Chatbots are growing in popularity. Using a chatbot for your business creates new ways to engage with customers, improves customer experience, and enhances your company’s or organization’s marketing and customer service efforts during and after business hours. Today, due in great part to the explosion in on-line shopping, most of us expect real-time responses to our queries about, well, everything. chatbots provide on demand answers to questions when your website visitor is looking for specific information.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a computer program that mimics intelligent conversations with humans, usually through audio or text. The goal is that, rather than just searching for information on your website, a client or customer can interact with a chatbot to find what they need. Chatbots represent an opportunity to communicate with customers in a different way, with less of the selling stress, and while you have a customer’s complete attention. They are not meant to replicate everything on a website but to augment the web experience with the convenience of messaging.
Here are a few statistics about the growing trend toward using artificial intelligence and Chatbots in business, courtesy of Chatbot Magazine.
- The global Chatbot market is expected to grow exponentially between 2016–2023. — Credence Research
- 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human by 2020. — Gartner
- 44% of executives believe artificial intelligence’s most important benefit is “automated communications that provide data that can be used to make decisions.” — Narrative Science
Chatbots Benefits to Business
What types of companies or organizations can benefit from adding a chatbot to their website? Obviously chatbots and online chats are already in wide use in ecommerce and product sales. But the field is wide open for other industries to take advantage of the benefits of AI and automation. This includes nonprofits, which could use a chatbot to support a fundraising campaign; professional services firms; and business-to-business companies that want to provide information to potential clients about their services and direct them to the right people, just to name a few. Why should you consider adding a chatbot to your website?
- Simple and Cost-Effective – Chatbots are relatively simple to set up and maintain and they provide a simple way for your client or customer to engage with your website and ultimately your company. The cost depends on the complexity but the entry point is reasonable.
- Vetted Information – Chatbots offer a way to present vetted and accurate information. With a chatbot, the system is programmed to allow you to write the exact answer to a keyword question. This reduces issues with a client or customer receiving misinformation.
- Efficiency and Resources – Chatbots offer a way to free up valuable staff time. Your staff can be doing the real work at hand instead of responding to emails or phone calls about general work topics that can be handled by the chatbot.
- Prospect Engagement—Chatbots offer a less-intrusive way to interact with prospects. If they want information but aren’t quite ready to commit to a service or make a donation, a chatbot is a great tool to nurture a prospect indirectly.
To find out more about adding a chatbot to your website, contact us today.
Post by Dianne Newton-Shaw, senior consultant at Wipfli Web Marketing.