What are chatbots?
Chatbots are software-programmed helpers that communicate via spoken or textual means. They’re designed to mimic human conversation and provide real-time interaction with users. For example, chatbots can answer frequently asked questions, facilitate sales and customer services, help process an insurance claim or ask you questions about your health. Chatbots bring rapid value to organizations by automating common, repetitive processes in sales, support, training and education.
Users commonly access chatbots via virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, as well as through instant messaging apps and pop-up chat windows on individual business websites. Chatbots are a key component of conversational AI, the concept of using things like chatbots, speech-based assistants and instant messaging to create personalized, automated customer experiences.
What are the business benefits of chatbots?
Using chatbots in place of paid human employees in sales, support and training environments provides a host of business benefits:
- Chatbots are industry ubiquitous: Chatbot solutions are available in nearly every industry because businesses of all kinds, regardless of industry, require sales and customer service to thrive. This means chatbot technology is readily accessible and customizable for different business needs in varying industries and markets.
- Chatbots are scalable: A period of high sales and service demand might require hiring seasonal employees or call center workers to meet customer demand, but chatbots can accommodate fluctuations in demand seamlessly.
- Chatbots are available 24/7: Whether it’s helping late-night shoppers or accommodating a global customer base in various time zones, chatbots enable businesses to effectively operate around the clock and address customer needs outside of traditional business hours.
- Chatbots save money: Because chatbots can help solve common customer issues, the need to escalate to a human employee is greatly reduced. Being able to address customer concerns quickly helps accelerate the sales funnel and more efficiently process customer requests if human attention is needed. In training and education environments, providing employees with efficient, automated training via chatbots not only reduces HR overhead but also helps standardize training protocols, provide a personalized experience to accommodate different learning styles and enable anytime access to educational resources, improving overall employee satisfaction and retention.
- Good chatbots = happy customers = more revenue: Customer satisfaction is critical to establishing repeat business and reputation development. Providing customers with an easy-to-use, helpful chatbot experience that clearly solves their issue or points them in the right direction helps convert leads to customers and existing customers to repeat customers.
- Chatbots help close the sale: By functioning as personal assistants for a sales organization, chatbots can teach representatives about their clients’ industry, helping them engage in ways that are more helpful and offer better results for their customers.
Chatbots are an excellent way to expand a company’s workforce without the overhead and scheduling limitations of human employees while still providing customers with a personalized experience. Learn more about chatbots below.