Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more apparent. Thanks to smartphones, individuals interact with the technology on a daily basis without even knowing. As for businesses and large corporations, AI is easing the burden of numerous personal and business functions through different innovations. Chatbots are a significant example of such AI innovations.
Chatbots are virtual assistants which communicate via text messages and prompts. Chatbots utilise data analytics and AI algorithms to interact with humans, giving them relevant information pertaining to a procedure or product. In other words, they simulate conversations with humans, eliminating the need for actual humans.
Chatbots are often incorporated into websites, apps, and instant messengers. They’re predominantly used by entrepreneurs and business owners in order to communicate with customers and/or potential customers.
All chatbots perform the base function of communication. However, based on the bot’s programming, communication may be simple or more advanced. As a result, chatbots can be classified under two broad categories;
- Simple Chatbots — These chatbots work according to predetermined commands. They can respond to simple and straightforward queries that are related to commands that have been pre-entered into the database. If a word or key is presented to the chatbot and it is contrary to its base programming, it won’t be able to process the command.
- Smart Chatbots — Smart chatbots don’t rely on predetermined programming. Instead, they utilise artificial intelligence to process information and communicate accordingly. These bots also store information from previous interactions and analyze them further to improve future communications.
The United Kingdom (UK) has seen an increased use of Chatbots in the customer service sector since their inception. According to MyCustomer, 80% of all UK businesses will have a chatbot solution in place by the end of 2020. Their increased popularity can be attributed to the many advantages they offer to entrepreneurs and business owners.
Now more than ever, customers are interacting with businesses online. Statistics offered by Econsultancy show that customers don’t want to do everything alone. Online customers want some form of assistance when making decisions regarding a purchase, just like they would brick-and-mortar stores.
In addition to virtual assistance, numerous customers have expressed that they would prefer their choice brands and businesses be able to cater to their requests at any time of the day. Chatbots are able to fulfill these needs with ease, leading to their steady rise amongst entrepreneurs and business owners.
What could a Chatbot do for your brand?
Incorporating a chatbot into business operations can be advantageous to business owners. From entrepreneurs to startups and small business owners, improved customer service is, perhaps, the most evident benefit.
Chatbots aid in catering to customers when staff are unavailable or away — mostly at night. This improves business response rates on platforms such as Facebook, fulfilling the customer’s desire for immediacy.
Chatbots also aid in streamlining the shopping process as they provide consumers with the precise information they require, and they do so swiftly. Customers no longer need to wait while information is sourced concerning their requests.
Chatbots are also beneficial at providing repetitive information about the business such as addresses and work hours. This reduces employees’ workloads.
Do you need a Chatbot?
Despite their benefits, chatbots are often viewed as luxury items. Many entrepreneurs and business owners simply won’t invest in a Chatbot. However, if your business checks two or more of the following points, adding a chatbot will be beneficial.
- An E-Commerce brand — If your business is an e-commerce business, having a chatbot will be very beneficial. As stated, an Econsultancy survey shows consumers preference for some form of assistance when shopping online.
- A full FAQ page — FAQ pages provide consumers with necessary information pertaining to your products and services. When your FAQ page is overloaded, it becomes difficult to navigate, which can be overwhelming for consumers. Introducing a chatbot to your business can aid in downsizing your FAQ page as this information can then be provided by the bot.
- Online chat support — If your business utilises an online chat support platform, a chatbot is simply a necessity. Consumers hate being kept waiting! As stated, they prefer to have access to their preferred brands 24/7, and in a situation where an employee can’t attend to a customer, a chatbot can.
- Consumer preferences — Contrary to popular opinion, customers do like interacting with chatbots. A 2017 study found that customers enjoy interacting with chatbots for several reasons, including their witty and helpful tips.
Since their inception into the world of consumer service, chatbots have become a customer favourite. They aid entrepreneurs and small business owners in increasing the efficiency of their consumer service templates. A silent benefit is the cost effective nature of chatbots. For small start ups and even larger businesses, chatbots might mean cutting down on the need for customer service personnel, which will in turn reduce expenses. The benefits of a chatbot system are wide ranging, and their immediacy and availability satisfy customers and increase brand loyalty.