Chatbots: Their Benefits for Businesses

In 2017, companies are doing everything they can in order to improve their business.  One of the things that they have started implementing is chatbots.  As you will see, using these devices can certainly add to the way your business communicates with customers.

What Is a Chatbot?

Before we can discuss what a chatbot does for a business, we need to define what it is.  Chatbots are a service running on rules or artificial intelligence that users interact with using natural, conversational, language.  They can be used, in conjunction with staff members, to assist in customer support, and with purchasing items.

If you’ve ever used Facebook Messenger, you’ve already used chatbots to do these tasks.  Utilizing a chatbot during non-business hours will allow customers to get their first questions answered.  As a result, they can start detailed conversations with staff members during live chats.

Chatbots As Augmentations to Your Business

While chatbots are beneficial to have, they are not perfect.  There are many details that occur in a live chat that these devices have not mastered.  Thus, there is no danger of them replacing customer service representatives.  In fact, many chatbots forward a customer’s message to staff.  The person utilizing the bot would just have to enter his or her information such as the name, question, and other information.  This data help the representative make the customer feel unique, and it also creates a more streamlined experience for both parties.

How Chatbots Can Help Your Business

There are other ways in which a chatbot can help your business.  They carry out specific tasks that previously needed an extra app.  You can now use your messaging app to send a direct message, and get a response, kick starting the process.

As popularity for chatbots rises, many people believe that they will revolutionize – but not replace – customer service.  For example, as stated earlier, they can be the first point of content for the customer, and provide immediate support.  Thus, customer support staff now have more time to resolve more complex issues.  Therefore, chatbots can be an extension of the customer support process.

Chatbots And Small Businesses

Big companies are not the only ones that use chatbots.  Smaller businesses also have implemented these features.  For example, companies are using them as their own personal assistant.  Being able to order supplies, and perform other tasks, allows managers and staff more time to converse with customers.  In fact, just using a chatbot to schedule meetings saves approximately 10 hours each month that can now be used for conversing with customers.

Another way that chatbots can save you time is to automatically analyze information.  Analytics have become an important part of any business in today’s world.  A company’s bot stores information such as how much of a certain product was bought.  Managers can visualize that data in the form of charts, and other displays, which helps them make other decisions like adjusting prices, ordering more of a certain product, and adjusting the sales of products that are not doing well.  Keeping everything automated through a chatbot will allow staff more time to interact with their customers.

Conclusion

Chatbots have become a helpful part of most businesses in today’s world.  However, rather than replacing staff that provide customer service, these features have become an extension of the process.  While nothing beats human interaction during a live chat, these bots allow companies to automate many of their daily tasks.  Doing so allows more time to interact with customers. It’s a win-win for everybody.

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Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas is a business consultant and journalist who lives in Chicago and his hometown Los Angeles with his wife. His work often discusses social media, marketing, and branding in regards to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).