Benefits of Chatbots for business back in the not-so-distant past, chatbots were considered as nothing but gimmicky, giving users some sort of entertainment as they engaged in conversation with the bot at best, and a frustrating experience with conversations going nowhere at worst. In just a few years, chatbot technology has come quite far, and is now an essential part of many businesses' customer experience.
While setting up a chatbot may not be the easiest thing to do, the long term benefits outweigh that problem - by a long shot. In this blog post, we address the benefits of having a chatbot, and perhaps help you decide whether getting a chatbot is the right choice for your business!
One of the biggest factors contributing to this growth in chatbot tech is because of the way people have shifted the way they communicate in general. According to a study by Forrester, messaging was found to be the number one customer service channel preferred by consumers in South Korea, Singapore, India, and the US. Today, we find ourselves connected to the world around us (be it friends, family, or even businesses) more often than not, with the power to connect to pretty much anyone and everyone right at your fingertips. The last decade has also seen massive growth in chat platforms, with everything being accessible directly from a smartphone. With that convenience, it’s shifted the way people communicate with each other in general. Not just that, but with brands also making themselves available on these chat platforms (see Instagram, for example), it’s changed the way customers interact with businesses as well. It’s no longer the case that people call up businesses and wait indefinitely on hold for someone to sort out their problem, or send an email that doesn’t have a 100% guarantee it’ll be responded to on the first try.
Connecting to people has become much easier, and it’s no surprise that people expect the same level of convenience while talking to a business. Customers expect answers to their queries, and resolutions to their issues in no time, and one bad interaction with a business can be enough for a customer to not come back. What’s most important to them is finding the easiest and quickest way to resolve issues.
Setting up a chatbot as a first level of interaction with a customer helps you streamline conversations between the business and the customer. Chatbots never get bogged down with queries, and offer instant responses to customers. Plus, by analysing conversations, it offers businesses ways to improve the chatbot experience over time, eventually making the engagement process and responses far smoother and more reliable.
Of course, it’s not the case that setting up a chatbot would completely negate the need for human support, but it can still reduce the time, effort, and cost associated with having a customer support team. Let’s go a bit more in depth into the benefits of having a chatbot.
Considering the chatbot is the first level of interaction the customer has with the business, it means you can set the tone and personality for the bot according to the brands identity. Be it a quirky and informal tone for an e-commerce brand, or a more formal and serious tone for a finance company, the way the chatbot responds helps users figure out the tone and personality of the brand.
As rightly quoted by Adelyn Zhou, Head of Marketing, TOPBOTS,
“A customer support bot should empathize with people, even those who might be in the wrong. Just acknowledging and validating an emotion is often enough to make customers feel understood and release negativity, whereas being defensive or argumentative only exacerbates the problem.”
Unlike human agents, chatbots are active and available 24/7, making support and conversations available throughout the day, regardless of whether it’s 1 AM in the morning, or the weekend. Essentially, as mentioned earlier, the main thing customers look for is an instant response/resolution to their queries, and the fact that a chatbot can respond at anytime of the day ensure that customers don’t end up waiting for someone to get back to them
In a study by VentureBeat, it was found that 51% expected a business to be available 24/7
While human agents are only able to focus on a single conversation at a time, chatbots don’t have the same limitation. Cognizant reports that 69% of consumers said they’d prefer chatbots for receiving instant responses. Chatbots can answer thousands of different questions at the same time, never losing track of where they are in a conversation. Regardless of the number of users messaging, chatbots are able to provide instant responses to multiple customers, ensuring that no customer is left hanging for a response.
Besides being able to automate conversations, chatbots also offer the ability to process data from customers far quicker and far more streamlined than manual entry. The moment the customer gives their information, the bot is able to process and store that data in an instant, regardless of how many customers are messaging and sharing their data at the same time.
Being pre-programmed with exact and specific information and data to share with customers, it leaves no room for mix up in data, and never forgets information. The only thing that needs to be accounted for would be customers asking for something new, or something that the chatbot isn’t programmed to handle. However, as mentioned earlier in the blog, this isn’t too difficult a hurdle to overcome. It’s easy enough to analyze past interactions, and develop the bot to be not just more robust, but also be able to handle a wider range of queries and conversations as more customers continue to interact with it.
With chatbots being able to serve multiple customers at the same time, and process data faster, it essentially means that you no longer have to have an army of customer support team members on standby to handle issues as and when they come. Instead, you can have the bot handle most queries (in fact, Invesp states that chatbots can handle up to 80% of the queries customers have for a business, and save around 30% of the cost involved). What that means is you can have a chatbot handle a massive chunk of the queries and interactions, and employ a smaller team that can take over more complicated conversations, or queries you may not have accounted for (or even if a customer just prefers to speak to a human in general).
Chatbots are the perfect solution for companies that are scaling up, and need a scalable solution not just to handle customer support, but customer enquiries as well. Besides that, it even becomes a more streamlined way to offer services, be it e-commerce, restaurant, or service flows (you can check out the various use cases for chatbots). As a company grows, chatbot solutions make sense to be able to handle conversations at scale, without driving up the costs of customer support.
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