Looking for a way to improve customer service and save money? Chatbots may be just what you need. This post will cover everything you need to know to get started. Plus, we'll throw in the top 3 platforms where you can get your chatbots created!
The future is here. Thanks to chatbot technology! Planning to off-load a huge chunk of customer support operations using chatbots? Continue reading, We've covered everything you need!
Table of Contents
- What Are Chatbots?
- Chatbots in Businesses
- Chatbot Usage: Chatbot Customer Service
- The Chatbot Market
- Top Three Chatbot Platforms
- To Wrap...
What Are Chatbots?
A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that can simulate a conversation (or a chat) with a user in natural language through messaging applications, websites, mobile applications, or by phone.
An example. If you want to buy some shoes from your local retail store, you have to access their website, find what you are looking for, and buy it.
But what if that store had a bot? It would only be necessary to write a message to the brand through Facebook and tell them what we want. And if you had doubts about size measurements you could get answers to your problem in a moment.
One of the significant advantages of chatbots is that, unlike applications, they are not downloaded, it is unnecessary to update them and they do not take up space in the phone's memory. Another one is that we can have several bots integrated into the same chat.
Depending on their use case, chatbots can be either open or closed. Open chatbots use artificial intelligence to process language and learn from user interactions.
Closed chatbots are those that only and exclusively execute a conversation flow or script that may or may not use artificial intelligence depending on how it evaluates user messages.
Open chatbots may support a more natural way of conversing, however, if they have not been properly trained there is a risk of a poor user experience. On the other hand, closed chatbots have a lower risk of poor user experience and they have the advantage that they can direct a conversation towards a specific goal or process.
Chatbots in Businesses
Estimated to save USD 8 billion per annum by 2022, chatbots are completely transforming the way businesses connect with existing and prospective customers.
The last few years have seen a rapid surge in on-demand messaging that has shifted consumers’ way of communicating with brands. To provide superior customer service, more and more businesses today are integrating chatbots into their processes.
Chatbots have been complete game-changers in specific industries where high-volume customer interaction is at the center of the business, such as banking, insurance, and healthcare. They help save over 4 minutes on average per customer inquiry, compared to the executives answering the calls, with a high success rate per interaction.
If you want to use chatbots for business, you first need to add a live chat to your website and social media. Then, create a conversational AI bot and activate it in your live chat widget. You can make your own bots for your business by using a chatbot builder. Popular chatbot providers offer many chatbot designs and templates to choose from.
The key to increasing sales and customer loyalty is by improving your customer’s experience.
Customers are smarter today than they were five years ago and they expect you to be adept at your communications with them.
Gartner predicts that by 2020, a customer will manage 85 percent of their relationship with a business without interacting with humans and hence, the increased demand and adoption of self-help services.
Chatbots are self-help tools for improving communications. Brands can use it to enhance their customer’s experience, generate more sales and build a deeper rapport with customers. They allow your customers to easily interact with your brand through stimulating conversations.
Is a Chatbot Good for Your Business?
Industries that need staff for performing repetitive processes are the best ones to utilize the benefits of a chatbot. Chatbots can benefit industries like marketing, sales, eCommerce, customer support, human resources, etc. In all practical ways, this allows a reduction in overhead expenses and increased efficiency.
The latest technology is changing the landscape and dynamic of the business world and eradicating the distance between businesses and consumers. With conversational chatbots, customers can connect and engage with their favorite brands at their fingertips.
As AI becomes more advanced, an increasing number of companies keep exploring the potential benefits of chatbots in business. And it is no coincidence that customer service representatives are high on the list of jobs that can be taken over by AI chatbots.
The most significant benefits of chatbots for business are:
- Increased customer engagement. Chatbots enjoy a much higher message response rate than emails. The average engagement rate for chatbots is around 10% (measured as the click-through rate for all website visitors). For email marketing, it is below 3%.
- 24/7 availability and real-time support. Almost half of the digital shoppers believe the average response time from customer service should be below 5 minutes. Chatbots are perfect for helping customers in real time with automated replies that address the majority of customer needs.
- Personalized customer experiences. You can easily set up separate chatbots for new customers, returning customers, or shoppers who are abandoning shopping carts. Ecommerce chatbots can automatically recognize customers, offer personalized messages, and even address visitors by their first names.
