So, is the only role of a chatbot to rapidly answer questions a customer may have? Or is there more to these little virtual helpers? Facebook Messenger chatbots are amazing. They can do some amazing things for you when it comes to growing your business. You might not have heard of chatbots before. But they will change the way you communicate with your clients and customers in a big way. Messaging apps are the future, and they are quickly becoming the #1 way you communicate with your customers.
See, last year in 2020 already, the number of users messaging with apps such as WhatsApp or Skype was higher than ever. And in Facebook Messenger alone, we find a whopping 1.3 billion active users interacting with each other daily! The businesses behind these apps saw it coming too. They’ve seen the massive need for chatbots trending upward for the last year. The best thing probably is that these companies have been looking at this from more than one perspective. That is, both a business and a consumer perspective. Over at Clepher, we think it is excellent because when done right, they amplify each other greatly.
Chatbots Don’t Just Help Confused Customers
See, chatbots, these little virtual assistants, help you with your everyday need and want through their imitation of human conversation. This is one reason why chatbots such a great asset when it comes to supporting your customers. But, chatbots aren’t just used to help confused consumers. They can collect information about your subscribers too, and as a result, close sales faster and help save on costs. It’s because of this (and many more reasons) it’s no wonder the chatbot market is currently growing exponentially.
In this blog post, we’re going to talk a little bit more about chatbots. You get to see a description of the most prevalent benefits provided to you by a chatbot. Conveniently broken up into two equal sections;
- Amazing things a chatbot can do for Business Owners.
- Amazing things a chatbot can do for Consumers
So, let’s dive in, shall we?
Amazing Things Chatbots Do Next To Answering Customer Questions
When talking about the fantastic things a chatbot can do for your business, they’re limitless. Some of the things companies can accomplish by using bots include interacting and communicating quickly on social media, answering questions in real-time, providing customer service support 24/7, 365 days a year, and much, much more. And while many small-medium size companies are currently using this technology to their advantage, improving their customer support and reducing costs. Other savvy business owners are looking at ways to automating sales with chatbots and having the needle to point to “More Profits”. So, in this section of the article, we look at those two benefits.
Chatbots can replace a vast sales team on a reasonably large salary with literally no one. This means that you have a significant portion of money not going out to a sales team, and this does not influence your online business in any way. This is a brilliant thing! And you may be thinking it is either challenging or costs a significant portion of the money to set up these chatbots, but that is not the case.
You can set up chatbots relatively quickly and efficiently for a low one-time price using Clepher. As a result, you start automating your entire team, which reaps substantial monetary benefits for you as the business owner. Suppose you are in an industry that stereotypically sells expensive items such as real estate or jewelry. In that case, you probably cannot expect your chatbot to sell these high-priced items for you, as statistically, people enjoy speaking to actual humans more if they are forking out that much cash.
However, for these businesses, a chatbot can lay the groundwork, like nurturing customers and qualifying the leads. And when it comes to selling high-priced items but not selling them, chatbots are pure gold as well. Chatbots thrive in automating sales when the price-point is lower, and the consumer doesn’t feel as worrisome about their purchase due to a lower fee. It’s easier to trust the chatbot, and therefore your brand.
A good rule of thumb is that if the things you are selling are at a relatively low price point, you can undoubtedly use Chatbots to close the deal. But if it is at a higher price point, like the jobs mentioned earlier of real-estate agent or jewelry seller, then chatbots should be used to lay the foundation on which you will then seal the deal face-to-face with the client.
Customer Support (More Than Just Answering Customer Questions)
After hearing how chatbots can help sell products, I’m sure you wonder if they can completely replace the sales team. That is replacing the team while still keeping to the same levels of customer support that a natural person would deliver. Although I’d like to say YES, the honest answer to this question lies in the way you set up the chatbot. See, you must begin to ‘train’ or ‘program’ the chatbot to answer customer questions. And when you don’t have any customer questions on file, you even need to think of the questions customers may ask before starting the process. How you ‘program’ or ‘train’ the chatbot to answer questions determines whether a chatbot has the same level of customer support as a natural person would be able to deliver.
And, of course, you’d like to know if these bots will generate as many leads as a human agent, right? Savvy as you are, you know the process is known as ‘lead qualification’ or ‘qualifying leads’. This principle (which comes in many frameworks) is primarily used to find out if a customer will go through with a purchase of a product on your online business. For example, say you are selling an extremely niche item. The first question the chatbot should ask should be something along the lines of ‘Are you interested in XXX?’ or ‘Have you heard about XXX?’. If they answer no to this question, you already know that they are not a consumer likely to buy your product, and you should not waste much time on them.
Another good idea will be filling your bot with follow-up questions if you wish to rival human agents. This way, it becomes a legitimate and honest conversation between your business and the possibly interested consumer. This will then help the consumer feel more comfortable. Which, in turn, is more likely to purchase your product.
So, in answering the question as to whether chatbots are an excellent substitute for real people for customer support. It entirely depends on how they have been set up. Suppose the chatbot initiates conversation, asks good follow-up questions, and appears to be communicating like a human, then yes. In that case, they are certainly a good alternative to a large customer support team, and you will then be able to save a significant portion of your money. If the chatbot is extremely robot-like, asks non-relevant questions, and provides a poor experience for your possible product purchaser, then evidently, a real customer support team would be more beneficial towards your online business.
