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What is a Chatbot?
The idea of having robots at the service point has come to life. The concept is no longer limited to sci-fi movies. Chatbots have become a very common thing in the business world across the globe. The benefits of chatbots are no hidden territory. They are showing the world the power of AI.
The chatbot market size is expected to grow to 10 Billion by 2024 at a CAGR around 30%. This is not the only reason for companies heavily investing in them. Chatbots are very useful for marketing, customer services and sales. So, let us understand the chatbots through these articles in detail.
Chatbot is definitely a robot. But it’s more like an artificial robot than a physical one. It’s a computer coded program designed and structured to interact with humans through the Internet.
Chatbots are like virtual assistants available to cater the needs of the customers immediately. You can find chatbots on different platforms like websites, live chat apps, and other social media.
Of Course, they are not perfect. They have their limitations. They can not answer every question asked by the customer. AI powered chatbots are becoming smarter with time.
They are used in businesses to serve three purpose;
Most companies use chatbots as customer support and after sales service.
How does it work?
Ok! Now this is going to be a bit technical. So, brace yourself for a few terms. Chatbots are based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NPL) to collect data and analyse it.
NLP from the name suggests, it catches human speech and responds in a human understandable language. That is the biggest ability of NLP. the interaction between the human and machine becomes more sophisticated and understandable.
NLP has got types of responses as a chatbot;
NLG – Natural Language Generation: The data gets coded and it comes out as a human language. The data gets structured into a human understandable language.
NLU – Natural Language Understanding: Here, the data input is the human language which gets coded. This code is the machine language, which it will understand well.
Types of Chatbots
There are three types of bots;
1. Intellectually Independent Chatbots
These chatbots work with Machine Learning (ML) to use the user data. Specifically their inputs and requests made. Keywords play an important role here. Train these chatbots to catch particular keywords and phrases. The more data they record the better they get over time.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) based Chatbots
AI based Chatbots are a combination of Intellectual Independent chatbots and Rule based Chatbots. These chatbots use all that is like ML, AI, and NLP to store the data around the conversion that has been made with the audience. This is done to improve the chatbots and its service.
3. Rule-based Chatbots
Rule based chatbots can be accessed by clicking on the chatbot buttons from the already available options. This one is very slow to cater the needs of the customers and to answer their queries.
How to get started with chatbots?
1. Defining clear goals
For anything to begin with, goals are the first step. Charboat marketing is not very different from other forms. This one also comes up with different strategies to follow. Ask yourself what are your expectations? It could be;
-Giving better customer service
2. Keep in mind your audience and available platforms
Depending upon your brand, the products and services you provide, you can choose to use them. You can place them on your website, social media channels and on the application. Your chatbots will differ with the channels of communication. People visiting your website will have a better idea about your brand. People visiting your social media pages will be new to your brand. So the questions and doubts coming from these two different sets of audiences will be different.
Make sure your chatbot is designed to cater to the needs of your audiences. Understanding customer persona will be a key highlight.
3. Contrive your strategies
How will the customer interact with your chatbot? There will be several such questions and doubts.
Address these by forming a well-searched, well-thought, rich FAQ segment. This will cater to the needs of the audience really well. It will guide them through their queries.
Get a holistic view of the organization. Bring the main departments together.
Marketing department – Direct your social media platforms and other channels voice on here. Have a look at what kind of queries are resolved by this department.
Customer service teams – This department is the focal point of contact for the audience. They know a lot of common queries. Ask them about it.
Sales department – sales people have ideas about the main pain point of the customers. Ask them for the reasons about people not making the purchase.
4. Chatbots Personality
Your chatbots need to be friendly. Only then the customers will like interacting with it. Give it a friendly voice. A name that people can recall. It’s good to be creative here. Customers will hesitate to interact with it, if it’s a non-friendly robot.
A friendly chat bot will make way for great interaction. It will resolve queries and bring interaction. It will humanize your brand by giving a great human touch to the customer experience.
5. Friendly experience
Well people are not very sure about chatbots. Business owners as well as customers do not really fancy it as much. So, it is very vital to have a good chatbot as it creates the first impression.
Questions – Ask questions through the chat bots. The more questions it collects, the better it gets. This will help in giving a better customer experience through services.
Interesting – Even if the chat bot is just a programmed robot, it doesn’t have to be very boring. Let your brand shine through the chatbot too. Make it interesting and fun to interact with.
Expectations – Make a point to let people know that they are chatting with a robot. Be transparent about it. Otherwise, people might come up with questions and expectations for a human on the other side. Let them know, they can contact a real human too, when needed.
Powerful platforms for developing Chatbots:
Tidio is a platform which provides live chat, messenger, bots and other things all at one platform.
