Chatbots are revolutionising businesses both big and small because of their ability to conduct repetitive customer facing conversations and most importantly, understand natural language questions from customers.
Take a look and see what a chatbot can do!
Talking robots aren't new in business at all. If you've used a smartphone you've probably encountered Siri or Google Now which can perform a variety of tasks and understand natural language with incredible accuracy.
I'm sure you've even seen them when you've logged onto a website.
The difference with those little chat windows is that they're usually connected to an actual person on the other side.
So what's new here?
The difference with chatbots is that they're completely automatic and run by AI (artificial intelligence), meaning they can handle a wide range of pre-defined tasks, and most importantly they now have the ability to respond to users when they input natural language questions.
What does that mean?
It means if your customer types "Can i book a reservation?" the AI powered chat can respond with something like "OK, you're all booked in!"
Pretty cool right?
This ability to handle natural language input enables a wide range of uses for these kind of bots, and create a huge amount of new efficiencies for business.
In fact they've become so good at responding to natural language that they've been able to fool people into thinking they're actually dealing with a real human!
Who are chatbots good for?
Just like in manufacturing, robots are all about creating efficiency by handling repetitive tasks with a high degree of accuracy and speed, it's just that in this case they're designed to hold repetitive conversations which would normally be handled by a person.
So if you have a business which has a lot of customers making enquiries about your service via phone or email, you can now channel those enquiries to your chatbot, leaving your staff free to handle other more important tasks.
Most importantly however, is their ability to handle multiple conversations at any given time!
Whereas a staff member can only respond to one phone call or one email at any given time, a bot can handle simultaneous conversations without any limitation whatsoever!
This means that your business not only regains the productivity of the people within your customer service team, but also gains the ability to scale your customer service channel instantly, and without any additional cost.
Chatbots are particularly suited for...
- Medical centres
- Call centres
- Production businesses
- Sales teams
What are some use cases for chatbots?
Now that you've got an idea about what they can do, let's explore some of the most ways they can be used with great effect.
Customer service chatbots
Receptionist staff, or anyone who is part of a customer service team are likely having very repetitive conversations with customers on a regular basis.
Customers call asking questions like:
- What time do you open?
- How much is an appointment?
- Can I pay be credit card?
- What appointments are available
- Can I have some information on XYZ topic?
These are all conversations which can be handled extremely easily by a chatbot, freeing up customer service staff to deal with only the most unusual (or urgent) enquiries which come in via phone, email, or through the front door.
Sales team chatbots
Most sales teams rely on receiving a huge number of enquiries and leads in order for the sales team to convert just a few into actual sales. This is known as a sales funnel.
Leads go in the top of the funnel and as they progress through the funnel, leads are further and further qualified until only the most appropriate prospects are converted into customers by the sales representative.
The process of qualifying those leads is often very labour intensive as it requires manual interaction with a customer service representative or another person who's job it is to find out how qualified the lead is before passing onto the sales team to close the deal.
This typically involves asking the same questions such as:
- What's your average income?
- What are your goals?
- When would you like to proceed?
These conversations can all be automated therefore reducing the cost per lead dramatically, reducing overheads and greatly improving business profitability.
Small restaurants need all hands on deck all the time, so taking one staff member out just to answer the phone and take bookings represents a huge percentage of manpower being diverted.
When someone calls a restaurant they typically ask things like:
- Do you have availability?
- Do you have a table with a view?
- Do you offer gluten-free options?
Once again these conversations are perfect for automation, and not only that a chatbot also has the ability to provide useful links to the restaurants menu to help further educate the customer and finally take the booking without the intervention of restaurant staff.
Want to get some ideas on how you can use a bot in your business? Check out some of these examples and get ideas for your own AI business assistant!
Techcrunch's Chatbot gives you a digest of the latest stories for the day.
MTV News' Chatbot delivers a rundown of the latest news from their network.
ABC News' Chatbot delivers you daily news alerts.
How much do chatbots cost?
You might think that this kind of technology would be difficult or expensive to setup but the truth is surprising!
Because the system is run by artificial intelligence, it has the capability to handle an unlimited volume of simultaneous conversations without any increase in overhead costs. This means that it has the power to scale as your business grows, without any increase in cost whatsoever.
Is this the future or a gimmick?
Chatbots aren't intended to replace your customer facing workforce by any means, but as we move into the future the AI smarts which goes into these platforms will get even better at understanding what people are looking for and giving them the answers they need.
In a nut shell, if your business spends a lot of time calling or emailing customers with initial information about your business, or touching base with customers after they make a purchase, all of these tasks can be automated and handled by a bot.
Their newfound intelligence will continue to grow and become more versatile, and further of increase the benefits of businesses who make them part of their customer service strategy.
Interested in getting your own chatbot?
Or you can talk to ours now and see how it takes you through the process!
Robots selling robots? Now that messes with your head a little.