Chatbots are the future of business, and the future is here!
The increasing popularity of chatbots is finally making way to actual industrial applications. Multi-national companies such as H&M and American Express have begun integrating their own chatbots to various parts of their businesses. The cutting-edge technology is steadily providing more and more companies, the much needed proactive customer service experience while maintaining efficiency.
Since 2017, chatbots have increased rapidly in various industries. The use of chatbots on the popular Facebook Messenger alone jumped from 30,000 in 2916 to 100,000 in 2017. Even the current generations of customers are expected to use chatbots on a daily basis, with 60 percent of the youth already doing so. It is projected that 80 percent of businesses will be using the technology by 2020.
The new breed of consumers is already ushering in considerable changes in business, and chatbots are at the forefront of these changes.
Here are a few reasons why integrating chatbots in your business is the best thing that you can do.
According to Chatbots Magazine, using artificial agents or chatbots can help a business save up to 30 percent of its operational costs. This is a significant amount of savings considering enterprises spend about $1.3 trillion as a whole to accommodate more than 265 billion customer requests every year.
The artificial intelligent agents can assist in handling basic and repetitive customer queries. Consequently, it will allow service agents to accommodate more complex and urgent customer needs. That means chatbots allow companies to have round the clock customer service throughout the year without having to spend a chunk part of their budget. Additionally, it will increase the customer support of small and medium-sized enterprises that would typically have no budget for such kinds of operations.
Aside from becoming the first point of contact with customers to handle simple requests, chatbots can also help redirect those with more complex needs to proper channels or people. This enhances customer experience while keeping costs down.
In a study conducted by IBM, virtual agents are expected to handle almost 90 percent of all customer inquiries in the next five years. By 2022, businesses will have the potential to save as much as $8 billion in operational costs as a whole.
Various forms of chatbots provide 24/7 interaction with customers, which increases engagement significantly. Virtual agents can communicate like humans by taking on various personalities. However, they also reduce human error and are not affected by emotions. They can perform routine tasks efficiently and consistently. Additionally, they can provide complete product and service information if needed.
Furthermore, virtual agents on various channels can collect essential customer information like name, age, profession, contact details, and even buying behaviors. This allows the company to create the much essential customer profiles for their marketing campaigns and sales efforts. Also, they maintain customer interaction and encourage customer relationships through push notifications that will carry the brand and products of the company.
Sundar Pichai, Google Inc.’s CEO, believes that. “in the long run, I think we will evolve in computing from a mobile-first to an AI-first world.” That means chatbots will not only be valuable in the customer service end of a company but on other business processes as well.
It is easier to collect performance data from virtual agents compared to their human counterparts. Continuous evaluation processes can be laid out, and optimization efforts can be applied right away. Different aspects of chatbots, such as linguistic capabilities, user experience, and usability, can be adjustment real-time based on their past performances.
Additionally, companies can develop proactive evaluation processes by creating learning cycles. They can devise changes based on the analysis of actual data. Furthermore, optimization methods can be compared to define which one works best for the company’s short-term and long-term goals.
When appropriately developed, chatbots can close significant sales through effective marketing. Personalized interactions with customers provide a pleasant experience. By taking advantage of the customer’s shopping history, virtual agents can make subtle changes when interacting with specific customers. Additionally, they can use this information to send push notifications to particular groups of customers. Virtual agents can predict customer behavior based on their past shopping experiences, which allow proper product marketing and brand placement.
Also, chatbots respond right away without making the customer wait. The technology can address each query as it arises. Also, they can provide seamless guidance through each part of the sales process.
Moreover, chatbots can reach a broader range of audiences through social media. Because it can accommodate queries at any time of the day, no prospects will be missed. The overall customer experience can also be enhanced by carrying the company’s brand consistent, which ensures recall from the customers.
Customers who are still decided what to buy are valuable as they can make or break your revenue. At this point, the customer is already considering your products, but they still need a bit of push to make the sale.
A recent survey in the United States shows that many customers are open to receiving suggestions from chatbots. Because the technology analyzes customer data, their suggestions are personalized to the customer while minimizing irrelevant recommendations.
Many customers are actively searching for suggestions, and chatbots can readily offer valuable, relevant ones right away. In fact, 37 percent of all consumers consider recommendations from virtual agents. It is even higher among millennial customers, with 48 percent of them trusting chatbots’ suggestions.
Aside from marketing and customer assistance, some chatbots can now offer payment options right on the messaging platform, such as Sephora’s virtual assistant on Kik. About 1 in 3 Americans are comfortable buying products from chatbots, which makes the technology an influential element of sales.
The future of chatbots does not only look promising, but opportunities for future applications are endless. With the continuing innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing, chatbots are getting better and better every day.
Additionally, accessible platforms allow practically any business types and sizes to take advantage of its benefits. It allows easy creation of chatbots, seamless automation of business processes, real-time capture of customer data, and enhanced engagement. The future of business is AI, and chatbots are the leading solutions.