It's 2020 already, and businesses are becoming more advanced than ever. Every business aims to provide proactive assistance to their customers. Technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data have revolutionized the functioning of all industries.
Amidst these technical revolutions, the most useful product that has transformed the way companies interact with their customers is the Chatbot.
The year 2017 was termed as the "Year of The Chatbots." Since then, the chatbots have grown and improved in terms of providing exceptional customer experience.
Businesses such as United Airlines, H&M, Pizza Hut, American Express have integrated these chatbots with their customer support channels.
According to a study by Gartner, 25% of all customer service operations will use chatbots by 2020.
Before moving on with this article, let us understand what chatbots are?
Chatbots are virtual assistants that leverage text-based signals or pre-calculated phrases to communicate with the customers. With the advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots have come a long, long way!
Below is an example of a chatbot conversation that shows how empathetic and efficient chatbots can be in answering human queries.
Why Your Business Needs Chatbots?
80 % of the businesses will use a chatbot in one way or the other by 2020. If you are still wondering why your business should use chatbots, then let's discuss some solid reasons for you to get the chatbots now!
- (Almost) Everyone Uses Messaging Apps
Messaging apps are being downloaded and used by users all around the world. According to a study by Business Insider, social messaging apps have 20% more monthly active users than social networking platforms.
Social messaging apps are fast and suitable to use, like the text messaging on our smartphones, but offer advanced functionalities like audio-video aid.
Chatbots integrated with messaging apps enhance the features of the social messaging platforms and inculcate greater functionalities. Since most of the population nowadays use messaging apps, chatbots are a great way to reach your customers and maximize business outreach.
- Chatbots Are Available To Your Customers 24*7
It becomes frustrating for the customers when they don't get immediate responses and instant solutions to their problems. When customers approach the customer service department, they intend to get their queries resolved as soon as possible. Chatbots can be of extreme use in such cases.
Chatbot customer service is available 24*7 to the customers.
According to data from smallbizgenius.net, 64% of internet users agree that 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots. Moreover, a large number of people want to get their queries resolved through chats when compared to calls and other forms of communication medium.
- Chatbots Meet Customer Expectations and Give a Boost To Your Brand
"The first step in exceeding your customer's expectations is to know these expectations." - Roy H. Williams
Customers expect a smooth and convenient interaction from your business. Chatbots are designed in a way that promotes the brand's value to create significant customer interactions. We have some logic to back this statement:
- Chatbots offer better open rates than emails
- Chatbots boost customer engagement by sending product-related information to customers like offers, discounts
Thus, having chatbots for your business facilitates you in improving customer satisfaction levels multifold.
- Chatbots Help You In Closing More Sales
The essential aspect of closing more sales is perhaps keeping your customers engaged with new and exciting offers. Also, chatbots fuel customer engagement by providing personalized customer interactions.
One way in which chatbots help in making sales decisions is by providing the customers with product choices based on their previous purchased data and preferences. They also eliminate the user's wait time and help them in each stage of the buying process.
Also, chatbots can predict customer behavior and send push notifications to the people at the right time.
- Chatbots Can Give Purchase and Receive Recommendations
It can become tough for customers to decide what to buy. In such cases, customers may want to seek recommendations and advice regarding the same. According to a report by Digitas, more than 1 in 3 Americans are willing to make purchases via chatbots. Chatbots can show recommendations related to products, hotels/accommodations, travel destinations, fashion/style, and so on.
This preference is because chatbots eliminate the unnecessary steps and processes in the buyers' journey, like showing irrelevant product results.
Apart from this, chatbots also facilitate the payment process. More and more people are willing to buy through a chatbot, thus making them a considerably important channel.
Apart from the reasons stated above chatbots also help your business grow -
- By helping customers to find the right products and services
- By providing better user interaction
- By assisting you in scaling your business
- By enhancing the customer support
- By saving on the operational costs
A Quick Chatbot Case Study – Expedia
The travel industry is now embracing the chatbot culture. Expedia's Facebook Messenger bot lets the user book their trips on the go. For new customers, it asks some necessary personal information about where they wish to stay. After that, it shows the most popular hotel options in that area.
The bots also share a link that takes the user to Expedia's website and then again takes his conversations back on Facebook.
- The booking conversations are received inside Messenger for bookings started in Messenger.
- It provides convenience to the users and gives them options to choose from.
Here is a sample conversation from Expedia’s Chatbot-
To Wrap Up
Chatbots are changing the working of businesses for sure. According to Gartner, 25% of customer service industries will use chatbots by 2020. That means human resources will be utilized to accomplish more important tasks.
With the ever-advancing technologies of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing chatbots are expected to develop greater intelligence in the years to come.
More and more companies are using chatbots with their businesses, and the trend is only expected to rise in the near future.
Integrating chatbots with businesses is a smart choice for organizations. And it will continue playing a significant role in customer engagement, brand engagement, and delivering exceptional customer experiences.
About the guest author:
Niharika Gupta is a technical writer at CallCenterHosting, a leading provider of Cloud Call Center Services. She loves music and reading and has always been fascinated with technology. Writing about technology and other related topics gives her the utmost happiness.
She believes words have the power to change the world and is working on turning her ideas into words every day.