According to BI Intelligence, apparently around 80 percent of businesses currently plan on using chatbots by 2020. These applications that engage in interactive conversation using natural voice or texts are predicted to save businesses about $8 billion annually by 2022!
All companies are anticipated to, if not already, benefit from chatbot technologies – from financial services companies to translation companies to retail stores. Already, of the top 100 organizations in each sector, 48 percent of automotive companies, 23 percent of consumer products and retail companies, and 17 percent of retail banking and insurance firms have deployed voice assistants.
We are seeing explosive growth of the market, due to advancement in AI technology, natural language processing and speech recognition pushing down the cost of chatbots development significantly.
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Chatbots and your business
The new era customers are tech savvy and perpetually connected to the social media platforms via their mobile devices. They expect to have a seamless and intuitive experience with the brands that they engage with. They also demand real-time response to their queries and personalized suggestions and these services alone endears a brand to customers.
In the age of cut-throat competition, businesses simply cannot afford to lose customers. Big brands like Starbucks and Harper Collins and the German association of translation companies have already taken the lead by integrating chatbots into their marketing tools. Therefore the focus is now on building virtual agents or chatbots to handle customer queries immediately and round the clock.
Chatbots engage customers in their own location, at the right time, and cost-effectively. It is the human entity, the face of the brand with whom the customer can connect to solve their issues and build trust.
Why should businesses adopt chatbots?
Chatbots streamline interactions occurring between services and people thereby enhancing the customer experience. Businesses get the advantage of time and cost savings.
Businesses, therefore, can focus more on how to improve the process of customer engagement and operational efficiency as there is a substantial reduction in the cost involved in the traditional methods of customer service.
A business can select between scripted chatbots, application chatbots, and intelligent chatbots according to their needs and get maximum advantage.
Here are some advantages of incorporating chatbots in business operations.
Chatbots engage with customers naturally, in a way that they would communicate with another human being and not a machine. Gone are the days of passive customer interaction when businesses interact only when a customer approaches.
Chatbots allow businesses to start a conversation with all customers, related to any issue at any time in the day. This will endear your customers and make them feel that your brand is better than the rest – like a good friend who is available 24/7. In the near future, it would help in improving your brand perception.
2] Monitors, consumer data and gain insights
Chatbots are great tools of effective communication as they collect feedback with the help of simple questions. With this data, improvements can be made on products and services, optimize the website by altering the low converting pages etc.
For example, a chatbot with the help of a small survey can reach out to the page visitors and collect information and ask the reason why they are leaving the page without a purchase. Chatbots can be used for tracking purchasing patterns and consumer behaviour by analysing user data.
As per Forbes, this helps a business to understand and make decisions about products that need to be marketed more or products that require redevelopment and then a relaunch.
3] Chatbots are cost-efficient
Every year, approximately 265 billion requests for customer support are made. For businesses, it costs a mind-boggling $1.3 trillion to service. Expenditures like this can be considerably reduced with AI chatbots. According to the Chatbots Magazine, up to 30% can be saved if chatbots or virtual agents are used.
They solve repetitive customer queries and allow service agents to deal with more complicated queries that require human intervention. According to industry research, in the next 5 years, chatbots are predicted to be able to deal with 90% of all customer inquiries!
4] Business improvement
Chatbots are able to collect customer information and create customer profiles with the data collected. These profiles can be used for both marketing and sales purposes by keeping existing customers engaged and informing them about new products and brands through push notifications.
5] Showcase new services and products
Chatbots provide a platform for information broadcasting and reaching out to potentially enormous audiences. Chatbots maintain a cordial relationship and friendly customer contact, saving customers from the frustration of calls. This forms a basis for showcasing new products as these are sent to a particular set of people as per their interests.
What lies ahead
Though the bot revolution is in the early phase, there are advancements coming up with the evolution of machine learning and AI. These advancements would spark off awesome language processing abilities and personalization in the near future.
Perhaps, chatbots might be embedded in interconnected devices of daily use thereby transforming man and machine interactions. Gauging the immense potential of chatbots, businesses are increasingly investing in intelligent chatbots that can provide massive storage, recall and synthesize data, provide smart purchasing resolutions, warn of poor weather or inform you about the traffic on your route.