In 1950, renowned English scientist Alan Turing devised the “Turing Test” – a measure of a machine’s ability to communicate with humans in a lifelike manner and exhibit intelligent behavior comparable or indistinguishable to them.
Ever since then, the race to create artificial intermediaries of communication began and have only heated up in the past decade.
While chatbots still have not passed the elusive Turing Test, they have come closer than ever.
At its essence, a chatbot is a piece of software that conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.
In an increasingly connected world, it is crucial for businesses, especially fledgling startups, to maintain a reliable and personalized relationship with their clients as well as interactively market themselves to prospective customers.
Chatbots are one of the most efficient and cost effective methods of achieving that purpose and with the advent of AI technology, they can only get better.
Indeed, a Business Insider report says, by 2020, over 80% of businesses are expected to have some sort of chatbots implemented. Read on to find out how your business can benefit from using this technological gem.
How do Chatbots work?
Chatbots are algorithmically programmed to detect the tone of language, the flow of the conversation, the specific words enunciated and the intricacies of different accents in order to deliver an appropriate response from a range of pre-coded sentences.
They also pick up similar cues in text messaging. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning allow them to become increasingly better and more adept at conversation after each subsequent use.
They are able to record conversations and update their algorithms to diversify their conversational repertoire.
They also make use of databases to present accurate information to the consumer and to respond to any queries that they might have. Chatbots can work on popular messaging apps like Messenger and WhatsApp as well as social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
As most users interact with businesses on these platforms, this is a crucial feature. They can also work seamlessly with your own websites, allowing visitors to have their questions answered in the blink of an eye.
The Benefits of Using Chatbots
1) Access to trending platforms
Most meaningful forms of marketing now take place in the digital sphere and especially in social media platforms as there is greater reach to potential customers.
Companies that have been able to make that transition now have a competitive edge over those that are still stuck in the past.
Using chatbots allows businesses, especially small startups, to get a slice of the pie and broaden their reach without having to pay the extra money and time to develop an application.
Chatbots can be used across platforms and is a cheap and effective way to connect with users.
Some chatbots are offered directly by platforms such as Facebook while others can be easily bought or rented from IT firms for use in big platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp.
2) Savings in time and money
Implementing a chatbot is an investment but it is one with a high return on investment as it requires minimal maintenance costs to keep it up and running.
The implementation is also significantly cheaper compared to hiring agents that require specialized training, wages and infrastructure.
Chatbots also save money by minimizing human errors and increasing the acquisition of new customers.
This is crucial for businesses to maintain their profit margins when the positive difference between their revenues and costs start to shrink.
Chatbots also save a significant amount of time by automating the routine tasks in customer services.
Detailed answers to common queries can be instantly dispatched with 24/7 availability and information can be effectively delivered with pictures, charts, videos and even analytical reports.
This ensures that customers have their basic questions answered without delegating human resources to these menial tasks.
This allows the relaying of more complex issues to humans as Chatbots notify them with detailed descriptions of the unique problems that customers face.
Customers can also quickly book a flight, make a reservation or even an online order with little need for human intervention.
3) Greater customer satisfaction
Customers need help trying to understand the products that are best for them and providing them with the best user experience generates future sales revenue exponentially.
Chatbots are highly trained and provide 24/7 personalized conversation by addressing each customer by their names and providing just the information that they need almost instantly.
With each consumer interaction, they get better with contextual responses. They act as sales persons and hold the customer’s hand through the entire experience by asking questions related to their queries and providing quick and easy solutions and suggestions.
They also provide greater choice to the customer by presenting highly personalized advertisements and offers.
This increases consumer engagement in the long run which can boost sales as consumers feel like you care for them.
4) Greater Monitoring and Insight
With the feedback and information that chatbots collect from each consumer after a conversation, businesses can make improvements to their services and product line-ups.
It allows them to respond quickly and effectively to consumer feedback. They can also optimize their websites by bringing high traffic generating pages to the forefront and improving ones that generate lower traffic.
Consumer spending and behavior patterns can be tracked and analyzed to help a company decide which products to market, redevelop, or re-launch.
Chatbots also improve lead generation by nurturing and directing consumers to making the purchase that they want.
5) Greater Diversification and Scalability
Unlike you average Joe, Chatbots can be programmed to operate in multiple languages.
This allows a business to expand their targets to a wider demographic and to go global with their marketing campaigns.
Companies can better understand the nuanced needs and demands of specific groups of people and it allows them to diversify their products to cater to these new and potential customers.
Chatbots can also be scaled up to handle a large volume of conversations simultaneously. This is especially crucial during rush hours and bulk orders as it is not possible to increase manpower quickly.
Chatbots boost sales, save time and money, allow effective marketing and make sure that your consumers walk away with a satisfying experience.
The best way to align your chatbots with the rest of your business is to use Odoo Apps.
Odoo Apps have a powerful but intuitive UI with reliable server support, efficient sharing of information and proper work scheduling. Syncoria is a digital transformation firm and an Odoo Ready Partner.