Chatbots are being made to ease the pain that the industries are facing today. The purpose of chat bots is to support and scale business teams in their relations with customers. It could live in any major chat applications like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.
Chatbots may sound like a futuristic notion, but according to Global Web Index statistics, it is said that 75% of internet users are adopting one or more messenger platforms. Although research shows us that each user makes use of an average of 24 apps a month, wherein 80% of the time would be in just 5 apps. Undoubtedly among them are Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Whatsapp, WeChat etc. This means you can hardly shoot ahead with an app, but you still have high chances to integrate your chatbot with one of these platforms.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone could ease your pain by helping you out 24*7 making your work easier and less hectic. Chatbots can do just that!!
Applications of chatbots in business:
1. Accessible anytime:
I’m sure most of you are always kept on hold while operators connect you to a customer care executive. On an average people spend around 7 minutes until they are assigned to a person. Gone are the frustrating days of waiting in a queue for the next available operative. They are replacing live chat and other forms of slower contact methods such as emails and phone calls.
Since chatbots are basically virtual robots they never get tired and continue to obey your command. They will continue to operate every day throughout the year without requiring to take a break. This improves your customer UX and helps you rank highly in your sector. Another advantage of this instant response is that you can also skillfully craft your chatbot to maintain your image and brand.
2. Handling Capacity:
Unlike humans who can only communicate with one human at a time, chat bots can simultaneously have conversations with thousands of people. No matter what time of the day it is or how many people are contacting you, every single one of them will be answered immediately.
Imagine you own a restaurant, and you have a good reputation for your food of which most of your revenues come from delivery. As the demand keeps rising, you will have more customers to take orders from but very few staff to attend them all. Having a chatbot would eliminate such problem and cater to each and every person and ensure that no order is missed. Companies like Taco Bell and Dominos are already using chatbots to arrange delivery of parcels.
3. Flexible attribute:
Chatbots have the benefit that it can quite easily be used in any industry. Unlike other products where you have to do a lot of development and testing to change platforms, chatbots are relatively easy to switch. One has to just train the bot by giving the right conversation structure and flow to switch its current field or industry.
Or if there is a lot of back and forth between two sections of the industry say customer support and sales, then you could have custom built presets which would already have the conversation flow and structure to carry out the interactions with the user.
4. Customer Satisfaction:
Humans are bound to change of emotions. Chatbots, on the other hand, are bound by some rules and obey them as long as they’re programmed to. They will always treat a customer in the perfect way no matter how rough the person is or how foul language the person uses.
Not everyone orders the same food everyday, people’s choices may change everyday. In this case, it can use your order history to make suggestions for the next order, learn your address details and much more. Customers love this smooth interaction and want all their transactions to be as simple as possible.
5. Cost Effective:
Hiring a human for a job is never a cheap affair, and it will be expensive if your revenue are not high or sales targets are not met and would create havoc in the business. Due to the boundaries of human beings, a single human can only handle one or two people at the same time. More than that would be extremely tough for the employee.
Chatbots could help solve this age-old problem. As one chatbot is equal to loads of employees, it can easily communicate with thousands of customers at the same time. We would only need a handful of people to jump into conversations sometimes when necessary. Hence, it would drastically bring down the expenses and bring about a steep rise in revenue and customer satisfaction.
6. Faster Onboarding:
Before you want to accomplish a task, you first must learn how to work on the task and complete it. Only then will they be considered fit for the job. There is a continuous teaching involved in every level of hierarchy the employee will go through. Also, there will be a lot of change in the employees, some stay, some get fired, some more join in etc.
What we want to say is, employees will change; it’s a fact. And this would require you to allot a lot time of your employees into grooming the new joinees. Chatbots could eliminate that time to almost zero, but provide a very clean and easy to understand conversation flow and structure that needs to be maintained by the chatbot. No doubt there will be changes in this too, but it will rather take a fraction of your time to resolve as compared to human employees.
7. Work Automation:
People tend to be less productive when given a recurring job or work. We humans usually get bored doing the same thing over and over again. Chatbots can now automate tasks which are to be done frequently and at the right time. And now there are already numerous slack bots which automate repetitive tasks. This helps people save time and be more productive.
Suppose there are new items bought from your eCommerce site or there is a bug reported then it sends a short summary to a slack channel. Or consider a financial bot whom you can train to inform you when the share prices fall so that you can take preventive measures. Two popular AI-based health chatbots which automate work of Doctors are Dr.A.I. by HealthTap and Melody by Baidu.
8. Alternate sales channel:
Chatbots can sell your products for you because they’re online 24/7. A recent study suggests that 70% people prefer texting rather than calling. And now with the dominance of Amazon in eCommerce, no one needs to drive themselves to a store to buy things. As a result, people tend to go online to meet their needs. This provides chatbots an opportunity to sell products which would suit the needs of each customer. Also, chatbots will remember a customer’s answers and tailor their responses. In doing so they create a personal level of service that closely mirrors human interaction.
E-commerce brands like H&M, eBay shopbot, Tommy Hilfiger are now selling many products using chatbots. Amazon is also betting heavily with a far more advanced voice recognition AI called ‘Alexa’ which is gaining popularity nowadays.
9. Personal Assistant:
People could use Bots as personal fashion advisor for clothing recommendations, or ask trading tips from a finance bot, suggest places to visit from a travel bot and so forth. This would help the users get a more personal touch from the chatbot. Also, the chatbot will remember all your choices and provide you with relevant choices the next time you visit it. Notable examples are Trim, a personal finance bot; Taylor — travel assistant, CNN bot for personalized news.
At Maruti Techlabs, we have developed a requirements gathering chatbot -SPECTER using Microsoft bot framework. It is designed to assist the marketing team and improving efficiency. Specter asks a few questions to a user to understand their requirements, and then passes on the information to the technical team who will validate and qualify the lead. Thus, saving a lot of hours going back and forth with different teams in the company.
Chatbots have a wide array of applications, even more than the above mentioned few of them. Since data shows that more and more people are more comfortable to chat rather than call there will be a demand for use of chatbots by several industries. The reason for such exploding popularity is the rise of mobile messengers and extension technology of artificial intelligence. It would gravely improve their revenues and customer satisfaction. With technology moving faster than ever before, it has become very easy to create a chatbot with so many platforms out there. It’s safe to say that there is a chatbot revolution coming and let us be ready to embrace and integrate it with our businesses.