Though self-aware robots taking over the world has been a running theme in many a Hollywood movie, the AI-related technologies have been nothing but beneficial for us so far. Chatbots, in particular, have become a necessity for business strategies; they are now an integral part of consumer engagement, customer service, sales and lead generation for many companies around the globe.
Today, we’ll discuss what lies behind the technology’s sudden popularity. We’ll talk about why companies, of different size and business origins, adopt and eagerly seek new ways of using this conversational software.
# Accept orders
In addition to providing basic info about a vendor, chatbots enable clients to post orders within a messaging app, without their having to enter a store’s website. These virtual assistants, therefore, can turn Messenger, Skype, or another popular messaging app, into an additional, robust revenue generation channel.
# Give advice to your online buyers
Using chatbots is especially relevant in the context of e-commerce. They can get clients acquainted with your store’s policies, notify them when a certain item is out-of-stock, describe the way your delivery works, etc. As of today, that is how most online stores prefer to use the chatbot technology.
But there’s room for experimentation, too, and H&M, one of the world’s most prominent clothing retailers, has demonstrated that unorthodox application of conversational technology can be highly effective. The company’s bot, that lives inside the Kik messaging app, has been programmed to function as a style guide (on top of being a responsive FAQ-section) that also offers products to shoppers based on their tastes, which it knows how to ascertain. H&M has thus manufactured a virtual quasi-salesperson that’s highly efficient, doesn’t sleep, stall, or ever get tired.
Next, the experts say, e-commerce chatbots will become equipped with advanced data mining functionality. They’ll be able to gather clients’ SM data, dig through old info about them, and, based on that research, come up with tempting, personalized offers for each prospect.
# Upgrade airline support services
Airline support agents are often bombarded with low-priority tasks which an inexpensive, inelaborate chatbot could resolve within seconds.
From fulfilling informational queries to helping clients clinch the best deal to guiding them through the booking process, bots can take on, and, thus, streamline most routine tasks the agents are assigned to do.
The technology can be taught to interact fluently in different languages. It can facilitate check-ins, provide access to travelers’ flight information and, overall, render instant, 24/7 support services across various channels.
Chatbots can free up human agents to focus exclusively on the intense tasks (thus saving companies’ money) and execute efficiently all the easier ones. They can help deliver a new, high-quality support experience to clients: one that resonates long after a flight is over and, ultimately, converts clients into brand advocates.
# Help out with medical issues
In the health industry, too, there are thousands of basic questions that do not really require the full attention of a doctor, yet still have to be answered to give patients a peace of mind.
Chatbots can be programmed to recognize common symptoms and disperse simple medical advice. They can also provide access to one’s cumulative medical data, let patients refill prescriptions, pay bills and get ahold of exactly the right physician to treat the symptoms they’re experiencing.
But it’s not just the personalized patient care that the technology can enhance; the bots can come in handy for doctors as well. For instance, they can remind a physician of properties of a certain drug, of its side effects, correct use during pregnancy, and of all the possible alternatives they could prescribe.
Customer service costs a lot.
Most small businesses and enterprises that, at times, receive thousands of informational requests a day still chose to address them via a phone line. Hence, they pay a fee for a toll-free number, which is no inconsiderable one, and still leave many clients infuriated. Hold time, wait time, disconnects – these, along with other phone support attributes, are notoriously maddening. Chatbots, however, can reduce the need or replace completely the outdated voice support with real-time communication.
Related: Perfectial helped Clickatell build Touch – a chatbot that allowed the firm to achieve a 60% reduction in support expenses. Find the case study here.
Besides, an operator on the line, no matter how competent, is never as efficient at finding necessary materials – pulling appropriate articles for clients from a company’s knowledge base – as a script could be. Thanks to the latest advancements in AI, chatbots can recognize immediately client’s’ intent (when an issue they’re are getting at is simple) and either refer them to an appropriate section of your company’s website, so they read the needed info, or guide consumers through a problem by giving instructions in a chat window, in a form of informal talk.
According to the report by the UK-based Juniper Research, chatbots are estimated to help companies save $20m, in total, by the end of 2017. And in 2020, this number is expected to exceed $8 billion.
Source: Juniper Research
The paper claims also that companies in the healthcare industry will benefit especially from adopting chatbots, as well as financial institutions. By 2020, it predicts, the success rate of humanless interactions will amount to 75% in the medical sector, while in banking – it may rise to the astonishing 90%.
It is obvious at this point that any company that strives to remain competitive should already be investing in AI-powered conversational technologies to enhance its call center and support department.
Customers now, in the digital age, have no tolerance toward delayed responses; they’ve come to expect instant service that’s accessible across any device or platform, anytime.
Chatbots are the means by which firms can fulfill clients’ high expectations.
Cheap to make, chatbots would become a valuable addition to any firm’s customer service toolset; one that can boost business outcomes by streamlining support and sales procedures, and one to widen a company’s reach by engaging millions of people that use messaging apps.
Already bots are redefining the consumer industry as we know it and in the future, it looks like, they might just become indispensable. For clients’ and for businesses alike.
Would you like to hear more about the benefits chatbots can bring to your business? Or maybe you’re puzzled about how to implement them?
Contact our expert to get your questions answered.