These days it looks like everyone is talking about chatbots – Trolli and Bud Light introduced Facebook Messenger bots last year as well and now there are more than 30,000 bots on Facebook Messenger alone. So what exactly are chatbots, why chatbots are important and how can your brand use it?
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program designed to have a conversation with human beings over the internet. There are primarily two types of chatbots – those that use AI (Artificial Intelligence) and those that are based on multiple choice scripts (i.e. selection option X leads to path A and so on)
These chatbots are deployed to make user experience more personalized. Chatbots built using AI to have intelligent meaningful conversations with humans are evolving, and companies are making some path-breaking advances in the area. But they aren’t ready for prime time yet (think Microsoft Tay)
Multiple-choice script-based bots on the other hand are safe and can be controlled to a large extent since their data set is limited. So you know that while the bot will interact with customers on behalf of the brand, it won’t at any time say anything inappropriate or cringe-worthy.
So, how can a Chatbot help my Business?
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Below we have compiled 5 reasons why chatbots are important for your business and how can they help in increaing revenues:
a. Higher user engagement
Most businesses these days have a web presence. But with being on the internet, boundaries of day and night, availability and unavailability have changed, so have user expectations. This is probably the biggest reason to use them. Bots give the user an interactive experience. It makes customers feel they are working with someone to help resolve their issue. If done right, bots can help customers find what they are looking for and make them more likely to return.
b. Mobile-ready and immediate availability
Along with a web presence, it has also become increasingly important for brands to have a mobile presence – mobile apps, mobile-optimized websites. Considering how chat has been around on the mobile for ages, most chatbot implementations don’t need you to work on tweaking their UI, they are ready to implement and so available to your customers immediately
You might argue that you have an app for that. Having an app for your brand is great, but having users discover that app, download it and use it to stay engaged is not an easy deal. Instead, implementing a chatbot – which works on the mobile browser or a messaging-app which the user regularly uses – makes it all the more reason for a customer to be engaged with the brand
c. It can drive sales
Chatbots can be intelligent. Depending on a user’s preferences or purchases, it can send products to customers which are more likely to convert into sales. Or it can send coupons to users for in-store purchases/discounts. Bots can also be used to link the user to your mCommerce site/app so they can buy the product directly from the convenience of their phones
d. Use messaging apps to an advantage
With Facebook Messenger and Kik introducing chatbot platforms and APIs, it has become very easy to tap into a large user base (over a billion users with the two platforms combined). These users can engage with your chatbots without human intervention.
These bots can in-turn drive in sales, get user preferences and in general connect with your brand’s users.
e. Minimal cost – Maximum returns
The best part about bots is they are cheap. Platforms like Facebook Messenger and Kik provide the necessary infrastructure and APIs for creating these bots. They require minimal maintenance and since it is automated, there is no labor-intensive work that goes in there.
Chatbots are definitely the cheapest and fastest way of providing an engaging experience to users. If you would like to understand how they work and whether getting a chatbot for your business makes sense or not, get in touch today for a consultation call.