Did you know that chatbots can cut operational costs by up to 30%? Or, that 50% of businesses intend to spend more on chatbots than on their mobile apps? As we proceed further into 2020, it’s clear that the way forward is the use of bots. But, the question begs, how effective are chatbots?
See, as a business owner, you’ll want specific questions answered:
- Will chatbots help me to generate leads?
- Do chatbots cost much to create?
- How will chatbots affect my customer service?
Don’t fear, though! This article will answer your questions with regards to the effectiveness of chatbots. (Hint: the short answer is very!)
So, How Effective Are Chatbots?
According to a popular online resource, a Chatbot is: “A computer program designed to simulate conversation with humans, specifically over the Internet.”
But, savvy as you are, you already knew that, right? So, what can we use chatbots for?
Chatbots are currently used primarily to automate customer support online. But that’s not all. Some businesses use their chatbots for more than responding to customers’ questions. Bots can gather data on website visitors. But, bots can also be used to schedule and arrange meetings… solve potential problems, and assist in the information dispersing internally for your business. Predictions say 85% of customer interaction will be handled without humans. They predict it’s handled by A.I. and chatbots by the end of 2020.
Generally, There are Two Types Of Effective Bots
In simple terms, there are 2 different types of chatbots that businesses are using. We have simple chatbots, and we have smart, or clever, chatbots.
- Simple chatbots are basically programmed with pre-written keywords they recognize and understand. If a user sends a message that doesn’t contain one of these recognizable keywords… this type of chatbot will simply state that it is unable to respond. The latter we call a ‘Default Reply’. You can choose to send a Default Reply until one of the pre-programmed keywords or phrases comes up. Or, with conditions, you can set up that the Reply on fires every x amount of hours in the conversation.
- Smart chatbots are a higher form of A.I., hence the “smart” part. This type of bot does not wait for the user to prompt them with any pre-programmed keywords or phrases. But instead, the robot will give suggestions on the given topic. It’s a given that a smart chatbot takes a lot more work, time, and investment to create. Over at Clever Messenger, you can use one of the many integrations to achieve this.
“Spit It Out Already, Are Chatbots Effective?”
Truth be told, that’s a loaded question. There are many possibilities and avenues to walk down as we give you the answer to that very question. As mentioned before, the simple answer is, VERY!
Let’s dive into the many advantages of chatbots.
#1 Improve Your Customer Service
A chatbot can assist in improving your customer service. If a customer hops onto your website, or your Facebook page, and has a simple query… a bot can cut the need for them to be on hold with a call center agent or spend too much time on your support pages. See, by allowing your chatbot to answer questions quickly and efficiently… the satisfactory rating of your customer support is bound to increase. Basically, using a bot is your way of eradicating queues. Your support is no longer restricted to office hours, or when employees are available. A chatbot can be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
#2 Eliminate Repetitive Tasks
Many visitors of your site and FB page will want answers to the same questions… over and over again. Questions such as what are your operating hours? Where can I find you? Do you deliver? Do you cover the area in which I live? You can use your bot to automate these answers. This way, you don’t have to have your human workforce spending unnecessary time on repetitive tasks.
#3 Personalize Your Messaging
Another great benefit of using effective chatbots is the opportunity to personalize your marketing message. And I’m not just speaking of using personalization tags, like; First name, Gender, and other data. See, if a visitor on one of your digital platforms has an answer given to them quickly, instead of having to search through a long list of information or download support sheets… he will appreciate the time saved on his end too. This way of messaging to your customers is personal also. You’ve given him the attention he feels he deserves. And you will now create a greater desire for him to buy or to become a repeat purchaser again.
#4 Increase Your Response Rate
The fact is that businesses nowadays have various platforms that they need to manage… a message to your Facebook page or your website may go unnoticed for lengthy periods. Definitely, if all is left up to human employees. But, with a bot, you are creating a place where customers and prospects can chat with your brand instantly. Which will increase your response rate with your ideal target market. The faster your prospects’ questions are answered, the more likely you are to be able to turn them into qualified leads. The more likely you are to ‘convince’ them to buy your product or service.
#5 Gain Insights On Your Customers
An effective bot can be programmed to collect and store the data they receive when having a conversation. Over time, you can analyze the questions asked, problems solved, and other information from your chatbot’s conversations. You can then use the data to improve your responses and problem-solving programming. Diving deeper into the insights you can gain, depending on where your chatbot is located on your website… you can decipher valuable information on where your site visitors spend the most time. You can see on which pages the bot is engaged the most. You can use this information to grow your organic traffic and cross or upsell on these pages. That said. You can even program your bot to collect data from visitors. Like, why they’re not spending more time on a specific page. And use their responses to improve your website and its user-friendliness.
