The rapid growth of competition among businesses and the urge to satisfy customers better have brought about a lot of ideas. These ideas include the act of embracing the advancement in technology, and the development of software to monitor customers and maintain a stable relationship with them. One of the various means devised in relating to the customer better is the “Chatbot.” The chatbot is simply an artificial intelligence application designed to imitate regular human interactions and communication. What do we mean by imitating social conversation?

Chatbot, in simple terms, is a computer program that assists companies and organizations to attend to a customer request instantly. This software is an upgraded version of customer services that reply to people’s questions based on stored information and set of rules. The chatbot engages in conversation like human beings, and customers at the other end may not know that they are chatting with a bot. Apart from customer support, it also helps businesses in lead generation, increases customer engagement, simplifies sales, and gaining customer trust.

Benefits of a Chatbot To Business

The integration of a chatbot to your marketing strategy will surely have a positive impact on your business. Below are the following advantages of a chatbot to a business;

  1. Swift customer support.

It’s impact in making customer support timely and effective has been the reason for its fast adoption. Gone are those days when customers would tirelessly wait on business owners to answer their emails or calls. Nowadays, only a few, maybe the old ones, could withstand the continuous beeping of “wait in line, the customer you are dialing is on the other call”. Everyone wants answers to the request within minutes, and they would instead go for another company if the other is slow in response. Here comes the need for speedy customer service tools.

Business owners can utilize a chatbot to reply to customer’s frequently asked questions. A pre-programmed bot would recognize a FAQ and answer it instantly, though a human touch may be required if the conversation proceeds. With this, lesser loads of work would be on the customer service team, and they would be able to focus on other customer needs.

  1. Increase in customer engagement.

Among all marketing strategies, a chatbot receives more recognition in making customers perform more activities on a company’s website. Put yourself into their shoes, imagine you get stuck on trying to buy something on Amazon. The first thing that would come to your mind is contacting the support or filling an inquiry to make your request known to them. You will gladly appreciate a fast response to your query and follow every instruction stated by the chatbot.

Even if it does not lead to a purchase, the customers will develop some trust for your business, and they will always feel free to browse your website. With this, your website will receive more traffic and customer engagement.

  1. Influence decision.

People might find it hard to consult a new business for their services because they have little information about them. The reasons may also be due to the wrong concept developed while exploring their site, and some might need to speak to a human to gain more confidence. Whichever be the case, a chatbot can assist a business in filling them with more information and convincing them better about your products and services.

  1. Lead generation.

Lead generation is a means of collecting customer contacts to keep them updated about new products and promotions. You can use a chatbot to receive the email and social media username of a customer and website visitors. The most exciting thing about a chatbot is that it is very dynamic in getting all these details, depending on the coded instructions. For example, the program of a chatbot may demand a customer detail during the conversation, while others do this as a new visitor comes in for the first time.

  1. Improve sales.

The main focus of any marketing strategy drops down to increasing sales and profit maximization. And according to all the benefits above, it shows that a chatbot will also bring about better results in improving sales.

  1. Simplify payment.

Another aspect where the impact of a chatbot is most significant is on payment. A chatbot can provide a walkthrough for customers to make payment for a product or service. The confusing task may eventually turn out to a few clicks with the help of a chatbot.

Can A Small Business Use a Chatbot?

By considering its close relations to artificial intelligence, cost, and expertise required in its integration with the business platform, there may be the need to ask if a small business must use a chatbot? Or how can a small coffee shop or restaurant use a chatbot to upgrade its customer services?

Small businesses stand to gain the same advantage as big companies and large enterprises when it comes to chatbots, as it can supplement live chat or customer service. Small business with an online presence is capable of implementing chatbots to improve the relationship with their customers. However, before a small business deploys a chatbot, they should meet the following criteria;

  1. Sufficient resources to set up and maintain a chatbot.
  2. Your customers must be technologically proficient at using a chatbot or provide a tutorial.
  3. You must have a list of frequently asked questions or prepare one.

A chatbot can appear intimidating because of its technological advancement but it should not deter usage. Although the usage of chatbot might be troubleshooting at times, these problems can be resolved by the cooperation of both visitors and the business owner to follow its term of use. The company must ensure that the chatbot database synchronizes with the company’s database to prevent the usual integration errors encountered. Meanwhile, the customers must endeavor to use proper language and avoid slang in their conversation with a chat interface. The cost of sophisticated A.I chatbots can consume the total revenue generated by a small business in a year. However, many can opt for simple bot that supports frequently asked questions or to mimic forms. Check out Quriobot  for some examples and prices starting at free (affiliate link).

Pro tip: Ensure that your chatbot has an escape mechanism to a live chat or collect enough information to contact the customer at a later time. It is important to manage expectations and reduce frustration when deploying any new technology.