- Automated marketing and sales. Conversational marketing chatbots can be used for social media sales campaigns and lead generation. They improve customer interactions across all stages of your sales funnel.
- Increased productivity of customer support teams. According to our 2022 report on chatbot trends, about 73% of customer queries can be resolved within 5 messages or less. Chatbots can ease the burden on support teams by handling common issues on their own.
- Reduced operational costs. From a business perspective, chatbots are very cost-effective and have a very good ROI. By 2023, chatbots and virtual shopping assistants are expected to bring about $11 billion annually in cost savings.
Businesses use chatbots because they translate into measurable gains. According to a recent report about chatbots from Business Insider, consumer retail spending via chatbots will reach $142 billion by 2024.
A virtual assistant can automate repetitive tasks and save time and money you’d otherwise spend on your human agents. Additionally, natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence contribute to a better user experience and higher customer satisfaction. Last but not least, your own chatbots will bring more qualified leads and increase conversion rates.
Chatbots are used across industries and businesses to automate different functions and processes, allowing concerned teams to focus on the core elements of their businesses. Chatbots can do more than mere engagements, from generating leads to updating customers about their orders, raising tickets, booking appointments, and much more.
There are so many benefits for chatbots in business. But, everyone’s favorite tends to be the cold hard cash you’ll save. That and not having to respond to the same message over and over and over again.
Chatbots are a great resource, but they shouldn’t be your only tool. Make sure you’re not relying on them for more than you should be. And that you are using them correctly to maximize your investment.
Chatbot Usage: Chatbot Customer Service
As you had anticipated, in the vast majority of cases they are used to perform customer service functions in social networks, apps, and websites. They can collect registration data, provide information, answer frequently asked questions, etc.
By improving the engagement of current and potential customers they make interactions with services faster and simpler, generating better experiences for the user.
Virtual agents are most effective in customer service applications in service-heavy industries like financial services, retail, travel, and telecom.
Start by asking if you have the scale that makes this level of engineering worthwhile. Deployments are most likely to pay off in companies fielding thousands of customer chats or calls via contact centers with hundreds of agents. There are two reasons for this.
First, transcripts from those contact centers generate the masses of data needed to train the A.I. that powers the virtual agent. Training data featuring hundreds of thousands of instances can effectively power the machine learning necessary for an effective virtual agent. If your training data is sparser than that, it’s far less likely that the virtual agent can develop the smarts necessary to identify customer intents effectively.
Second, this development typically takes months and can ultimately impact thousands of customers and hundreds of employees. Unless you’re spending tens of millions on customer service already, it’s unlikely that the development effort will make enough of an impact to pay off.
For companies that do handle a high volume of service requests, the effects can be substantial. For example, Dish Network maintained multiple call centers to handle questions about installation, billing, and technical questions. Then it deployed a virtual agent called “DiVA” that could automate the most common 30% of customers’ intents, addressing around 4 million customer interactions per year.
DiVA can patiently walk you through the steps to set up your remote with a new TV set, or approve your request for extra time to pay your bill, for example. Across the intents that it covers, DiVA now handles 40% of customers’ questions on its own, and the company is working on expanding the list of intents it handles, potentially impacting millions more requests.
If virtual agents can power customer service, can they also do sales? Despite the hype flowing around about “conversational commerce,” at this point, customer service applications are far more likely to be successful than sales applications. Only 2% of owners of Alexa-powered Amazon smart speakers have ever bought anything with their devices.
Sales applications typically require navigating a large number of choices (such as picking a book on Amazon or a flight on Expedia), an iterative process that, for now, is far more easily handled with an app or Web site.
We’ve seen sales applications flop; one large retailer had to scrap a virtual agent deployment because the decision process for what to do with the customer turned out to be too complex to automate effectively.
The Chatbot Market
The global chatbot market was valued at USD 3.78 billion in 2021, and it is projected to register a CAGR of 30.29% over the forecast period 2022 - 2027. The chatbot market is witnessing growth due to increasing demand for messenger applications and the growing adoption of consumer analytics by various businesses globally.
