Have you visited a website for the first time and a pop-up chat comes up welcoming you to the site and offering assistance? Sometimes the message welcomes you by your name. In no way was it a human being but simply a computer program called Chatbots. Even if you have never heard of chatbots before, chances are you’ve used them.
What are Chatbots?
Chatbots are automated computer programs that are designed to carry on a seemingly natural conversation with a human. They utilize ever-evolving artificial intelligence capabilities to be able to provide information, solve problems, sell products, or simply entertain.
The programs look to converse with human users through an app or online service, responding to questions posed by the user and responding as best they can to simulate a real conversation.
Chatbots have now enjoyed popularity in recent months as businesses around the world seek a way to directly interact with customers through the apps and services they use the most.
Examples of Chatbots
Facebook Messenger is just one example of a chatbot. While most people use it to have private conversations with friends, and family, you can also use it to purchase items. For example, stores like Fashionnova now allow customers to talk directly to staff about an item seen on the website. But, that’s not all. You can now search receive restock alerts, discounts and the possibilities are endless.
When it comes to eCommerce, the fashion industry is a shining example of employing chatbots to service customers. In fact, fashion brands arguably have the most to gain from the rise of chatbots and some huge names have gotten on board in recent months.
Fashionnova launched its chatbot some months ago. It featured a series of personalized questions and made gift and discount suggestions. By providing users with command options accompanied by simple questions, the bot emphasizes accessibility for shoppers.
If you go to our Facebook page and click the Message button, you will see a Facebook Messenger chatbot live and in action. Immediately after clicking the button, you will get a message that looks like this:
You have a number of options if they want to connect with us. You can:
- Click on one of the pre-set buttons which will take them to further info (e.g., “Can I get customer service help?”)
- Ask a question or leave a message
Why are chatbots considered the future of e-commerce?
eCommerce is one of the best applications for Chatbots. When considering the current eCommerce landscape, current eCommerce channels, and the capabilities of a chatbot, many business owners will soon recognize the impact a chatbot can have on their business.
Keeping up on trends is quite exhausting. But here’s the thing: chatbots aren’t that new. Automated messaging via SMS has been around for years. So why the sudden interest in chatbots for eCommerce? Modern customers spend more time within messaging apps on mobile devices than they do on social media. Customers are spending more time on mobile devices than ever before; likewise, mobile buying is on the rise as eCommerce sales continue to surge.
Chatbots bring eCommerce sites back to the basics by putting the customer first. By focusing on accessibility, chatbots have the power to emulate the service of a store attendant, representing a stark contrast to the traditional, impersonal experience of milling around a website. Such customer experience, although subtle, may ultimately set brands apart.
Why Should I Use a Chatbot for my Business?
1. More Efficient
Chances are you get asked the same questions over and over again. Instead of having to manually respond to each one, why not let your chatbot do the heavy lifting?
If your customers, followers or visitors have other questions that aren’t answered by your chatbot, remember you’ll still be able to respond to them later.And since your chatbot will be answering the majority of questions, this will leave you more time to spend on answering the other ones!
2. Helps you Save Money
If you are a business owner you are bound have a lot of employees who need to be paid for the work they do. And these expenses just keep adding up as business grows. Chatbots are a one time investment which helps businesses reduce down on staff required.
You could integrate a customer support chatbots in your business to cater to simple queries of customers and pass on only the complex queries to customer support agents.
3. Provide next-level customer service
Especially in highly-competitive niches, automated customer service can be just the thing to put you over the edge. According to Gartner, in 2017, 1/3 of all customer support will still require some human interaction – that means that 2/3 won’t.
Chatbots allow you to respond to customer service complaints and questions, 24 hours a day….something that’s usually just not possible for small business owners who don’t have a dedicated customer service team.
I’m sure most of you have experienced listening to the boring music playing while you’re kept on hold by a customer care agent. On an average people spend 7 minutes until they are assigned to an agent. Gone are the days of waiting for the next available operative. Bots are replacing live chat and other forms of contact such as emails and phone calls.
Since chat bots are basically virtual robots they never get tired and continue to obey your command. They will continue to operate every day throughout the year without requiring to take a break. This improves your customer satisfaction and helps you rank highly in your sector.
5. Offer real-time support during the buying process
According to one survey, 83% of online shoppers need help during the purchase process. Instead of sitting around waiting to provide this help, let your chatbot do the work!
Your chatbot can help customers find what they’re looking for, direct them to other, related products, or even help them navigate the actual sales process.
6. Provides 100% satisfaction to customers
Humans react to others based on their mood and emotions. If a agent is having a good attitude or is in good mood he will most probably talk to customers in a good way. In contrary to this the customer will not be satisfied.
Whereas chatbots are bound by some rules and obey them as long as they’re programmed to. They always treat a customer in the most polite and perfect way no matter how rough the person is. Also, in the travel and hospitality industry where travelers do not speak the same language, a bot can be trained to communicate in the language of the traveler.
7. Automation of repetitive work
Lets be honest, no one likes doing the same work again and again over brief period of time. In the case of humans, such tasks are prone to errors. Chatbots now help automate tasks which are to be done frequently and at the right time.
Also, now there are numerous slack bots which automate repetitive tasks. This helps people save time and increase productivity. For example, there are new items bought from your eCommerce site or there is a bug reported then it sends a short summary to a slack channel.
8. You are selling to the millennials
Millennials are not impulsive buyers. They like to inquire and compare products before they buy. Also, millennials prefer live chat over phone calls. So, if your product lines are aimed at Millennials, introducing chatbots in your customer service will be a prudent investment.
9. Personal Assistant
People could use Bots as a fashion advisor for clothing recommendations, or ask trading tips from a finance bot, suggest places to visit from a travel bot and so forth. This would help the users get a more personal touch from the chatbot. Also, the chatbot will remember all your choices and provide you with relevant choices the next time you visit it.
There’s a huge potential for chatbots for small businesses even if you have low resources. The fact that there are free and low cost chatbots that you can build make it worth a try!
I hope this post inspires you to install a chatbot for your business. If it has, please leave a link below so we can try out your bot!
Do you have a chatbot for your business? Leave a link below!
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