How (and When) to Use Chatbots for Your Business
Chatbots have transformed the way businesses interact with their customers, providing instant support at a fraction of the cost of a human customer service agent and enabling brands to engage more deeply with their target audiences. Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. The following information will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what chatbots can do and whether they are appropriate for your company.
What Exactly Are Chatbots?
In computing, a chatbot is a piece of automated messaging software that uses artificial intelligence or machine learning to simulate human conversation. Bots are computer programs that are programmed to understand and answer questions, as well as perform tasks.
Chatbots are a cost-effective alternative to traditional customer service methods such as phone calls or live chat with a real employee for businesses. Customers benefit from chatbots because they are a quick and efficient way to get assistance with basic questions and tasks.
Businesses are increasingly relying on chatbots to interact with their customers, and consumers who are accustomed to chatting with Siri are increasingly expecting businesses to provide “live chat” service via chatbot.
Several surveys, including a 2016 Nielsen survey commissioned by Facebook, found that 53 percent of consumers are more likely to shop with a business that they can message directly, and a 2018 survey found that 15 percent of consumers said they had used chatbots to communicate with a business in the previous year.
When Is It Appropriate to Use a Chatbot?
In the event that your company engages in online sales and receives a high volume of calls or emails from customers with basic questions or tasks, a chatbot can assist you in resolving those issues quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively, freeing up your human customer service agents to handle more complicated requests.
The following are examples of common chatbot tasks:
- Examining the shipping and return policies of the company
- Making a purchase or canceling a previous purchase
- Keeping track of a delivery
- Making or canceling a scheduled appointment
- Reminding customers that they have an appointment.
- Inquiring about a recent purchase and seeking feedback
According to a study by Headliner Labs, people are 3.5 times more likely to open a Facebook message than they are to open a marketing email. As a result, chatbots are an excellent way to contact customers proactively and provide them with valuable information and promotions, as well as personalized suggestions based on previous conversations or actions. It is even possible for a chatbot to identify and qualify leads before passing them on to your sales team.
In which chatbot platform should you invest your time and money?
Chatbots can be implemented on a website, on social media platforms, or in an application.
Facebook Messenger bots, for example, are one of the most popular types of chatbot because they can be used to have conversations within the Facebook Messenger platform. The Facebook Messenger service is used by an estimated 52 million businesses, with people exchanging an estimated 8 billion messages with those businesses on the platform each month. Facebook currently has 300,000 active Messenger bots, which represents a 300 percent increase over the previous year.
You can create a proprietary chatbot application, but if you already have a Facebook business page and are using Facebook Messenger to communicate with your customers, a Facebook Messenger bot can automate the process, saving you both time and money in the process.
Instructions on how to create a customized chatbot for your company
Creating bots is something you can always outsource to a professional, but several applications make it relatively simple to do so yourself, sometimes in minutes rather than hours.
Bot-Constructors for the Facebook Messenger platform
- ManyChat is a straightforward bot-building platform for Facebook Messenger, with a free basic plan that includes limited features and the ManyChat branding. Starting at $10 per month, paid plans with no branding messages and additional features are available.
- Chatfuel has an easy-to-use interface that allows you to create a custom chatbot for the Facebook Messenger messenger service. For up to 5,000 subscribers, creating a basic chatbot with the “Powered by Chatfuel” branding is completely free. The Chatfuel Pro account, which starts at $15 per month, provides access to some of the more advanced features.
Bot-Builders for a Wide Range of Platforms
- Botsify is a tool that allows you to create a chatbot for Facebook Messenger or a website by dragging and dropping templates. Botsify offers a free 14-day trial period during which you can create an unlimited number of chatbots. If you want to continue using the bots you’ve created after the trial period, you’ll need to upgrade to the $50/month Pro plan.
- Flow XO provides templates that allow you to create a bot that works across multiple platforms. Free plans are available for up to 5 bots and 500 chat interactions, while paid plans begin at $19/month for the most advanced features.