Introduction to Chatbots
Have you imagined how your favorite bookshop would feel, if it did not have an associate to assist you? The booms of online channels demand businesses to adopt a swift approach while responding to customers. Here come Chatbots, which are enabling large and small enterprises to cater customers in a personalized manner. Juniper Research, a UK based technology consultant indicates that Chatbots alone can help businesses save over $8 billion globally by 2022. This is simply an opportunity that one cannot miss!
Chatbot technology not only saves time, but also results in opportunity for business growth. There is a need for omnipresence with customers. Today, the size of Chatbot — AI technology industry alone is estimated to be over $1.5 billion and this creates immense opportunity because at the heart of any business are satisfied customers, who will ultimately drive revenues.
Believe it or not, leaving queries unanswered by customers can cause a landslide fall in revenues, thanks to the snowball effect in age of social media. Global business landscape has seen a colossal change due to digitalization of processes. Customers expect business to respond quickly, and businesses need smart solutions to process thousands of requests at a time. It is estimated that about $5 Billion will be invested in Chatbot technology by the year 2021. Even today, technology giants are utilizing Chatbots to provide superior service experience and deliver faster results.
Venture Beat, an American research firm indicates that nearly 300,000 Chatbots were active on Facebook alone in 2018, exchanging several million messages. This has not only helped businesses improve the quality of their leads, but has also helped nurture the leads and extract more revenue. Other than the Facebook Messenger Chatbot itself, WhatsApp Chatbot, Slack based Chatbot and WeChat are a few other powerful and renowned players in the industry, who are revolutionizing the customer services and business strategy landscape.
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Types of Chatbot
1966 saw the introduction of world’s first Chatbot by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Designed to impersonate a psychotherapist and support patients, the Chatbot was such an overwhelming success that it even passed the Turing’s Test.
Today, any Chatbots can be categorized in two variants on the basis of its design, i.e. — Simple Bots and Smart Bots. The former utilizes a sequence of questions, and their standard responses fed in the system by developers whereas the latter is reliant on AI. With the aid of recommendations, leading questions and follow-up responses, Smart Bots learn and develop as conversation develops.
1. Efficiency & Cost Savings
Efficiency drives businesses, and a good Chatbot can help improve the situation. In a recent report by Deloitte, it is estimated that automation of customer service through Chatbot-like programs can result in savings of as much as $3.5 billion alone by 2019 and generate $160 billion business opportunity by 2020.
Using a Chatbot to perform tasks like scheduling an appointment, responding to generic customer queries, handling complains and redirecting to concerned staff can improve efficiency. Gartner reports that Chatbots reduce average time to deal queries by 40% and IT service desks will help free up to 30% support capacity.
2. Customized Service
Each Bot can be customized in the way it communicates with the people. A few quick benefits of Chatbots include,
· That they will never be bored of doing repetitive tasks
· Quick speed and promptness in responding to queries
· Customized responses to several customers at a single time
Chatbots can be customized according to business brand tone and marketing communiqué. An example is Baidu’s Chatbot, Melody. To enable quick flow of communication between patients and potential doctors, Baidu has incorporated Melody A.I in the Baidu Doctor Application. The application enables patients to schedule appointments, share symptoms and gain real-time assistance from doctors who can converse back.
Another case of how Chatbots have been introduced in our lives, is the gimmick by 2016 movie, Zootopia’s marketing team. Audiences were given the opportunity to interact with Lieutenant Judy Hopps’s avatar and solve mysteries. Similarly, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 released by Marvel in 2016, had a Chatbot which featured the avatar of Star-Lord which thrilled fans!
3. Superior Customer Service
When turnaround time is reduced, customers feel important and business gains traction. Since humans can only focus on 3–4 tasks simultaneously, they are prone to making errors. A Chatbot gives you absolute peace of mind and control, so you can focus on business development while customer service is handled by AI. Being available when customer interacts, is key to success.
Accenture Digital reports that 56% of Fortune 500 companies are facing disruption in their business owing to use of Chatbots. Such is the need of a smart solution, that Juniper Research estimates Chatbots will be able to save approximately 2.3 billion human hours in customer services by year 2023. In an age where customer is willing to wait for only 4–5 minutes for service, Chatbots gear you with the ability to respond instantly.
4. Drive Sales From Your Messenger Platform
Facebook Messenger has the ability to drive business sales up by a magnanimous volume. Approximately 1.76 billion people use messenger, and at least 2.5 billion messages are exchanged between users and businesses each month. This indicates that a huge market is available to tap. Messenger has enabled the opportunity to purchase product straight from the App, which gives businesses ample support.
However, most businesses have failed to capture the opportunity and as many as 50% customer surveys indicate that people are not happy with their real-time chat experience. Furthermore, 60% individuals fail to recall a unique live-chat experience. A business can utilize messenger Chatbot to boost sales and build customer loyalty. Once you set up your messenger Chatbot, simply link it to your digital store. You may do it by
– Adding a Messenger sales channel to your digital site
– Provide a support link for Live Facebook Messenger Chat on your digital site
– Integrate a “Buy Now” button on the Messenger bot
Setting up the Chatbot and integrating it is easy, however the real test is to drive sales. Your Chatbot must be interactive and provide infotainment to customers, so their interest is retained. You may send unbelievable facts, offer small games or provide informative/entertainment content regularly, so the customer is hooked!
5. Lead Generation
Chatbots are great companions for a business to understand its customer base. Once the business stakeholders understand target audience, they have a better chance of delivering quality products and services. Chatbots can be programmed to inquire the preferences of customers, identify customer’s likes and dislikes, and gather information via short surveys and quizzes and gauge exactly what is required.
Chatbots may be also be used to further segment the audience. Once data has been provided by customers, a Chatbot can automatically bifurcate data in factions, such as age, gender, education, marital status etc. Since focus is on relationship building, Chatbots can help a business acquire customer`s trust by having a sincere conversation.
People admire Chatbots since they are not obsessive, and prioritize customer preference first. Lastly, the more you educate your audience about a product or service, the more likely they are to buy it. Chatbots can assist your business in educating customer, and ultimately converting them for you.
6. Reduce Support Effort & Cost
Chatbots have been proven a good team player with Sales & Support teams. There are many organizations using chatbots for reducing support tickets and thread. It reduces cost per ticket by handling efficiently tons of simple and complex scenarios.