By Natalie Boyd
The idea of using chatbots may seem a little daunting at first. You may be thinking that there’s no way your business could ever successfully utilize one, that it’s way too complicated, and it won’t really help the bottom line of your business — it’s simply not true.
Chatbots are not as complicated as you might think. We’re here to help give you the information you need to leverage this technology, and we’ll also demonstrate how chatbots can absolutely improve your bottom line by automating conversations throughout your business.
Below, we give you the basics of chatbots, help you articulate your goals, create a plan with some good old-fashioned chatbot strategy, and share industry best practices.
If you’re not familiar with chatbots, they’re simply programs built to automatically engage with your audience — in website chat windows, on social messaging platforms (like Facebook and Twitter), or via SMS text.
They can be programmed a multitude of ways: to deliver the same response every time, to deliver different responses based on keywords, and to utilize machine learning to adapt responses to fit the conversation.
And they’re very effective, as shown by these insights:
- 70% of millennials reported having positive chatbot experiences.
- 27% of total chatbot chats complete an engagement
- 57% percent of businesses with chatbots deliver a return on investment (ROI) with minimal effort.
- 90% of businesses report that complaints are resolved faster with chatbot technology.
- Google Trends data shows that search volume around chatbots has grown by 19X in the last 5 years.
Chatbots improve the customer experience by:
- Providing 24/7 access to quick answers on demand
- Handling an unlimited amount of virtual inquiries in real time, simultaneously
- Automatically routing questions with full chatbot transcripts to the appropriate agents, preventing customers from falling through the cracks
Benefits of Chatbot Technology
It should also come as no surprise that there are multiple benefits to utilizing chatbots. The technology is expected to experience a 136 percent growth rate in the next 18 months. These benefits include:
1. Saving Time and Money
Imagine if more than half of your customer service staff could utilize their time solving complex problems, rather than spending their time answering simple questions such as, “What is your phone number?” or “What are your business hours?”
According to a Salesforce survey, that’s exactly what’s happening, with 65 percent of agents utilizing chatbots and subsequently solving complex problems, versus the remainder spending most of their time answering simple, repetitive questions.
2. Generating Leads and Revenue
Chatbots are excellent resources for increasing conversion rates and generating revenue. For example, “Why are you visiting us?” is a common question asked of prospects. One could use chatbot technology to start the conversation, and based on the answers, offer something of value. This can range from offering a free quote to prompting a prospect to become pre-qualified, to sending them a personalized plan in exchange for contact information.
Not only does this help generate leads and increase revenue, but it also helps fight off the fatigue of asking and answering the same questions over and over, leading to …read more
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