As any internet user will have discovered, chatbots have become an increasingly common feature on websites today. Using natural language programming to communicate with visitors, these versatile, artificial intelligence tools are highly sophisticated and offer a wide range of benefits for websites.
Here we look at the reasons your website needs a chatbot.
- Faster and cheaper than customer service
A chatbot is designed to provide the convenience that modern customers expect and exactly the opposite kind of experience to being held in a call queue. Able to handle conversations with large numbers of customers simultaneously and process responses almost instantly, not only do they deliver fast and effective CX; they can do this quicker than a call centre full of employees, 24 hours a day, and for far less expense.
- Extend personalisation
Linked to the company’s unified data, chatbots can tap into an individual visitor’s customer journey, providing interactions that are personalised to that customer and which respond appropriately to their queries and needs. Through this, the customer experience is significantly enhanced, while the assistance given by the chatbot can help drive benefits for the business.
- Helps increase sales
Recent research has shown that the use of chatbots has led to an increase in sales. On websites with chatbots, more than a quarter of all sales are initiated by them and they increase total sales by an average of 67%. More than half of businesses claim that they generate more high-quality leads and that, for little effort, they deliver significant ROI.
- Long-term savings
While there is an initial investment needed to deploy and train a chatbot, once it is fully functional, companies will be able to scale back in other areas. Fewer customer service personnel will be needed to supply an equivalent service (online chat or telephone) and aside from reduced labour costs, there will be less expense for customer service training. Overall, it is estimated that businesses can save 70% compared to traditional models.
- More interaction
Interactions are important to maintain good relationships with customers and this can be difficult when there are not enough employees available to provide this. Chatbots enable interactions to take place without human employees being present and their use of natural language programming makes this a worthwhile experience for customers.
Chatbots can initiate conversations, help customers find out important information and use language in a way that makes online activities more engaging. Once chatbots develop voice skills, like Google or Alexa, and the need to type text is reduced, interactions can be even more important.
- Data collection
Interactions between chatbots and visitors can be used to collect highly valuable data. Indeed, the most advanced chatbots use machine learning so that they become better at helping customers through experience.
However, they also collect data on all kinds of important things, such as the types of products and services people are interested in, the questions they have about them, the issues and problems they face and much more. All of this data can then be unified with other company data to provide greater insights that can help all areas of business.
- Ease burdens on staff
Chatbots are able to undertake a range of tasks that are traditionally carried out by people. For example, they can answer FAQs, initiate product returns and triage queries to get the right solutions to customers quicker.
- Make notifications more relevant
While notifications play a vital role in both customer service and marketing, it can be frustrating for customers if they get too many irrelevant messages. Indeed, this can lead to important notifications being ignored. AI-enabled chatbots can analyse customer journeys to ensure that the notifications that customers receive are those which are relevant to them. This is another way to personalise interactions and improve the overall customer experience.
- Chatbots on social media
Many social media platforms now enable companies to integrate their chatbots into their business profiles. This enables businesses to interact directly with a far wider online audience. Users that see your content or advertisements on social media will be able to begin conversations about them without having to go to the website first – but can be directed there by the chatbot if needed.
It is also possible that conversations started on social media can seamlessly continue when moved to the website, thus providing an omnichannel communications experience for customers.
As you can see, chatbots can provide a wide range of benefits that improve the customer experience, provide higher quality data and which, ultimately, lead to increased sales.
To make the most effective use of a chatbot, businesses need the right infrastructure in place to unify their data and handle the intense processing required. Ideally, this would be a cloud solution which offers cost-effective scalability.