Though chatbots have technically existed from the 1960s, they came into limelight in recent years. Today, they are widely used by businesses across different verticals to ease their workload. While some chatbots are designed to answer basic questions, others are programmed to understand even complicated requests. So, what are the different benefits of chatbots, and how can businesses leverage them in the journey of growth? Let’s understand them in detail. But before that, here are a few stats to make a note of.
- According to this study report, 15% of the adults in the U.S. have used chatbots to interact with an organization in the last 1 year. This is exactly the same percentage of Americans that own smart speakers (Google Home, Amazon Alexa, etc.).
- According to statista, the market for chatbots is anticipated to reach at $1.25 billion by the year 2025, which is truly an incredible increase, considering its market size in 2016, which was only $190.8 million.
- According to opus research, chatbots will see an estimated investment of $4.5 billion by the year 2021.
- According to Gartner, more than 50% of enterprises will spend every year on chatbots by 2021.
- A research carried out by Juniper Research reveals that chatbots will save $8 billion by the year 2022.
What are Chatbots?Chatbots are also called conversational AI (Artificial Intelligence), conversational bots, etc. In simple words, it is a piece of software, which helps in conducting conversations in natural language through text or audio. Companies use chatbot technology to save 3 things:
10 Benefits Of Chatbots For Your BusinessThe way the world works today has changed. As technology is becoming more advanced, you have to either adapt to it or be left behind. One of the most influential pieces of evidence is the use of “chatbots.” That’s because they work well and have evolved in recent years. If you look at Alexa, Siri, and Google, you will realize what is literally waiting for us in the future. No, we do not mean the imminent technological apocalypse, but rather how AI (Artificial Intelligence)-based chatbots will alter the business aspect and how can we communicate with them. So, what could this actually mean for your business? In single word – profitability. Chatbots are the future of how we are going to engage with customers. They have multiple benefits, and that’s exactly what we are going to explain it to you in this article today.
1. Available 24×7One of the best benefits of chatbots is their 24/7 availability. Since they are automated, they don’t take breaks. Many companies have 24/7 customer support throughout the year. However, this needs massive teams, with employees answering phone calls day in & day out. Yes, that’s a good thing to see how far a company can go to keep their customers happy. But even with such enormous human resources at the organization’s disposal, customers still tend to wait. We bet, you would have heard that music playing when you call a customer care agent and expect an answer from him or her. The case with chatbots is entirely different. Since they are automated to answer what customers ask, they answer instantly and without getting tired. This feature makes customers satisfied and happy. It also makes things much simpler when approaching international markets because you no longer have to be concerned about hiring fluent-speaking customer executives from other countries.
2. Cuts down operational costImplementing a fully-functioning or advanced chatbot is much cheaper and quicker than hiring human resources for every task or building a cross-platform application. A single person can handle only 1-2 people simultaneously, and if this exceeds, the process becomes hard for an employee. Hiring new executives (who can support customers throughout the year) and appending other basic things for them can turn out to be highly expensive for the company. It cuts down the cost on employee and further, prevents human errors. Implementing Virtual Agents (VA) can help a business to save at least 30%. According to CNBC.com, Chatbots are anticipated to handle 90% of clients inquiries by 2022, helping businesses to cut cost by $8 billion. Chatbots will help companies to save a lot of money and still be effortlessly changeable to meet various needs, depending on the application.
3. Offers personalized experienceUndeniably, “personalization” has always been one of the important needs of marketers. But there hasn’t been any scalable personalization, especially in the “lead generation” funnel. According to a report published by Segment, 78% of shoppers aren’t satisfied with the kind of personalization they presently receive. What’s even more interesting is that 52% of users prefer to share personal information in order to receive product recommendations. (Source) Chatbots are exclusively designed to give customers an interactive environment so that they feel exactly the way they would converse with any fellow human. So, this means that chatbots can make the marketing process as personalized as one-to-one sales. Chatbots collect information about your website’s visitors and adapt based on their preferences. When eight different markets were surveyed globally, it was found that 91% of the customers say that they are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and offer them relevant offers. (Source)
4. Helps businesses to stay in the trendMessaging applications are becoming quite popular. According to a study published by eMarketer, an American customer spent 10 minutes of his or her time on a messaging app in 2017. This duration is projected to grow to 12 minutes by 2020. According to Business Insider, messaging apps have reached a more significant user base than social media channels.
Image Credit: Business InsiderCustomers prefer to interact with brands through chat because it is faster and easier to use. This gives an excellent opportunity for businesses to reach plenty of customers through Chatbots while still staying in the trend for their customers.