Amazing Things Chatbots Can Do for Consumers
One of the goals of a chatbot is to create an interactive and personal experience. So next to answering customer questions, this means that it must engage, entertain, inform and naturally educate its subscribers. It is essentially a conversation that makes them feel like they’re talking with another person instead of a machine. But there are just a couple of pillars consumers seem to value the most. One being Speed and Efficiency, and the other being Improving Conversations. In this section of the article, we look at why consumers look for these traits in bots.
Speed & Efficiency
In this day and age, most consumers cannot afford the time that comes with waiting for a sales representative to reply when a website has considerable traffic. This results in them losing interest and leaving to look around for other items on other websites because their question was left unanswered due to the inefficiency of human workers.
This problem will never come up with chatbots because they can respond to queries or questions quickly and detailedly. This then enormously benefits the consumer, as they usually would have left the particular website and gone away wondering about the answer to their question. On the other hand, chatbots are always there and always ready to answer your question, often in literal seconds. The consumer will then get their answer and make the informed decision as to whether they wish to purchase a particular product or not.
However, with this extreme efficiency comes (some) downfalls. Often, a question may pop up that the chatbot is not trained to answer, and the bot alongside the human asking it will be left curious. Sure, the online company owner will identify this question and further train the chatbot to answer it correctly. Still, it may be too late by this point, and the inevitable loss of at least one customer has occurred.
If a human were on the other line, they would have been able to adapt to the situation and give the consumer the correct answer, which would result in a satisfied consumer and the possible purchase of a product. That’s why we always suggest adding a button to your chatbot that allows for Connecting to a Human-agent or have a human agent monitor the bot’s conversations, so you get a somewhat hybrid approach.
So, here we have a bit of a paradox of decisions because you can either have speed and efficiency or a guaranteed correct answer each time. It is up to the business owner to toss up between the pros and cons of both offers, which means that customers will stay on a website due to their question being answered and then deciding which option to choose. When it comes down to it, all the consumers want is a speedy and correct answer, and the closest way of getting to this in the modern day is with chatbots.
Improving Conversations with Chatbots
Interactive voice response (IVR) systems have long plagued many websites and their homepage as the only route to getting successful customer care. Today, in 2021, they are outdated and useless. And with most customers despising them for their in-efficiency and lack of genuine support, it already seems like a remnant. IVR systems are much too structured and leave zero room for any unique queries on an individual’s mind.
However, Chatbots can completely replace this outdated system with their high-quality question answering, built to answer even the most unique of questions. Customers can also be directed to the necessary department. They look for feeling like they are being cared for, not clicking a ridiculous amount of different buttons to find out that you have the wrong number.
On top of this, Chatbots ensure that you get to these new departments not just rapidly and efficiently, but in a cheap one too. This benefits the customer as they have a significant amount of stress reduced, inflicted upon them with systems such as the IVR. Instead, they appear to be cared for and looked after by the closest thing they could get to an actual human. Chatbots are also significantly more efficient than the average human, which is why they will enormously benefit each customer through how it takes away a lot of the stress associated with navigating various websites.
Chatbots can answer questions and provide information much quicker than any customer support agent could hope for! Not only do they respond faster because of their intelligent algorithms. But they don’t need breaks or vacation time either. As well as saving your business money on wages and office space by performing repetitive tasks such as answering frequently asked questions about the company’s practices. Chatbots have another great benefit. See, when someone interacts with them, it sends data back to the original website owner, which helps build better relationships with customers. This means you’re not just increasing sales; you’re making stronger connections too.
The Final Verdict
I guess we answered the question; chatbots can do more than answering customer questions fast. Chatbots provide many exceptional digital services. You’re able to build them with a platform like Clepher for a highly affordable price. With that, let’s first have a look at the verdict and see which benefit can be baptized as the winner in this chatbot benefit comparison.
When comparing the four benefits mentioned above, though, it is pretty hard to distinguish between them all and crown one the official ‘winner’. To do this, you would need to look into the four different services provided by chatbots and compare their importance to the online business owner and the consumer.
- Firstly, how Chatbots automate sales enormously benefits the owner of the online business. This is due to a chatbot’s ability to generate sales, which then generates the business owner more profit. At the other end of the spectrum, we also find it benefiting the customer because chatbots allow customers to make an educated and informed decision on what they wish to purchase that otherwise could have possibly not been made.
- Secondly, customer support also enormously benefits the business owner, but chatbots may be a little controversial on how it affects the consumer. The business owner allows them to have less staff working for them in the customer service aspect of their business, thus saving them money. But, for the customer, or consumer, if you will. However, they may be getting quick and reliable answers; a particular aspect that can only be found when communicating with humans is taken away through chatbots. Therefore we always advise having a button in your chatbot allowing customers to request human attention.
- Thirdly, the speed and efficiency provided by the Chatbots are beneficial to both parties involved. This is due to it maximizing efficiency for the business owner. Allowing him to earn more profit, and not wasting any of the consumer’s time through the use of outdated programs.
- Finally, through improving conversations, we see the business owner benefitting even more. Mainly due to making the customer feel more comfortable and more likely to purchase the product. It also helps the consumer as they get a smooth experience. And they weigh this in when deciding to purchase whatever it is you’re selling.
A Question for You To Answer?
Now that you have all the information and this verdict laid out for you, it’s time to answer the following question:
What do you think is the most important benefit of a chatbot is?
Let us know in the comments below. And remember, the benefits laid out in this article are just scratching the tip. There are tons more! Feel free to give our blog a browse as we’ve talked about other benefits multiple times before.