Top 10 Chatbot Benefits for Your Business
Top 10 Chatbot Benefits for Your Business
There are plenty of stories around chatbot success, but what are the specific benefits for your business? We take a look at how they can have an impact and how a company of any size can benefit.
Chatbots have emerged into the business landscape over the last four or five years, appearing on the home pages of websites, within apps and across Facebook Messenger to the tune of hundreds of thousands. The usual aim is simple, to better communicate with customers and to automate some of the common tasks that most businesses find time consuming or boring.
Within a business, there are plenty of people who are happy to talk to customers at length, but can their time be better used on more productive tasks? In larger organisations, bots are also being used as part of the company infrastructure helping out with repetitive business tasks.
Whatever the nature and size of your company, chatbots are here to stay and there are many compelling reasons to research and adopt them to improve productivity and availability within your teams.
1 Providing 24/7 Availability, Virtual Assistance & Customer Support
One of the main benefits for a business when it comes to using a chatbot is that customers (both consumers and business buyers) are now researching, comparing and buying products or services 24 hours a day. And if they have a problem, they will want an answer or help there and then, not the next day.
Having a chatbot on hand to deal with their queries is a way of keeping them engaged and start a relationship until your office opening hours. Bots can provide details, help and advice, and even prioritise the list of people you do need to get in touch with during opening hours.
2 Chatbots Save Money
Chatbots are a low-cost solution to many business problems. Solutions like full-service call centers, dedicated app development or automated customer support services are costly investments. Chatbots can be developed to answer the most common questions your teams face for nothing or a small recurring fee, saving money on operational costs.
Saving on capital expenditure and delivering results with a low-cost solution can also help businesses realign their thinking around practical ways to work with customers or clients, rather than a dogmatic insistence that only expensive tools are worth the investment. And, in many cases, chatbots are ideal for the automation of repetitive tasks, freeing up staff for more inspired work.
3 Chatbots Help Boost Marketing
Plenty of businesses are limited in their marketing efforts, or struggle to reach a wider audience. Chatbots can be promoted anywhere and are still novel enough to draw attention to products or services.
With the right message and a little personality in the chatbot, they can engage audiences drawn from across social media efforts, traditional marketing and other activities to make marketing more impactful and help create awareness, building up a direct rapport with prospects, customers or new fans, helping please customers when other avenues aren’t open, or when there’s new information that isn’t easy to add to an existing ad campaign.
Since marketing efforts can be bolstered by giveaways, discounts or other incentives, there are plenty of ways to make the bot a focal point of a marketing effort, taking the load off staff and allowing them to focus on next steps.
4 Chatbots Add Accuracy to A Business
Any business automation effort helps to increase efficiency and remove human error. Chatbots never get grumpy with customers, they won’t give out the wrong information (unless that’s what they were provided with) and they don’t get tired, ask for a raise or holiday.
When it comes to financial, legal or health matters, chatbots have to be accurate, and when well-trained and developed, they demonstrate all of the above benefits no matter what the state or needs of the user. Chatbots can also save logs to demonstrate the accuracy and validity of communications.
As chatbots become a feature of daily life, as COVID proved, having a virtual member of the office team to rely on can make a major difference to a business during stressful times, crunch mode or other events.
5 Facebook Messenger is a Massive Resource
Facebook, for all its political problems, still has over a billion users. And at last count, there were over 300,000 companies using chatbots on Facebook Messenger to engage with customers. Not making use of that resource is a negligent act for many businesses, missing a great opportunity.
Facebook chatbots can address a market where people are increasingly used to using messaging apps for their communications with friends, family and businesses that are important to them. Chatbots can have on-going conversations, providing news and details from the wider area of your business, locale or other areas of interest to build a relationship that can have long-term benefits.
6 Businesses Need to Adopt Artificial Intelligence
There are many benefits of artificial intelligence, but a company can miss out on them if they are concerned about adopting it. Chatbots provide a practical way for business leaders to see how bots that use AI tools such as machine learning or natural language processing can improve business outcomes, opening the doors for wider AI adoption.
With more businesses using bots, AI-powered analytics and decision-making tools, those that miss out will fall behind on efficiency and scope to expand. It would be a shame to lose out just because a company was afraid to give a chatbot a try.
7 Chatbots Give Better Customer Data
Among the easier to miss benefits of chatbots is the volume of statistics and analytical data they can provide to the business. Not only do you see how well the bot is performing in terms of successful outcomes, perhaps sales generated, but you also get an extra stream of information on how people engage with the business and what they are asking for.
Improving the bot, and your company products and services based on that data, among other insights, can help give it a small advantage, and by asking the right questions a company can find out all sorts of extra insights about their customers for free.
8 Chatbots Can Increase Your Sales
Do chatbots increase sales? Yes, they do, with major retailers showing great results. Take Julie, Amtrak’s friendly customer service chatbot. The rail company noted that it generates 30% more revenue through bookings using her than through other methods of buying tickets. Julie is the result of extensive development and years of work, but even a simple chatbot can give a small business a vital boost of a few percentage points that can make a major difference.
Bots are also great at upselling, reminding customers about consumables or accessories for their products and they aren’t disappointed if the answer is “no.”
9 Chatbots are Part of the Business Landscape
Chatbots aren’t quite everywhere, yet. But they soon will be and those that still wonder why chatbots are important are missing the bigger picture. Younger consumers aren’t waiting around on call centre queues, they can be in a shop and looking at several other stores for the same thing.
Bots can help provide instant answers that modern consumers expect, and in the race to instant, every business will need a bot that can provide the information people need on the spot. In future, bots will be able to offer a better deal compared to rivals, they will highlight the one thing that a prospect is interested in based on their digital history and so on, and a business will miss out on all of that without a chatbot.
10 Chatbots Work Within Businesses
Most companies think about chatbots for customer-facing work, but there are also plenty of bot opportunities within the business. Chatbots are a key tool for HR departments, helping book holiday, sickness or other timekeeping efforts. They can be used for IT support and managing access to business knowledge, saving workers and those in the know plenty of time over the course of a day.
Soon, internal bots will talk to other bots, even those of partner or clients businesses, doing deals, providing services and taking orders, helping to make all the companies run smoother. Seeking to improve the business through bots also helps make it a more attractive place for modern employees who are getting used to this type of resource, with even early interviews or tests in the hiring being done by chatbots to speed the process along.
Despite all this glowing positivity toward chatbots and the opportunities they provide, there are some disadvantages of chatbots, notably in any business that relies almost exclusively on the personal touch. And there are some use cases or times when you shouldn't adopt them. But, on the whole, bots are a great friend to many companies and will be a key part of smart digital business initiatives and AI adoption in the years to come as most companies take a more automated approach to their business engagement.