Should you implement a chatbot?

man looks at mobile chatbot

Should you implement a chatbot?

The rise in popularity of robots, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), specifically chatbots, means it is becoming more challenging to tell the difference between a robot and a real person. Previously, we have written about robots taking over Instagram, and have encountered our fair share of bots over social media.

As technology advances even further, and chatbots become more pervasive in customer service roles, should your business have one?

Here are 4 things you need to consider before you implement a chatbot.

Can you automate menial tasks?

A chatbot can simplify tasks and shorten the time spent on those necessary activities that do little to generate revenue. For example, if your customer service team repeatedly receives the same requests, a chatbot can learn to locate the correct forms and answer client questions, allowing your customer service team to work on more in depth enquiries.

By acting as the first point of contact, chatbots can screen customers and redirect them to human agents only when required.

There are also chatbots that do more than just save time and assist the customer service team. Some can complete the early steps of lead generation for your sales team. For example, chatbots can learn or be programmed to offer certain forms after a string of questions are answered. This form is linked to your company’s CRM. These types of lead-gen chatbots are proving incredibly effective in increasing website conversion rates.

What type of chatbot will be most appropriate for your business?

Choosing which chatbot will work best for your business will require research. Look into the specific features each chatbot offers and determine which will be the best fit for your business.

There are many different chatbots, but largely they all fall under one of two umbrella categories:

  • Scripted bots  – These bots are programmed with a conversational flow and when a user asks a question, the bot responds with a predefined script.
  • AI bots – These use natural learning patterns (NLP) to provide responses. With more use, the smarter they become. They mimic the natural language we use day to day, rather than relying on keywords.

 

Who is your target audience?

Some customers will gravitate towards using chatbots for their inquiries, others will not. Facebook recently released data showing the value of chatbots for businesses. They found the following:

  • Two billion messages are sent between people and businesses each month.
  • 56% of people would rather send a message than call customer service.
  • 53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses they can message.

Take note that if your target market is between 25 and 35, chatbots are a great way to engage. This market are not impulsive buyers. They like to complete research and compare products before they buy. They prefer live chat to phone calls.

Consider also when your website gets the most hits. If your target market are likely to work standard business hours and reach your website in the evening or after work, then having a chatbot to answer after hours queries might be a good option. This will speed up your response time to customer questions and save you having to employ staff after hours.

However, remember to set the expectations of your customers. Always let your customers know they’re chatting with a bot, so they understand the conversation limits. Inform them how and when they will be able to chat with a real person.

What channels do you currently use for marketing?

While your marketing channels may seem irrelevant, chatbots are useful to promote interactivity between your customers and your brand. Chatbots allow for two-way communication between your brand and your customer base. Marketing is no longer a one-way push from brand to customer. Customers want to engage with their favourite brands.

If you use online channels to communicate with your customers, chatbots can be useful in communicating to many people at once. A customer service representative can typically communicate with two or three customers at once, whereas a chatbot can handle many more.

For more advice on how chatbots can enhance your marketing efforts and assist your business overall, contact Green Door Co today.

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