It’s not news that online interactions have grown exponentially in the past three years, from e-commerce and after-sales service to research or service-based interactions, and many more. And whilst the growth trend was already in motion, Covid-19 accelerated many technologies that support businesses and people’s sudden increase in reliance on the internet. With this exponential upward shift, the introduction and ongoing refinement of Chatbots has been one of the standout technologies.
Chatbots and messenger apps have emerged as game-changers for businesses seeking to enhance their customer service, generate sales leads, and drive conversions. These artificial intelligence-powered tools are reshaping the way companies interact with their customers, offering personalised and real-time solutions. On the surface, there are obvious and highly-tangible benefits which we’ll explore in a moment, but before we get started, let’s take a look at some of the key statistics to set the scene:
Chatbot Stat Attack
- 36% of companies have started using Chatbots to improve lead generation, and business leaders claim that, on average, Chatbots can increase sales by 67% (Outgrow)
- 55% of companies that use chatbots get more high-quality leads (Tidio)
- 80% of people have interacted with a chatbot at some point (Userlike)
- Global chatbot marketing revenue reached $83.4 million in 2021, and the market will continue to grow substantially – by 2027 it’s expected to be worth around $454.8 million. (Statista)
- Chatbots handle full conversations around 69% of the time (Comm100)
- Almost 90% of chatbot experiences are neutral or positive (Drift)
What can Chatbots do for your business?
Personalised Customer Interaction
Chatbots and messenger apps provide businesses with the ability to offer personalised, proactive customer interactions and user experience. These AI-driven tools use customer data and previous interactions to understand individual preferences and behaviour, enabling tailored responses to queries. This personalised approach enhances customer engagement, fostering stronger relationships between businesses and their target audience.
24/7 Availability and Instant Response
One of the most significant advantages of chatbots and messenger apps is their round-the-clock availability. Unlike traditional customer support, which operates within set business hours, chatbots can provide instant responses to customer inquiries at any time. This constant accessibility not only ensures timely assistance but also increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Streamlining Sales Leads Generation
Chatbots are a valuable asset in generating and qualifying sales leads. By initiating conversations with website visitors or app users, chatbots can collect vital customer information, preferences, and purchase intent. This data empowers businesses to target potential customers more effectively, offering relevant products or services, thereby increasing the chances of conversion.
Automated Sales Funnels and Conversions
Messenger apps facilitate seamless customer journeys, allowing businesses to create automated sales funnels. Chatbots can guide potential customers through various stages of the sales process, from awareness to consideration and decision-making. This streamlined approach enhances the chances of converting leads into paying customers.
Enhanced Customer Service and Issue Resolution
By handling routine queries and tasks, chatbots free up human agents to focus on more complex and critical customer service issues. The instant and accurate responses offered by chatbots improve overall customer service efficiency and satisfaction levels. Additionally, chatbots can provide step-by-step solutions to common problems, resolving issues promptly.
Multilingual Support and Global Reach
For businesses operating on a global scale, language barriers can pose a significant challenge. Chatbots and messenger apps can easily overcome this hurdle by offering multilingual support, allowing companies to engage with customers worldwide in their native language. This inclusive approach expands a business’s reach and customer base exponentially.
Data Collection and Insights
Chatbots play a pivotal role in gathering valuable customer data and insights. By tracking user interactions, businesses can analyse customer preferences, pain points, and frequently asked questions. This data-driven approach enables companies to refine their marketing strategies, improve products, and optimise customer experiences.
All the data points to the above being good for business…because it’s good for your customers. The above benefits answer the ‘how’ and ‘what’ questions around why using Chatbots is a good option.
But there’s a softer, less-obvious aspect to Chatbots that is most definitely worth discussing, too. And it’s to do with human psyche…let’s explore WHY Chatbots are so successful.
Online customers engage easily with chatbots for several reasons, and one of the key factors is the perception of developing a personal relationship, and the opportunity to communicate effectively without actually having to deal with a person.
Here are some of the ‘softer sides’ of Chatbot interactions that make customers feel comfortable, and help foster customer engagement:
Chatbots provide immediate responses to customer queries and issues. Unlike traditional customer support, where customers might have to wait for a human agent’s availability, chatbots are available 24/7, ensuring timely assistance. This instant gratification makes customers feel valued and attended to, enhancing their overall experience.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Advanced chatbots are equipped with Natural Language Processing capabilities, enabling them to understand and respond to customers in a more conversational and human-like manner. This human-like interaction gives customers the impression that they are communicating with a real person, contributing to the development of a personal connection.
No judgement here
Some customers may feel more comfortable discussing sensitive or embarrassing issues with a chatbot rather than a human agent. Chatbots offer a non-judgmental environment where customers can freely express their concerns, enhancing the perception of a personal and understanding relationship.
Consistency is key
Human agents might vary in their responses and level of expertise, leading to inconsistent customer experiences. Chatbots, on the other hand, deliver consistent and standardised responses, ensuring that every customer receives the same level of service, which can lead to a perception of reliability and dependability.
Keeping the pressure off
Interacting with a chatbot can feel less intimidating and less sales-driven compared to human interactions. Customers may feel more comfortable exploring products or services without the fear of being pressured into a purchase, creating a positive engagement environment.
Multi-platform Convenience and Accessibility
Chatbots are available across various digital platforms, including websites, social media, and messaging apps, making them highly accessible to customers. This convenience encourages customers to engage with chatbots as they can seek assistance wherever and whenever they need it.
It’s a Learning Experience
Some customers find the interactions with chatbots to be informative and entertaining. Engaging with a chatbot can be a learning experience, as the AI-driven systems often offer tips, recommendations, and insights, further fostering a positive connection.
No matter what your business is or who your customers and clients are, the evidence is fairly overwhelming that having a Chatbot to help you create a comfortable, engaging, effective and convenient environment for them is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but an essential part of your business unit.