What Are Chatbots?
Chatbots are programs that simulate real interactions with users through a chat interface. Powered by rules and artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots "converse" with people, provide a vital service in online interactions, save businesses time and money, and improve the customer experience.
How Do Chatbots Work?
Chatbots respond to customer queries humanly through a combination of machine learning and predefined scripts. Over time, chatbots "learn" new answers to frequently asked questions by collecting data from previous exchanges, reducing programming costs, and improving customer service.
Chatbots operate independently of their human engineers. However, if a chatbot gets a question it doesn't understand, it can forward the conversation to a live operator or help desk for an answer. If the new question is repeated often enough, the answer can be added to the chatbot's script database, allowing the chatbot to grow in relevance and capacity.
13 Benefits of Chatbots
Chatbots provide customers with a smooth omnichannel experience that increases conversion. Companies from various industries have already introduced the technology to their operations, and the growth of chatbots shows no signs of slowing down.
In fact, the chatbot market is projected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024.
If you're not sure whether chatbots should have a place in your business, consider these 13 benefits.
1. Save Money and Time
Implementing chatbots is an investment. But over time, they can help your business optimize customer service costs by saving on hiring employees who require additional infrastructure, training, and salary costs.
Chatbots act as a first line of defense, guiding customers through common support issues faster. This filtering capability ensures that only the most challenging issues end up in the hands of live agents. Besides, bots can perform simple tasks, such as booking appointments or making purchases, without human intervention.
2. Offer 24/7 Customer Service
Does your business have support staff that works around the clock? Most don’t. If you require 24/7 customer support (for example if you’re servicing global time zones) but have financial constraints, chatbots enable you to employ less staff working nights, weekends, and holidays.
3. Be Multilingual
For companies that serve customers worldwide, chatbots can converse in multiple languages, too. You can program multilingual chatbots to respond to international customers, enabling your business to expand worldwide from any location without having to invest in a specialist workforce.
4. Scale Customer Support
When your business expands rapidly, chatbots can help you efficiently scale your customer support efforts. Growing your business can be costly as it requires employee training and infrastructure costs. Chatbots can easily scale, servicing thousands of customers automatically, while human employees have their limitations.
5. Personalize the Customer’s Experience
You can program a chatbot to ask for a customer’s first name, creating a personalized experience that resonates with most people and lessens the “robot” experience. Stored data allows the chatbot to remember the customer’s details for future interactions.
6. Engage With Customers Better
Customer loyalty starts with commitment. Creating chatbots with personality (and even a sense of humor!) helps build bonds that people love - and remember.
7. Collect Important Feedback
Use chatbots to improve your website or customer service through targeted survey questions. Collecting feedback on products and services via surveys enables you to pinpoint where change is needed. Technology can also track customer behavior, including purchasing patterns and responses to marketing campaigns.
8. Increase Productivity
While chatbots may not completely replace customer service staff, they can provide an effective filtering system to reduce human interaction. Chatbots can answer simple or repetitive questions that free up human agents to spend more time with customers needing higher-level assistance.
9. Increase Customer Satisfaction
When customers can quickly solve their problems, they have a better perception of your business. Balancing quickly-resolved problems with higher-level assistance creates increased customer satisfaction, trust, and brand loyalty.
10. Reduce Human Error
Writing scripted responses helps reduce human errors, providing approved answers for any customer interaction. Live chat can create issues if workers provide inaccurate information regarding products or services, which wouldn’t happen with chatbots. You stay in control when combining AI with human input.
11. Talk to Customers Where They Are
Besides adding chat features to your website, you can get permission from users to chat with them on apps they're already using, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Communicating on apps customers are familiar with lends comfort and trust to your chatbot interactions.
12. Start Customer Conversations
Why wait for your customers to contact you when you can reach out to them first?
Chatbots can also initiate conversations based on pre-set criteria, providing a friendly greeting and an unexpected touchpoint.
13. Generate Leads
Chatting with customers online can reveal opportunities that require follow-up from sales staff.
Creating chatbot messages that interpret interest and ease customers along the buyer's journey creates lead generation opportunities often missed by live support staff. Chatbots can ask qualifying questions to determine whether leads warrant a follow-up call, saving salespeople time from chatting with unqualified prospects.
Bring Your Communication Channels Together with the Mobile Service Cloud
Whether you’re a global company aiming to offer consumers multiple touchpoints or need to accommodate regional communication preferences, CM.com has a solution to help. We are dedicated to creating personalized interactions between businesses and people through our results-driven mobile communications platform.
Mobile Service Cloud, our customer service software, helps businesses turn the first "hello" into a happy customer. The Mobile Service Cloud connects your business to your consumers with more robust conversations through the world's top communication channels, unified into one dashboard for easy access. You can extend the Mobile Service with a chatbot or create your AI chatbot within Conversational AI Cloud.