The recent worldwide health crisis put the need to modernize customer communication and improve internal processes into the spotlight. Consequently, businesses have been working towards digital transformation more than ever. Interestingly, chatbots have been propelled to the forefront of these digitization efforts. The question is, are they really that great? What are the true benefits of chatbots in business?
This article will attempt to answer just that!
What are the Key Benefits of Chatbots?
When trying to understand possible chatbot advantages in your business processes and operations, it’s important to differentiate between:
- Customer benefits
- Employee benefits
- Business benefits
Chatbot Benefits for Business
This group of key benefits directly affects your growth and thus, your bottom line.
1. Improved Lead Generation, Qualification, & Nurture
Many businesses use multiple channels to capture leads from their website through social media and paid ads. While an ad or a landing page can be very effective in capturing a lead, many businesses still miss out on opportunities by taking too long to respond or engage those leads. Chatbots provide a great way to not just capture leads but engage with them instantly.In other words, chatbots:
- Boost Lean Generation by allowing you to capture the attention of your prospects on any channel including the web (ads, landing pages, your website), messaging apps, and social media in a way that’s interactive and memorable.
- Improve Lead Qualification by enabling you to ask questions and collect data in a natural conversational and unobtrusive way while uploading and processing this data to and with your CRM tools and so identifying the most interesting leads in real-time.
- Support Lean Nurturing by making your leads part of the conversation with every offer, reminder, and recommendation and by keeping the context of past choices and preferences alive in new interactions.
2. Increased Sales Through Smoother Customer Journey
Naturally, thanks to the better lead nurturing approach, chatbots can intelligently and efficiently:
- Introduce new products and services
- Offer additional information on products or shipping
- Provide customers more insights by curating your other content
- Issue personalized recommendations
- Provide discount codes
- Upsell and cross-sell during the shopping process itself
Furthermore, since bots are available 24/7, they are able to provide the support and recommendations and fast responses without stopping, decreasing time-to-resolution during the shopping process and so reducing friction. Measures such as these can help minimize the biggest problem for all eCommerce businesses, cart abandonment rates.
3. Deeper Understanding of Your Customer Base
Data or lack thereof can make or break a business these days. Hence, understanding your target audience is one of the keys to success. However, most consumers don’t like to lose time answering questions for your benefit.
Chatbots, having the great ability to disguise data collection as a friendly conversation, can provide you with detailed, actionable information about customer pain points and product/service preferences. What’s amazing is that bots are able to use these data in real-time, customizing the experiences on the spot.
Furthermore, post conversation, such insights can help you to not only improve your services but also prepare more personalized and highly targeted campaigns.
4. Cost Savings
One of the most persuasive and attractive benefits of chatbots for any business is cost saving. Chatbots became particularly known to become useful allies to customer support teams as they take on the burden of answering all the mundane and repetitive which usually makes up around 70% of customer queries. Furthermore, bots can scale during peak seasons/periods without any extra costs. For instance, Juniper Research claims that the cost savings from using bots in the banking industry are estimated to reach $7.3 billion globally by 2023.
The implementation of chatbots into your workflows demands a certain amount of investment costs. However, the cost of developing and implementing has become significantly cheaper over the years, especially thanks to no-code platforms. Hence, the investment is significantly lower when compared to the alternative involving hiring more agents, infrastructure, and onboarding.
There are many different ways business owners can save costs using chatbots without having to sacrifice the quality of user experience. On the contrary, studies show that bot+agent combo has the best CSAT from all options.
You can use rule-based or AI chatbots to:
- Automate routine business processes
- Scale chat support during busy hours
- Enable new customer service models
5. Increased Customer Interaction
Naturally, chatbots provide yet another mode of reaching out to your customers. The real beauty lies in their adaptability to a variety of channels. A bot can interact with your audience on the web, on our app, on social media, or messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Hence, they can be quite easily leveraged to increase customer engagement in moments and in ways that were exclusive to the costly live chat. On average, well-designed bot experiences see 80-90% response rates and even the less favorable conversational experiences are in the 35-40% response range.
6. Humanizing Your Brand
Today, brands need to do and be more than providers of goods and services. Emotional connection and shared values have become more important than cheap price… and sometimes more than even product quality.When deciding which product or service to go with, it’s normal for consumers to look for ideas and beliefs to connect with. In other words, they look for a “friend” with whom they would be proud to be associated.
There is no better way to give your business a human face than using the most natural form of communication - one on one conversation. Bots are the perfect tools to communicate your values, beliefs, and personality in subtle and even subconscious ways without resulting in advertising copies.
The personality and values are integrated into the way they speak, react, and the cultural references they use. In other words, chatbots with a persona communicate your brand’s story without sounding like a pop-up banner, making your customers feel special and connected to something worthy of their time.
Besides being friendly and attractive in the eyes of your customers, chatbots are, above anything else powerful automation tools. Therefore, another of the many benefits of chatbots for business is their scalability. When you think chatbots and scalability… your thoughts probably go straight to customer support. You are not wrong. As mentioned above, bots allow you to scale support in peak periods or during extenuating circumstances without added costs.
