The Future Is Now and Chatbots are the Customer Service Solution Your Business Needs
Like it or not, the machines are taking over. At least in the customer service space. Experts predict that by 2020, only 15% of customer service interactions will be handled by a human. If you aren’t using a chatbot for your business already, the time is now to embrace this growing technology in all its glory. The benefits for businesses are substantial, and even consumers are embracing the ease and convenience that chatbots provide.
What Is a Chatbot?
The name itself is pretty self-explanatory, but to understand exactly what a chatbot is, let’s go right to a trusted source. Chatbots Magazine defines a chatbot as follows:
“A chatbot is a service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, that you interact with via a chat interface. The service could be any number of things, ranging from functional to fun, and it could live in any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.).”
In an e-commerce setting, a chatbot is essentially designed to mimic the conversation that a customer would have with an actual store employee or customer service representative.
Why Use a Chatbot?
There are many ways that businesses can benefit from using a chatbot. Here are just a few.
Simplify the buying process. When consumers have easy access to the specific answers they seek, they’re more likely to convert. Chatbots can also be programmed to remember personal information and preferences to continue optimizing the experience for returning customers.
Improve customer service. The more support channels you can provide for consumers, the better. Chatbots are available 24/7 and have a 100% response rate.
Save money. A chatbot shouldn’t replace actual humans entirely, but it can help growing businesses cut back on the cost of hiring additional customer support staff.
Automate repetitive work. Every business has a list of questions that they get over and over and over again. Rather than adding to employees’ workloads, businesses can let chatbots handle these repetitive inquiries.
Analyze Customer Data. By analyzing the insights gained from chatbot conversations, businesses can better track consumer behavior and buying patterns.
It should be clear by now that chatbots are a fantastic opportunity for businesses, but you’re probably wondering how consumers feel about them. According to a 2017 study, there’s a growing consumer interest in chatbots. Participants appreciated the “ease, speed and convenience of using chatbots,” and liked that they could get answers quickly.The smartest way to think of a chatbot is as a supplement to the customer service you already provide.
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