Price: pricing starts at $15 per year. Free version is available.
Intercom provides chatbots for use cases for various departments like sales, customer support, marketing and others.
Price: Pricing starts around $499 per month.
You can build rule-based chatbots and AI-powered chatbots with the help of Landbot.io. It helps to create a great interaction with your customers.
Price: Pricing starts around 30 to 100€ per month. There are different plans. Free version is also available.
IDplr is a platform where anybody can sell their intellectual property. This can be graphics, software, ebooks, or content. One can create free chatbots with the help of IDplr. This platform holds a lot of free stuff. You can check it out!
Benefits of Chatbots for Businesses and Customers
Benefits for Businesses
1. Monitoring consumer data and gaining insights:
Chatbots have proven to be great tools for communication with customers. They generate feedback to make the products and services better. This feedback comes from the conversation with customers. We all have experienced chatbots asking for simple answers via simple questions. That is the base of its improvement. You can optimize the website by taking down the pages with less traffic, pages that drag the website down.
Any of the pages not performing well, gaining enough organic traffic but sales are low, it could be a blog page, landing page or any other, use chatbots. Use your chatbots on those pages and ask for customer feedback by using simple questions. Ask customers why they are leaving the page without making a purchase.
Send push Notifications –
Chatbots keep the existing customers engaged with push notifications. This is very helpful to keep the customers interactive.
Relevant content –
Brands can provide relevant information about the products and services to the customers via chatbots.
Customer profiles –
Use your chatbots to collect information like customer name, age, contact details and other relevant useful information and create customer profile.
Do you know your chatbot is a multi-talented robot? You can use chatbots to study the purchasing algorithms and consumer behavior by analyzing the data collected. Well Forbes says, this will help the brand to understand where to put extra efforts. There will be some products and services that will need a different marketing strategy, relaunch, re-work, etc. This can be identified with the help of chatbot.
Basically, businesses can monitor the responses coming from the customers. Understanding the consumer behavior, their language and intentions, the chatbots can suggest the service and products to the user.
2. Lead generation:
As we have enough data collection regarding the customers, we can send personalized messages to them. These messages will assist the customers during the buying process. Again, make your chatbot smart and useful. You can ask questions to the customers, and gradually lead them towards the products or services or generate a lead.
Unqualified leads can be identified with the help of chatbots. KPIs key performance indicators such as resources, timeline, budget, etc. Chatbots will help you detect unqualified leads and save time.
Chatbots are cheaper and faster to go ahead with the implementation. It is better than hiring people and having cross platform applications. This is simpler than making things complicated. There are ready made software for businesses to choose from. These are developed by big IT giants, Microsoft and others.
Of course, chatbots are robots, so they can easily handle thousands of customers at once and save on cost. Imagine hiring thousands of employees to deal with customers, the cost will all time high to pay them. Human errors are also avoided with the help of chatbots. Win-win!
Chatbots help reduce cost on:
– training sessions
– infrastructure for employee
4. Possible applications
Chatbots can be used in a wide range of applications. This is one major benefit.
1. Customer service:
They can answer FAQs so easily. There is dedicated support from chatbots to the customer. A great experience for customers.
As we saw earlier, it helps in generating qualified leads, this leads to qualified sales. Constant guidance throughout the sales funnel is provided by the chatbot.
3. IT services:
Chatbots provide assistance in the external service applications as well as the internal service applications.
One of the most important departments for any business is marketing. Chatbots perform so many marketing activities for the business. That includes;
– customer interaction
– lead generation
– data collection
– data analysis
Benefits for Customers
1. Omni-channel presence
Omni-channel is multi-channel availability. Chatbots support multi-channel messaging features for giving users a hassle-free experience. With this feature customers can interact with brands and businesses on omni channels. These channels and platforms include Instagram, Facebook, brand website and others. Customers receive a better and improved experience every time.
Chatbots are being improvised. You can see the difference while interacting. At times, it feels like we are interacting with a human on the other end. With their natural tone of interaction, they are giving a personalized touch to the conversations.
3. Instant response time
We all have seen chatbot pop ups. Once we enquire about our queries in these boxes, we are bound to get instant responses. This experience shows their response time is very high. They can handle thousands of customers at one time.
4. 24/7 round the clock availability
As discussed above, the chatbot pop ups are always there to respond on time, they are also available round the clock. You don’t have to go through any waiting period to resolve queries or receive messages from the other end.
5. Consistent answers:
Try asking the same question to the chatbot from different platforms. You will notice the same answer coming your way. Although this creates a sense of weirdness, you can see the consistency in the answers. This was done to ensure value added to the conversation with the customer. Customers feel condemned with the brand with such experiences.