Our surroundings buzz with the words sales and marketing. From the vehicle we drive to the mattress we sleep on,
Did you know that 63% of people on the Internet prefer messaging a chatbot to communicate with a brand?
Chatbots are simple and easily accessible tools. According to statistics, audiences of almost all brands love it. They don’t involve any social interaction and are excellent for people wanting quick answers.
In this rapidly digitized world, people expect brands to be faster in their customer support. If you’re a brand-owner and don’t have a chatbot on your website yet, consider putting one in.
As such, chatbots act as a huge part of your business. In this article, we will learn more about chatbots, how they work and so much more.
What are Chatbots?
‘Chatbot’ is short for chat robot. In simple terms, it is a computer software that simulates real-life conversations by humans. You can interact with chatbots through instant messaging.
Over the last decade, most services have become digitized and need minimum human involvement. One such service is customer support. You can actively provide constant customer service with the help of chatbots.
Chatbots have been possible because of advancements in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP).
The best thing about chatbots is that they are adaptable. You can customize and mold them according to the needs of your company.
Chatbots are basically a trend that started in the 1960s and they have been around since then. In the present, you can easily refer to chatbots as digital assistants.This is because they have now taken on a professional role in various industries.
How Do Chatbots Work?
Overall, there are three main types of chatbots. They’re mainly rule-based, contextual and keyword recognition-based. All of these types of chatbots have the same goal. They have to figure out your customer needs and help them in the best way possible.
However, each of these have different approaches. Here is how each of these three chatbots works:
Here, they’re preprogrammed to follow an algorithm according to a customer’s query. These algorithms can be complex or simple based on the services/ products as well as the platform you use.
Keyword recognition-based chatbot
These chatbots are programmed to recognize specific keywords. Based on its internal knowledge on a specific keyword, your chatbot then answers a query.
These chatbots can have free-flowing conversations. They’re more relaxed and are open for topic deviation. However, you can program them to follow mapped conversations as well.
Types of Chatbots
Businesses all over the world have been coming up with different forms of chatbots to better customer experience.
Now, you will learn about the different types of chatbots. This will help you choose which would be best for your company.
Voice bots are text-to-speech and voice-to-text communication channels that are powered by NLP and AI. These bots understand the entire speech made by your customers and process responses in a human way.
When you connect a live chat option to a chatbot, you get a hybrid chatbot. It is the best of both worlds. If a customer asks a question that is too complex for the chatbot, it‘s transferred to a live agent.
One of the most rudimentary chatbots, menu-based chatbots are based on menu-driven navigation. These chatbots follow a specific decision tree. This decision tree is displayed to your customers through clickable buttons.
Social messaging chatbots
These are generally incorporated into your company’s social media handles.With social media interfaces ever-changing, chatbots on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc ensure a smooth customer experience.
These chatbots work better than menu-based chatbots as they listen to what your users enter and answer accordingly. They detect action triggers in a conversation by using customizable keywords and NLP.
These are built specifically to provide post-purchase services and support to your customers. Unlike social media chatbots, they do not share promos, offers or any such customer engagement material. Generally, they’re used for internal purposes like HR queries, submitting employee documents etc.
AI-powered contextual bots
As the name suggests, these bots can pick up the context of a conversation. Consequently, they determine the meaning of a user’s input. As such, these bots ensure that your users can have a consistent experience.
Benefits Of Chatbots
There are several benefits of chatbots, both for your business and also for your customers.
Here are the some of the most important benefits of chatbots:
Automation of simple tasks
Digitization has reduced a lot of workload on employees. Tasks such as scheduling appointments, collecting feedback from customers etc. can become quite repetitive.
To solve this, chatbots can do these mundane tasks automatically. This allows your employees to focus on more productive tasks that will help your company grow.
Boost customer engagement
You must have seen in-store assistants before. They help you pick out the right clothes or help you through sections in the grocery store. Chatbots work quite similarly.
If you make proactive use of chatbots in your company, it can significantly boost customer engagement. If a chatbot is at the right place when a customer is browsing, it may lead to more conversions.
Reduced service costs
Chatbots cannot replace service agents in your company. However, they can help reduce service costs in your business up to 30%.
Since your employees won’t have to engage with customers, it will reduce their workload. Moreover, chatbots also respond quicker so customers can get the support that they need immediately.
The best part about having a chatbot is that they’re available 24/7. As such, they can provide real-time assistance instantly to any customer who needs support.
If any customer engages with your business after work hours, chatbots can assist them by answering simple questions. Chatbots can even recommend tutorials, blog posts or product pages from your website to customers.
Pairs well with live chat
As mentioned before, chatbots are customizable. One way that you can customize chatbots is by connecting them to a live chat option on your website.
If a chatbot is unable to answer your customers’ technical questions, handovers would be quick and easy. Moreover, when chatbots are connected to live chats, your agents can monitor performance from the dashboard.
Setting up a chatbot might be a bit awkward in the beginning. You will have to get over the initial setup phase. But once this process is done, maintaining a chatbot is pretty easy.
You can easily monitor your chatbot’s performance and customize it according to what your business needs. You can also get insights on its performance and improve it based on how the job is being done.
Gives a voice to your brand
You can think of chatbots as representatives of your brand. When customers don’t engage with your company live, they do it through chatbots on your website.
Chatbots will form your company’s impression on a customer. As such, it’s important to customize them to fit your brand’s image.
5 Reasons Why Customers Prefer Interacting With Brands Through Chatbots
Here are some reasons that customers prefer interacting with chatbots on a brand’s website:
Since chatbots are programmed using AI, they give instant responses. They also provide real-time assistance to customers. Thus, customers visiting your website wouldn’t have to wait in a queue to clear out their doubts.
You can even customize chatbots for your company and enable them to answer a range of possible questions.
24/7 support available
Another advantage of chatbots is that they’re available for customers any time of the day and night. That means that customers can rely on chatbots to answer their queries without them having to wait.
Thus, your customers can start a conversation whenever they want and have their doubts cleared.
You can easily incorporate a chatbot on any page of your website. That would make chatbots more accessible to your customers. They would be able to use them whenever they are stuck with a query while visiting your website.
Chatbots also cut down steps that customers will have to take if they’re trying to reach a live agent.
Direct, personal and customized conversations
It is true that chatbots cannot have intricate conversations with customers. However, you can customize chatbots on your website to address your customers by name. That will make the conversations more personalized.
You could also enable chatbots to make personalized suggestions to your customers.
Many customers find it awkward or intimidating to directly speak to an executive or sales representative. Customers might not even engage if calling an agent is the only way to get support.
Thus, your website should have chatbots so customers feel relaxed and comfortable enough to engage with your brand. In this way, they can skip the greetings and directly ask their queries.
Chatbots have become quite a valuable asset in organizations across different industries.
However, due to mixed messages on the internet, you might wonder if it’s necessary to have chatbots. Moreover, you may be confused about which ones are best-suited for your business.
The best way to know for sure is to ask your own audience. Since your customers would interact with these chatbots, they can let you know their needs.
Accordingly, you can incorporate a chatbot into your business and watch it grow!