5. Enhances engagement and salesIf you truly want to boost your sales, then it is crucial to keep your customers engaged. And for better engagement, companies implement chatbots, especially for social media marketing. When you engage customers via social media, it increases sales by 40% (maximum). Facebook has one of the highest success rates for asking current customers to share their positive experiences. The flexible structure of chatbots make them extremely easy to integrate with other platforms, increasing customer engagement in return. A good example of this would be “online reservation.” The moment a customer communicates with the chatbot and shows interest in booking, the bot immediately leads the customer to the booking page and closes the sale. This leaves the customer happy and satisfied because the service is quick and hassle-free. Chatbots can also be programmed to sound natural and yet humorous, making them to be humanlike. This makes a customer’s experience more pleasant.
6. Monitors customer data and gives better insightsChatbots are interactive tools. This makes them capable of collecting and evaluating lots of data. They gather them by communicating with different people, much like humans do. The feedback or experiences shared by different customers can help improve your services, products, or make your website enhanced for your visitors. Say, for instance, if your online store or LP (Landing Page) has a good amount of organic traffic pouring in but fails to convert, you can figure out what is actually wrong with the help of chatbots. A chatbot can tell you why are customers leaving your web page without making a purchase. It is also smart enough to track different behavioral patterns. This can prominently influence your marketing decisions. It can give better insights into how things can be marketed differently to improve your business growth.
7. Automates repetitive tasksHere is the truth – no one likes doing the same task over and over again. In the case of human beings, repetitive tasks are more prone to mistakes. This is where chatbots play an important role. Chatbots help in automating tasks that are to be executed often and at a specific time. They help people increase productivity and save time.
8. Implementation is easyOne of the key reasons chatbots are becoming popular is that they are easy to implement. In most cases, it is just a quick install, and once done, visitors can start interacting with them. Although a few platforms can be a little complex when compared to others, it isn’t that hard to set them up. Chatbots are constantly improving with updates, making them more accurate, precise, intuitive, and react to specific queries in a better manner. Say, for instance, if you have a WordPress website, you can implement a chat program easily and have it reply to all queries simultaneously. Since the interest to implement chatbots is on the rise, it becomes easier with each version.
9. Meets customer expectationsChatbots are exclusively designed to push brand values to an extensive range of prospects. They interact in a friendly way and build a good relationship with customers. Talking about customers in specific, they look for simple business interactions. And this needs practical responses to their queries or complaints. Chatbots can comprehend issues clearly and provide possible resolutions instantly. Here are a few things that chatbots can do to boost brands and help customers to meet their requirements:
- Increased open rate: A chatbot can interact with the customers proactively and give them instant responses. Due to this, chatbots tend to have higher open rates when compared to emails.
- Increased engagement: A chatbot can easily send visual information regarding product offers, new product launch, and other discounts to keep the customers engrossed. This, in turn, increases engagement.
- Personalized experience: To see growth, it is vital for a business to provide a personalized experience across multiple touchpoints. This can be accomplished by designing a pleasant and fun Chatbot interface. This increases sales and ensures that customers stay satisfied.
10. Applicable to different industriesMany businesses are ultimately starting to gain value after implementing chatbots. Brands like Nitro Cafe, Sephora, Marriott, 1–800 Flowers, Coca-Cola, and Snap-Travel are good examples of this. They have already started to see returns. Currently, Marriott has 3 distinctive chatbots, and they are planning to have more features. According to a survey conducted by Oracle, 80% of businesses will want chatbots by the year 2020. Undoubtedly, Chatbots are highly beneficial, no matter what the business type is. But, there are a few industries, which are more possibly to be revolutionized from AI (Artifical Intelligence), which include:
- Online marketing & e-commerce: One of the most common spaces where you will come across different types of chatbots is certainly “ecommerce.” A recent report showed that Nitro Café increased its sales by 20% after implementing a chatbot. It was exclusively designed to help customers to order easily and make direct payments safely.
- Healthcare or hospitals: From sending medical details to booking appointments and refiling prescriptions, the benefits of chatbots for the healthcare industry are abundant. What’s more beneficial is that chatbots provide medical assistance to patients. For example, reminding patients to take medicines and monitoring their health periodically.
- Real Estate: The moment a customer visits a real estate website, he or she has unique requirements. Since it is properties and infrastructure, the requirements vary. Rather than having online forms or other offline ways to collect data, chatbots can interact with visitors directly and ask some questions (pre-defined) so that you can get to know what exactly the customer is looking for.
- Banking & financial sector: Chatbots are revolutionizing the way finance & banking industry works. Given the transactional nature of banks, Chatbots are a perfect addition to banks and financial institutions, which are inclined towards digital interactions.
- HR & Recruiting: Chatbots can automate each stage of the recruiting process. It can search for candidates, evaluate their skills, and can tell you if they are truly qualified for a particular job posting. They can serve as advisors here.