Most people by now are aware of what a bot is, in the context of social media and online messaging. A bot is an artificial intelligence program that is designed to be able to converse with human users. Now, while many people do associate bots with shady practices, such as those fake Twitter accounts that pretend to be Keanu Reeves or an Arab prince for whatever nefarious reason, or the reported legions of fake women on dating apps, the majority of chatbots (around 65% according to research) are actually used for legitimate and transparent purposes, such as technical support or customer service.
But what are the benefits of using bots, for the business and for the customer, and should you be thinking about beginning to apply them for your business?
Bots Are Convenient
One of the main advantages of bots is that they offer a high level of convenience, both for the user and the bot’s operators. If you operate internationally, a chatbot can be used to field questions from users without you needing to have 24-hour human support. A bot can also deal with a high percentage of your easier enquiries for you, allowing the user to get access to what they want without having to wait in a queue or make a call. Talking to a bot can be instant and doesn’t require any hunting around for numbers or email addresses. The bots can also allow people to get answers to things that may usually require speaking to more than one department, as one bot can be ‘trained’ with all of the information it will need.
Bots Are Effective At Routing More Complex Questions to the Right People
Another advantage of AI-powered bots is that they can make it easy for a user to have their query or issue put through to the right ‘real’ person. While older telephone-based automated services would require people to listen to long menus and press the right number to reach the right people – a frustrating experience – the bot can deduce from the natural language used by the user as well as the options they click on what help they need.
If it is outside of the scope of what the bot itself can answer, it can then seamlessly connect the chat user to a human, providing that operator with all of the information the user has already provided. This makes for a much more efficient and easy to use experience for users and customer service or tech support personnel alike.
Bots Can Help With Your Marketing
While anything that gives a good customer experience can help you in terms of customer loyalty and retention, bots can be made to go one step further by intelligently including marketing information relevant to the customer’s needs and asking questions that can help to qualify leads. The power of incorporating AI chat into your marketing should not be underestimated.
Users of things like Facebook Messenger are far more likely to open messages they receive through the app than they are to open emails, and customers have been shown to prefer engaging with businesses using instant messaging or web chat to any other option. This means that your marketing communications are taking place in the customer’s own chosen medium, and at the times when they are most interested in hearing about what businesses can do for them.
People Are Receptive to Transparent Use of Bots
While nobody likes the shady types of bots that hassle them on social media or are generally employed in scammy ways, customers do tend to give bot-based systems a chance when they know it is a bot they are talking to and when they already know the operator of the bot is a trustworthy business. Bots are becoming extremely commonplace now on sites for all kinds of products and services, and people are becoming accustomed to how convenient they can be, helping them find what they need and allowing them to navigate doing what they need to do in their interaction with the business.
Some people prefer the fact that the AI often means they don’t have to ask for help from someone, too, if they are not really fans of having to speak to representatives of companies directly to get things done!
Bots are becoming widespread, but as yet are not so ubiquitous that they no longer provide an advantage to the businesses adopting them now. If you now think that adding good AI bots to your company’s web presence may be a good idea, then it is well worth talking to specialists like PWD, who you can find at https://pwd.com.au. They have a section on their website about bot marketing which will give you a greater insight into what can be done, the benefits and how they can make it work for you.
They will be able to look at your needs and aims in terms of customer engagement and marketing and work with you to implement a suitable chatbot system that will provide you with all of the benefits we have looked at in this article.