#6 You Can Go Global
Your business may not have a presence in every country that it ships to. So, it can be challenging communicating with customers, not speaking the same language. But, a chatbot can assist in eliminating the language barrier problem and allow you to ‘go global’. This means your multi-lingual bot can have the same conversation in different languages. And in turn, making your global customers happy too.
#7 The Amount Of Money Saved
One of the principal benefits of chatbots is the potential money you can save. When you’re initially looking into solving a customer service problem. Or trying to create a way that your customer support can become 24/7/365, you may find you have a few options.
We’re here to tell you that building and launching a full-functioning chatbot is cheaper than creating an app, or hiring people to fill the role. Not to mention the time you’ll save too. And as you and me both know, time is money, so saving time is also saving money.
Your savings also come in the form of the number of customers that your chatbot can serve at once. A human on one end of the phone can only serve one customer at a time. Whereas a functioning chatbot can attend to dozens of customers at once. That said, you save money by having to hire fewer people… or, at the very least, have people work fewer hours as your chatbot takes care of your online customers.
Notes For Building Your Chatbot
We now know all the benefits that having a chatbot can bring for you, your business, and your workforce. But to build an effective chatbot.. there are a few things you should pay attention to when putting together your bot.
1. Choose Your Features
You’ll already have a basic layout of the functions that you’ll need your chatbot to perform. Using this list as a starting point, it’s essential to know that the more features you add, the more time it will take to build your bot. Also… the more features you have, the more you’ll be opening up the chance of mistakes or malfunctioning. So, focus on your main features. By doing this, you can create a bot that genuinely adds value to your customers in the most efficient way. Ensure that your chatbot is programmed with the most basic of information too. Such as company information, operating hours, prices, promotions, product, and service descriptions. And don’t forget the general company information.
2. Add Some Personality
This may not seem important, but trust us, it is. Just as much as a customer dealing with an extremely helpful, knowledgable salesperson, the same applies to your bot. Remember, your bot is basically an ambassador of your brand. And in a way, your chatbot’s voice should be an extension of your company’s culture and values. We’re not saying your bot has to be funny, smart, and witty, as you, lol. But it does need to display human-like language when interacting with your customers.
3. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
As bots are relatively new, some companies create simple chatbots that are there to fill a void. These chatbots can be effective. But, it also means people are also not too sure how to use them. Our advice is to create a proactive chatbot! It’s these chatbots that are most effective. If your chatbot reaches out to your visitor at the right time, on the right page, you could create a qualified lead… or repeat customer. Creating a proactive bot means you can encourage someone to browse through products. Or have them view important information or even change their order.
4. Prioritize Customer Service
If you focus on your customer experience while building your chatbot… you could automate simple tasks for them. And this allows you to make their experience seamless and enjoyable. Think about incorporating ways in which your chatbot can enable your customer to update or change his information… Or, update his billing information, make an appointment with a sales… or even suggest further products that would complement what he’s already bought.
Pro Tip: The more you focus on your customers during your chatbot building stages. The more likely you are to create one that solves problems. The more likely you are to create an enjoyable experience for those who interact with it.
Facebook Messenger Bots: The Lowdown
Referring specifically to bot on Facebook Messenger, we wanted to share a few focused tips for this platform. Did you know there are over 300k active bots on Facebook Messenger?
One of the reasons we recommend a bot on Messenger is because of its ability to generate (and qualify) leads for your business. Yes! Your Facebook Messenger chatbot can generate leads for your business.
How? Facebook allows you to personalize your chatbot’s messages from the outset. This feat will make your contact with each prospect more personal. If you take time to create a campaign that highlights your products or services, in a personalized, light-hearted, yet professional manner… then a Facebook Messenger chatbot can do the rest for you. It’s that easy.
Chatbots Will Always Evolve
So, how effective are chatbots? Very effective! Simply put…When you start building your bot, with all the right intentions from your customer’s point of view…. then you’ve already tackled half of the challenge!
But, after you’ve launched your chatbot, you have one more job to do. You’ve got to stay in tune with what is happening in the world of bots and Artificial Intelligence. The world of A.I. and bots will always be evolving, changing, and updating.
You don’t want to be left with a dated chatbot that isn’t wowing your customers. So, if you need help staying up to date with ‘everything chatbot’, bookmark our blog page.