An Introduction to Chatbots and How They Can Impact Business

Chatbots are not a particularly new phenomenon to this world. They are in essence programmed input-output systems.

In the most basic form, Chatbots, also known as chatterbots, interact with humans on closed domains via written text.

The user may ask simple questions or give simple commands like “Give me a news update”, which the Chatbot scans for keywords and possibly matches these with its dataset.

If the Chatbot is able to match one or more keywords with its dataset, the predefined response will show as output.

This basic form of Chatbots, in turn, can be altered and programmed to eventually arrive at more intelligent bots that may converse not only on closed domains but an open domain as well, meaning that the user may also give commends outside the actual context.

For instance, when communicating with a newsbot it may answer unrelated questions like “how is the weather tomorrow” or “find me red sneakers” as well.

During the last US developer conference in April 2016, Facebook announced that it would open up its messenger platform for the commercial use of Chatbots, and so did Microsoft, WeChat, Telegram, Kik and Slack to name a few.

Since the announcement the Chatbot market has grown exponentially with developers and users experimenting with Chatbots across multiple sectors from Finance, Insurance, retail and mass services to celebrity chatbots like Selena Gomez, Evie Chatbot and more.

Undoubtedly, Chatbots have become a hot topic being widely discussed in newspapers and magazines and around the world.

But how does this impact business?

Chatbots can help businesses in a big way. Aside from being one of the forefronts of AI technology, chatbots also have the potential to bring in new clients, save your CS team time and ultimately save or make your company more money than it would have just depending on human employees.

Here are five benefits chatbots can bring to your company:

Reduce Simple Calls and Emails to Customer Service Staff
Chatbots give customers an outlet to ask simple questions, such as “which is my closest branch?” without having to call or email a CS staff member to confirm.

If your company provides this information online, the chatbot can still redirect customers to the appropriate venue to find the information they are looking for, as well as guide them through any technical questions they may have. This frees up your CS staff to deal with bigger-picture problems and saves them time.

Interested in learning more about chatbots? For a free 30-minute consultation with a Clare.AI expert then Click here.

Chatbots Can Help Generate Leads
A chatbot that responds to a person looking at an online sales page can help move those potential customers to a salesperson.  Providing their information to a live salesperson, so they can follow up and contact them.

Chatbots also give potential customers the ability to ask questions and find out if your company is what they are looking for right off the bat.

Since chatbots tend to mirror human behaviors thanks to AI, potential customers will still feel like they are getting one-on-one interaction to ease their concerns, while not taking up an employee’s time on a lead that may be a dead end.

Instant Customer Support
Nobody likes waiting forever for someone in customer support to answer the phone when they have an urgent problem they need to solve.

A chatbot can go through FAQs with customers to try to solve their issue as quickly as possible.

Since chatbots can work 24/7, they’re able to answer customer questions any time of the day or night. While a chatbot cannot replace real customer support, it can supplement it so that your actual humans can provide excellent service without leaving customers feeling like they’ve been on hold without help for long periods of time.

Carry Out Specific Tasks
For companies selling items directly via their websites, a chatbot can act as customer support, marketing and a salesperson all rolled into one 24/7 hub of information.

For example, Taco Bell unveiled TacoBot, a chatbot that works with Slack to allow users to order menu items right from their Slack group!

This technology isn’t just good for ordering tacos; it can translate to many industries, particularly those dealing in retail sales. A potential customer can say, “I’d like to buy this t-shirt in medium,” and a chatbot can facilitate the sale. While it may be simpler in this example to just put the shirt in an online shopping cart and check out, a chatbot offers the opportunity for those who are not tech savvy or who are having issues locating a particular item to still make a purchase.

While it may be simpler in this example to just put the shirt in an online shopping cart and check out, a chatbot offers the opportunity for those who are not tech savvy or who are having issues locating a particular item to still make a purchase.

While this is a powerful tool for your company, it is also important to strike a balance between the automated and the human. A chatbot can make a good first point-of-contact tool, but there are some complex tasks that only a human is able to carry out at this time. Therefore it is recommended to have an option for a potential customer to speak with a real person, should they desire, easily and readily available.

Therefore it is recommended to have an option for a potential customer to speak with a real person, should they desire, easily and readily available.

Affordable, Fast Support
Unlike multi-platform apps, chatbots take a significantly shorter amount of time to create. Since there are a variety of chatbot templates available already (Facebook, Microsoft, etc.) from developers that are big names in the IT industry.  chatbot can be built relatively quickly within the parameters of Facebook Messenger.

Chatbots can be deployed efficiently within the parameters of Facebook Messenger.

For example, PayPal uses a chatbot through Facebook Messenger to help users keep track of their recipes. Of course, the amount of time a chatbot takes to complete depends on what specifications the client has.

However, a simple chatbot can be quickly and affordably set up.

Learn more, contact us at Clare.AI to find out how to deploy Chatbot technology for your business today.

 

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