9 reasons why chatbots are great for business

Published: Thursday, December 6th, 2018

The concept of computers impersonating humans has been around since the early 1950s but artificial intelligence has come a long way since then. Take the chatbot for example; some hailed it as the biggest revolution in web design. A chatbot is the customer support feature that opens on a webpage when you browse a website. They’ll usually greet you by saying ‘how may I help you?’ Once the customer interacts by asking a question the chatbot responds with the most relevant and accurate information. Their purpose is to mimic a real-life interaction as much as possible between a customer and the service.

Here are 9 reasons why chatbots are great for business.

1. Chatbots reduce costs

Business cost is first on the list because, let’s be blunt, there aren’t many businesses that embrace new technologies just for the fun of it. They invest in technologies that either boost their profits or reduce their costs. According to research by IBM the chatbot can reduce your operational costs by 30%. It can reduce customer query costs from $15 to $1. Surely that warrants a discussion with your web development team. If a piece of artificial intelligence i.e. a computer program, is so smart it can answer up to 80% of basic customer queries and save you a tonne of money, then of course businesses will be keen to integrate it into their business operations. It means employers have less staff to pay, like telephone operators.

2. Chatbot interactions can turn into sales conversions

A customer may start out with a general query but if a chatbot is effective enough in answering a customer query there is a real opportunity to convert the visitor into a sale, either by providing them with the URL link to the purchasing page, or connecting them to a telesales agent. Now the chatbot isn’t just reducing costs but actually increasing revenues too. In web design terms that’s been a real game changer.

3. Chatbots help you upsell other products

This is like a bonus score. A business may design their chatbot to upsell where appropriate. Just like Amazon are always recommending products to their customers; you know their familiar refrain ‘people who bought this product also bought.’ Well, the upsell strategy works for them so maybe it’s worth testing in your business, presuming you have a range of products and not just one. If your website chatbot can recommend other areas of the site to visit, or a sales number to call then why not test it.

4. Use chatbots as a data intelligence business tool

Businesses can use their chatbots to record customer queries and over time identify common themes that emerge in the interactions with people. Whether it is an enquiry about a product or a complaint about a service, the chatbot can become a useful data intelligence gathering tool to help you improve your products and services, and make better business development decisions. This may be one more reason why the chatbot phenomenon is continuing to grow. Research by Oracle revealed that 80% of business people are either already utilizing chatbot technology or plan to by 2020. Just don’t forget to comply with the GDPR that came into force in the EU in May this year. Breach of these data protection rules can result in stiff financial penalties for businesses.

5. Chatbots deliver 24/ 7 support for customers

A chatbot doesn’t work 9 to 5, unless it’s programmed to perform that way. Otherwise you have an automated customer support agent on hand twenty-four seven, all year round answering customer queries. That’s a web design feature that many customers will appreciate and many employers too. A win-win outcome.

6. Many consumers prefer chatbots to humans

Different research studies report different figures on attitudes to chatbots but according to a Business Insider report 45% of consumers prefer a chatbot rather than having to deal with telephone operators. That’s just part of the natural evolution of consumer behaviour. It changes over time as new technologies emerge and people’s habits evolve. Customers are quick to adapt as long as the new technology is genuinely useful to them. Generation X may have been a little apprehensive about chatbots to begin with but Generation Z (born after 1995) have grown up in this digital age. Online technology is in their blood. They expect to find chatbots on the websites they visit and have no fear of interacting with them. It’s worth bearing in mind that these people will be your future customers. Is that not reason enough to incorporate a chatbot into your web design?

Chatbot web design and generation z

7. There are now more chatbot services than ever to help you improve your web design

Currently one of the most talked about is Facebook Messenger. That’s not surprising seeing as it has 1.2 billion monthly active users. It can be used for live chat of course but also configured for automated capability to address questions consumers have for your business. You can integrate this chatbot into your website as well. We wouldn’t recommend trying to configure the chatbot on your own though. Get help from a professional web developer for this. And don’t forget, there are other chatbot services around like ManyChat, Dialogflow and dozens of others, so shop around and take note of the benefits like advanced language processing capabilities, great reporting and statistics functionality and powerful admin tools.

8. You can use chatbots to measure ROI

You can track just about any behaviour online that leaves a digital footprint. The chatbot is ideal for recording interactions and measuring conversions. It allows your sales and marketing teams to report on leads and sales figures that came directly from the chatbot source, as opposed to other channels like email marketing, telesales, PPC or in-store. But as well as leads and sales you may want to measure customer satisfaction. How many customers stated they were satisfied with the support given by the chatbot compared to those that weren’t. This percentage is something your digital marketing team can attempt to improve as the chatbot reveals more and more trends in the data over time.

9. Chatbots can be used across all kinds of business sectors

The versatility of the chatbot is also impressive, it has been adopted by a wide variety of business sectors. Healthcare, retail, finance, tourism, hospitality, insurance, software providers, social media, publishing and real estate are just some of the industries that are benefitting from this technology. As the popularity of the chatbot grows it is likely that many more business sectors will start using the technology in their web design to improve customer care, reduce their costs and drive sales.

With advancements in AI technology only going to intensify over the next decade, it’s likely that chatbot functionality on websites will continue to get better at serving customers needs and helping to drive sales as well as reducing costs. Many view this as a clear win-win outcome for both businesses and customers but what do you think?

Have you thought about how chatbot technology could help improve your business?

Contact Digitaledge Web Design

For advice on chatbot integration for your business, digital marketing or building a brand new website from scratch, email us or call 091 704830.

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