Chatbots are not always love at first sight. You’ve probably seen some really poor implementations already.
Does it always have to be like that, though?
There are some common misconceptions about chatbots, both on the side of the users and the creators. In this article, we’re going to talk about the most popular Messenger chatbot myths. We’ll see whether there is some truth to them and how chatbots can actually improve your business.
Ready to face the facts? Let’s dive in!
Most people assume that customers would always prefer human contact. The truth, however, is that it’s not always so clear cut. Let’s have a closer look at some statistics from different industries:
- According to Facebook, 53% of customers say that they are more likely to purchase something from a business if they can get in touch via a chat app. What’s more, a survey by Ubisend shows that almost 64% of consumers think businesses should be available through messaging apps.
- In terms of e-commerce websites, 34% of users would prefer to answer questions asked by a chatbot or a virtual assistant.
- On the other hand, it turns out that chatbots are the go-to solution for simple queries. The 2018 State of Chatbots Report suggests that 55% of users prefer to get instant responses from a chatbot.
- It might sound surprising, but according to Acquire, 40% of millennials claim that they use a chatbot on a daily basis.
- To top it all off, 35% of consumers (more than one in three) would like to see more companies using chatbots.
So, what are the most important takeaways from these numbers?
First of all, customers may want to prefer talking to a customer service agent when the enquiry is particularly complex. When it comes to common issues and frequently asked questions, chatbots are often even better than talking to a human. 75% of customers actually expect to receive a response instantly — and here’s where a chatbot is unbeatable. What’s more, it can be open 24/7 at no extra costs (which is what more than 50% of users prefer). To sum up, chatbots can be a much better choice for the most popular, uncomplicated queries.
The preferences change depending on the industry as well. E-commerce is one of the most prominent fields for chatbots, followed by healthcare, telecommunications, banking and finance.
Shortly after the first Messenger chatbots were released, the users started to notice that they’re sometimes getting a little too spammy. A 2016 article from The Guardian describes how chatbot users become frustrated as they’re getting too many unwanted messages:
The stereotype of a clingy chatbot hasn’t started without reason. When seeing open rates much higher than in email marketing, conversational marketers often get too excited. Good results encourage them to send more and more campaigns and newsletters, which are usually unsolicited. This leads to the common misconception that chatbots are spammy by nature. It’s not the chatbot — it’s their creator!
What’s the remedy, then?
When working on your chatbot, keep in mind that you won’t be the most important contact in your customer’s Messenger app. If you’re going to send notifications, they should be truly relevant, timely and useful. Not everything needs a push notification — when you make it happen, be sure to make it special.
Many people think that Messenger chatbots can’t go beyond their pre-programmed scenario. Well, nothing could be further from the truth!
Messenger chatbots can leverage NLP — natural language processing and machine learning. These technologies allow them to learn from every conversation, which practically means that the more a chatbot is used, the smarter it gets. When a user comes up with a new intent, the answer can be analyzed by the chatbot developer later. If this intent is not in the bot’s database yet, it can be added and programmed accordingly. For example, if you would like to order a pizza with arugula and the chatbot only knows the term “rocket”, “arugula” can be added to the chatbot’s dictionary after reviewing your message.
A good Messenger chatbot doesn’t have to be created entirely from scratch. Instead, you can use ready-made plugins and templates to implement proven and tested solutions for your business.
It all depends on the chatbot platform you choose. There are many solutions on the market that offer a particularly wide array of options, yet they’re pretty time-consuming and require a lot of technical knowledge. Tools like Chatbotize, on the other hand, allow you to create a fully-functioning Messenger chatbot in minutes. No coding skills are necessary, all you need to do is enter text messages, just like in the example below:
Even if you’re still not entirely sure how a chatbot can help your business, you won’t need to learn by trial and error. As mentioned above, Chatbotize comes with an array of plug-ins. Instead of trying to come up with the perfect scenario, you can get inspired and choose something from the ready-made options. To name just a few, examples your users can take part in a lottery or a contest, claim promo codes or take surveys:
Another (quite) common opinion is that chatbots come with a lot of extra hassle. Some people view them as another unnecessary step between the user and the customer service agent. Indeed, some complex issues cannot be solved without the help of a human. Does this apply to all the cases, though?
The truth is that chatbots, if done right, can do wonders for the quality of your customer service. Here’s some data to back up that statement:
- Autodesk, a 3D design company, leveraged IBM Watson to build a virtual assistant called AVA. This solution helped them decrease the cost per query from $15-$200 (human agent) to just $1 (AI agent). The response times are much more user-friendly, too — they dropped from more than a day to around 5 minutes. This is one of the most prominent examples of how conversational AI can improve both the quality and effectiveness of digital customer service.
- Chatbots Magazine suggests that chatbots can help decrease customer service costs by 30%. This translates to roughly $23 billion on the US market.
- In general, chatbots make telephony costs lower. According to VentureBeat, even if a customer asks to be called by a human agent after engaging with a chatbot, the cost of an outbound call is about 33% lower than the cost of an inbound call.
Last but not least, don’t forget that Messenger chatbots are functioning 24/7, all year round. They don’t need to be paid extra for working overnight, take days off or celebrate national holidays. For these reasons alone, it pays off to have a chatbot ready to answer the most common questions while your human agents are enjoying their well-deserved time off.
As you can see, the myths usually come from a grain of truth — which is often too generalized and blown out of proportion. This is why we decided to write this blog post: to debunk the most common stereotypes about Messenger chatbots. To sum up, if you choose the right platform and develop a strategy to match, a chatbot is sure to help you boost your business.
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