Customer experience is a major factor which drives revenue and growth for any business. Hence for small businesses providing a great customer experience is a good retention strategy. Various technologies are gaining importance to increase interest in products and enhance the overall customer experience, Chatbots being one of them. Chatbots aren’t exactly a new phenomenon as it had been around in one form or another. The last couple of years have seen a significant rise in the application of the chatbot technology.Companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Slack, Google, Apple, etc. are already making their mark with their AI chatbots.
But, what exactly are chatbots? How do they even work? How does it help small business?
The last couple of years have seen a significant rise in the application of the chatbot technology. Companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Slack, Google, Apple, etc. are already making their mark with their AI chatbots. But, what exactly are chatbots? How do they even work? How does it help small business? Etc. etc. Let’s just look at an example.
What are chatbots?
A chatbot is a program which simulates real-time conversation on chat platforms, powered by artificial intelligence.The application of bots can range from functional to fun and is easier to build. They also enhance the user experience depending on what the companies want it to do.
Interest in chatbots has skyrocketed as they seem to understand the need for today’s customers who want convenience.OneReach found that 64 percent of the users prefer text over calling a business. Hence, they are gaining popularity.
What are the types of Chatbots?
There are two types of chatbots. One is based on rules and limited to specific commands whereas the advanced version is capable of learning from interactions with users, i.e., machine learning. With gaining visibility, the chatbot technology equipped with AI seems to boost the small business in various ways.
A new term coined by Chris Messina in 2015, conversational commerce means purchasing an item based on a conversation with a chatbot. Here, it means, conversing with the program that learns and accommodates the customer yearnings ensuring smooth shopping experience. The way it is booming, conversational commerce may eventually replace all other modes of online shopping.
Immediate customer service
Exceptional customer support ensures customer retention. Hence, to mitigate the problems in the customer service realm chatbots are being used extensively. A lot of small businesses are investing in AI chatbots to interact with customers, answer FAQs, etc. and even used to process payments.
Savvy business owners are spending money and time over building effective chatbots such that they act as the first line of communication. Online tools like Converse and Zendesk are helping small business owners to create customized chatbots without a coding fuss and then integrating them across a variety of chat platforms.
Businesses ranging from real estates, health care centers, retail shops, law offices, etc. are using these types of bots to provide an excellent customer experience.
Intelligence and Analytics
Data analytics is not something chatbots are known for, but it’s certainly a nice advantage of using an AI chatbot. Most chatbots have a backend that collects information about a customer. Hence, companies like Chatfuel keep track of all the data stored by their bots to eventually assist their client’s need. Eventually, the power of analytics will serve as an excellent resource for business at every stage as the AI technology evolves and improves.
Small business owners are harnessing the AI technology by using it as some own assistant tools. For example, Niki.ai is a personal bot that can do everything from scheduling laundry pickup to ordering dinner, whereas Pana is a smart bot that books travel accommodations through easy and straightforward conversations or x.ai bot which has become go-to for small business owners who don’t want to schedule their meetings anymore.
Though the AI chatbot wave is just beginning, yet it is changing the way customers interact with the companies and the way small businesses communicate with their customers.