However, they can do the same for other areas of your business, namely lead generation, qualification, and conversion. While generating leads is not easy, it’s not nearly as hard as trying to process them in a timely manner. Chatbots allow you to scale the prospect acquisition while keeping up with the quality of service thanks to their qualification capabilities.
For example, with each new lead, the bot initiates the qualification process, sending shoppers at the start of their journey materials, offering those in the middle a free trial or other incentives, and transferring those “ready-to-buy” to your sales team. This automation saves time as well as helps optimize conversion rates by sending the hottest leads straight to sales, without a minute of delay.
Benefits of Chatbots for Customers
What about your customers? What does using bots mean from their perspective?
8. 24-Hour Availability
We have all been there… stuck waiting for the operator for minutes if not hours. It’s no fun and it’s also far from being efficient. Having a chatbot on your website, Facebook, WhatsApp or another channel ensures your customers can contact you anywhere, anytime and the communication is never broken. Even if the bot is not able to resolve the issue, it can collect the data, assess the urgency, and send the query to the appropriate department to be resolved first thing in the morning.
9. Consistent Answers
Another common issue for customers is getting different information from different support representatives. The bigger the company the more common the situation. And so, more often than not, customers are reluctant to trust support agents.
Chatbots can easily solve these trust issues as they are centrally managed systems programmed to give the exact same information to everyone. And it doesn’t just work on the customer level. Internal company chatbots can ensure all reps have access to the same information in real-time by using them as a “search” tool.
Personalization has become a commodity. Consumers are willing to give you their businesses if you, in return, are willing to get to know them. A simple transaction that results in saved time and pleasant experience.
Chatbots are able to offer your customers the kind of personalization they crave instantaneously and continually. In other words, your customers can get customized recommendations or advice just by asking or and feel like they are remembered when they return. While web chatbots are great for product recommendations as well as up and cross-selling, messaging apps bots are best for continuity as the bot is able to retrieve data and preferences from every past conversation.
11. Reduce Stress for Consumers & Increase Customer Satisfaction
Did you know that most customers dread contacting customer support by phone? Phone calls are not for everyone, they are not always convenient and for many socially challenging. Even those who don’t have a problem picking up a phone hate long waiting times or being handed over from agent to agent having to explain everything over and over again.
According to a survey by BusinessWire, 79% of consumers prefer live chat before any other channel and 55% said would use a chatbot if it were available. In fact, over 70% of consumers are ready to accept chatbots if they make the customer service more efficient; reduce time to resolution; reduce time to reach the right agent, or if they help resolve a problem without having to resort to making phone calls or writing an email.
Benefits of Chatbots for Employees
We’ve already established the advantages chatbots can have for your bottom line as well as how you are perceived by your customers. However, there is yet another group they have the power to impact - your employees.Yes!We all know employee happiness reduces hiring costs as well as attracts the best talent, hence caring how your employees feel about their job is actually key to business success. So, let’s look at how a chatbot can help.
12. Eliminate Tedious Time-Consuming Tasks
In this day and age, more and more people look for a job that not only pays well but is also challenging and rewarding. The “experience” part of employment is growing in importance in correlation with the cultural shift towards overall life quality.
In this sense, one of the handy benefits of chatbots is their magical ability to take over all the repetitive, routine, mind-numbing tasks employees often have to deal with. No matter what anyone says at their interview, nobody enjoys answering the same question over and over or qualifying a spreadsheet of 1000 leads from your last campaign.
Chatbots aren’t that smart yet but they are good enough to deal with the basics freeing your employees to do more meaningful tasks. According to Statista, of customer service agents sharing their opinions about chatbots, 79% said that having the opportunity to handle more complex customer issues improves their skills; 72% said they felt to have a bigger impact on the company; 62% felt enabled to provide more personalized service 59% claimed feeling more satisfied in their jobs. Which brings us to the next point…
13. Increased Employee Satisfaction & Productivity
By eliminating the tiresome and mundane, chatbots create a less stressful but more challenging and rewarding environment. In other words, they allow employees to focus on projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and human touch. If the robot is doing the robotic work, your employees won’t feel like cogs in a machine.
Stimulating tasks incite engagement and together in combination with decreased workload prevent burnout. Happier employees are not only nicer to your customers, but they are also far more productive.
Though, once again, customer support is not the only area where bots can help your employees. They can, for instance, improve and speed up employee onboarding by providing them with the information they need quickly and efficiently. Also, an HR bot can assist your employees when they seek answers to more sensitive questions they might feel uncomfortable asking a human employee. And, last but not least, based on the bot interactions and conversational tendencies of your staff you can easily identify any potential issues in the team and so improve the work environment.
In a Nutshell…
This is our list of the possible benefits of chatbots for your business. It’s not short and even so, we believe it’s not quite complete. Undoubtedly, there are many more instances and business processes when bots can come in handy.
Whether you are thinking of making a chatbot relying on artificial intelligence or a sophisticated rule-based assistant, you are in for a bag of benefits!
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