When was the last time you thought about automation? It might’ve been when you were going through the self-checkout line at the grocery store, or asking the voice assistant on your phone what the weather is, or perhaps exchanging messages with a chatbot; however, in the latter case, you might have been unaware that automation was at work. Chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence and are programmed to respond automatically to messages from customers.
Chatbots have a variety of response capabilities that can empower companies to automate simple tasks. While some rudimentary chatbots only have a defined set of replies to choose from, others can intelligently adapt their responses to fit certain keywords or situations, thus allowing human employees to devote more attention to tasks that demand their specific skillset and critical thinking.
So, where are some areas in which chatbots can lighten the load for your employees? Let’s count the ways:
Oftentimes, customers don’t know who to connect with at a company in order to address their questions or concerns. This is one area where chatbots can help. By understanding what problems customers want to solve, what their goals are, where they are located, and more, a chatbot can use this surface-level information to direct the consumer to a qualified (human) business professional who can help move the account along. In this scenario, your chatbot is acting as a greeter, welcoming people as they come in and helping them find their way.
Generic questions such as, “How can I help you today?” are useful to glean some basic information about prospective customers before moving them to the next step. By gathering the answers to basic questions first, chatbots keep employee workloads manageable while minimizing the potential to miss lead generation opportunities. After all, the key principle of lead generation is to gather information on a consumer so you can more effectively sell them a product – which is something that chatbots can certainly assist in.
Preserving the effort of customer support and sales teams
In addition to offering guidance to first-time consumers, chatbots can also help people who visit your website with a specific purpose already in mind. If your chatbot helps a customer to the extent of its capabilities, but additional support is still needed, it can then hand over the request to a customer support representative or salesperson who is more qualified to answer in-depth queries or resolve complex issues. This saves human employees from having to ask/answer the same entry-level questions time and again, and instead reserves their time and energy for complex questions and psychological marketing. With a chatbot handling the initial customer interaction, your sales and customer support teams are freed up to have more meaningful conversations with leads.
Rapid and after-hours customer support
Humans need sleep – but luckily, chatbots do not. If there is an emergency in the middle of the night and a customer needs rapid support, chatbots can offer immediate assistance. In this circumstance, you want your chatbot to be able to provide as much troubleshooting information as possible, so that if the chatbot is the only point of contact for a customer after hours, he or she will still walk away feeling like their concern was sufficiently addressed.
The rapid response capability of chatbots is not only good for after hours, but is also valuable during normal operating hours. In today’s fast-paced business environment, customers appreciate having their questions and concerns addressed as quickly as possible. While it may take minutes or even hours for customer service representatives to reach each consumer in a queue, chatbots can respond in parallel at a much quicker rate.
How to choose a chatbot?
Now that you know how chatbots benefit your business, it’s time to think about the chatbot selection process. There are countless platforms available, with functionalities fine-tuned for a variety of purposes. While a paid tool will probably get you the most out of your chatbot implementation, there are also platforms that offer a variety of useful services for free. This is a low-risk way to see what chatbot implementation can do for your business.
As always, we hope that this article is helpful to you and your business! Please check back in on the MediaGo blog for more useful tips and tricks in the future.