Human beings have always relied on machines to solve menial problems as well as overcome other limitations. In the business sector, the need to solve customer queries to build loyalty and create brand establishment has become all the more apparent now. The customer service industry is the latest to be hit by this revolution through the innovation of chatbots.
But, what is a chatbot?
In essence, a bot is a computer program that is designed to perform basic tasks. In the case of chatbots, they are programs that interact with the user through a conversational interface. Nowadays, chatbots can be used with most popular messaging apps. They can comprehend both written and spoken text, and understand its meaning. While most bots are powered by artificial intelligence to execute complex commands, the technology is still budding and hasn’t been entirely utilized yet. Let’s look at the types of chatbots in existence:
Command based chatbots have a databank of replies. When the user submits a request, the bot responds with an answer that fits the context of the user query. These bots can only address a limited set of queries and will require manual assistance for uncommon questions.
On the other hand, artificial intelligence based virtual assistants can handle questions that are more ambiguous in nature. AI based chatbots use natural language processing to generate replies. With time, these chatbots become smarter as they learn from previous questions and answers.
Why do businesses need chatbots?
Experts believe chatbots may make apps and even websites obsolete in the coming years, since they have a better track record of helping businesses. They are more versatile in terms of functions and are dubbed smart investments. Here are some reasons why your business may need a chatbot:
-Direct replacement for apps
Apps exist for banking, dating, food delivery, shopping, travel and almost everything else. Recent studies show that popularity for apps is at an all-time low. People just don’t feel the need to download unnecessary apps. Intelligent agents offer a more exhaustive range of functions, and are not expensive to develop. Normally, to get an app up and running you’d need to hire developers and invest both time and money to develop one simple app; wouldn’t it make more sense to use the money fruitfully?
-Scale up your business
Sometimes you lose track of how businesses grow. In the beginning it may not seem too difficult to chat with your customers. But what if those fifty customers double or even triple in the coming years? Dealing with hundreds of unique questions is a herculean task for a single person. This is where your chatbot comes into play. You can easily configure a chatbot to interpret customer queries and answer them intelligently, thus allowing you to better handle your customers.
-Boosting your sales
Chatbots can help boost sales, products or promotions by notifying your customer base. Sending emails to customers will bring in more engagement as opposed to simply posting on your website or social media. Chatbots serve as personal assistants to your customers. Through interactions, they gather information and personalize their responses.
As businesses grow, so do expenses. Chatbots are a one-time investment that cut down on staff requirements. Use a support chatbot in your business to address simple customer queries and leave the intricate ones to a designated customer support team.
Though still in their nascent stage, chatbot technology is developing at a blistering pace and their immense potential has caught the attention of internet giants Google, Facebook and even Microsoft. If you’re not only looking to engage with your customers flawlessly but also want to propel your brand to the next level then you might fancy investing in a chatbot for your business.