info@inciteCMO.com | 410.366.9479
By now there's a strong chance you've not only heard of a chatbot, but you've probably used one too. (If you want to give it a test run, try ours).
So what is a bot, exactly? A bot is a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface.
The most advanced bots are powered by artificial intelligence (AI), helping it to understand complex requests, personalize responses, and improve interactions over time. This technology is still in its infancy, so most bots follow a set of rules programmed by a human via a bot-building platform. It's as simple as ordering a list of if-then statements and writing responses that you deem to be the most intuitive. Depending what tool you use to help you create the chatbot, you may not even need any code to help you do it, short of adding some short code into the back of your site.
So what's all the fuss about chatbots?
By 2020, Gartner predicts that customers will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. AI tools can make those interactions feel more human, even though it's coming from a robot. And customers feel like they are getting the instant gratification they want. This is critical because let's face it, we've all grown to be much more impatient! Whether it's watching your computer wheel spin as it's trying to process something, waiting for an email response to come in after you just hit the send button, or waiting for customer service to answer a time-sensitive question so you can cross one more thing off your "to do" list; we are all on the clock! In act, HubSpot Research found that 90% of consumers rate an "immediate" response as important or very important when they have a customer service question. Can you accommodate?
chatbots are great for customer centric businesses
- They can serve as 24/7 front-end customer care specialists. Gone are the days of responding manually to comments and enquiries in a blog, website, and social media channel.
- Responses can be automated using intelligent chatbots that can efficiently carry out basic requests for information. Chatbots meet the "instant" in instant messaging.
- Customers can be served quickly as time spent on hold waiting for enquiries to be answered is reduced / removed.
- Chatbots promote relationship management. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, bots are great at managing relationships with human beings.
- Humans are open to using chatbots. In a recent study by Retale, when asked whether or not they had ever used a chatbot, almost 60% of respondents answered "yes". And of those who hadn't tried a chatbot, 53% said they were interested.
- From a research perspective, imagine the rich qualitative data we will collect concerning our customers. We can refine, change and develop products and services as we see trends emerging.
- Chatbots are multilingual. Imagine the diverse markets we can reach!
- Bots may send out feedback forms that can solicit valuable information on how our business could further improve their experience.
the employee who never sleeps or gets ticked off
Imagine answering the same questions multiple times. It must get time consuming, a bit draining and downright annoying, be it over the phone or over the computer via email. Instead, with the help of a chatbot, customers get the immediacy they want without the attitude. Furthermore, team members can use the same time to add additional layers of personalization and other tasks, and allow the bot to take care of the rest with ease and never a complaint.
Don't get me wrong, nothing can replace the human, one-on-one experience in terms of the ultimate customer service. Unfortunately in this age of speed and customer's desire for instant gratification AND personalization, chatbots are one of the many tools in the AI toolbox that certainly helps make this dynamic duo, well...doable!