Vendors globally are making significant product innovations by integrating technologies such as AI and NLP to cater to customer needs and market requirements.
The chatbot market consists of sales of chatbots by entities (organizations, sole traders, and partnerships) that can range from simple one-line programs that respond to a simple question to sophisticated digital assistants that learn and adapt as they collect and process data to create increasingly personalized experiences.
Key Chatbot Statistics
Let’s kick things off by taking a look at the most crucial chatbot statistics. The stats below tell you more about the growth of the chatbot industry and its adoption in different market sectors worldwide and reveal some of the biggest trends we’re seeing this year.
The first chatbot (Eliza) dates back to 1966, making it older than the Internet. Yet the technology had to wait a bit to flourish at scale. It was not until 2016 that Facebook allowed developers to place chatbots on Messenger. Brands started to develop their chatbot technology and customers eagerly tested them to see what they were capable of.
To stay afloat, many brick-and-mortar shops turned into eCommerce stores and began facing new customer service challenges. Companies started willingly implementing chatbots to cope with customer support interactions, improve customer experience, and lower support costs. The chatbot trends show that online shoppers have gotten used to chatbots over the past few years and are more likely to interact with them.
Chatbot User Statistics
Research shows that customers have already developed their preferences for chatbots. Consumers eagerly turn to them for handling minor issues or when they are in a hurry. They don't mind if they're served by a chatbot as long as the bot responds to their questions in real-time and helps them quickly resolve their problem.
However, customers expect brands to let them connect with a real person when the complexity of a problem goes beyond the chatbot's scope.
- 62% of consumers would prefer to use a customer service bot rather than wait for human agents to answer their requests.
- 74% of internet users prefer using chatbots when looking for answers to simple questions.
- 65% of consumers feel comfortable handling an issue without a human agent.
- 69% of consumers prefer to use chatbots because they provide instant responses.
- 40% of web users don't care if they are served by a bot or a human agent as long as they get the customer support services they need.
- 48% of users prefer to interact with a chatbot that solves issues over a chatbot that has a personality.
- 82% of consumers claim that instant responses to their questions are critical when contacting brands.
- 64% of consumers claim that 24/7 service is the most helpful chatbot functionality.
- 23% of consumers still prefer face-to-face interaction when the issue's complexity increases, such as with payment disputes or complaints.
As you can see from the statistics above, chatbots are extremely useful. Consumers like them, businesses like them and they’re extremely useful and versatile. No matter what industry your business is in, there is a way you can use chatbots to improve and streamline your processes.
Top Three Chatbot Platforms
In the past few years, we’ve seen many unprecedented things — notably, eCommerce growth. And, with eCommerce growth comes chatbot growth. They’re two parts of the digital marketing ecosystem that have thrived during stay-home orders and lockdowns.
You can find chatbots specific to the platform your audience prefers or multi-channel bots that will speak across platforms from one central hub. With so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming to even start. But don’t worry — we’ve compiled a list of chatbot examples to help you get started.
Out of all the simultaneous chaos and boredom of the past few years, chatbots have come out on top. Here are three of the best of the best chatbots in 2022.
When you sign up for TruVISIBILITY today, you get full access to their entire digital marketing platform including the Chat App. Simply put, you’ll be able to create high-converting landing pages, beautiful websites, chatbots, live chat, and email with SMS marketing messaging capabilities to communicate with your market like the Fortune 500 giants.
Quantity is second only to quality when it comes to leads. High-performing AI Chatbots will filter TruVISIBILITY's tire-kickers from serious customers. They’ll consistently:
- Ask the right questions
- Request and accept the required information
- Provide meaningful answers
- Ensure leads are suitable for your attention
And this consistent performance runs 24/7/365 to add more highly-qualified leads to your sales pipeline continually. You get both quality AND quantity on your side with the right Chatbots. With their free-to-start plan, you'll get to explore the platform all you want!
2) REVE Chat
REVE Chat offers an AI-enabled omnichannel live chat platform to seamlessly engage with customers across their preferred channels to deliver a consistent experience. It also offers a complete suite of live customer engagement tools such as co-browsing and video chat to personalize conversations and deliver a virtual in-person experience.
REVE Chat offers a ready-to-use chatbot platform that allows brands to create customized bots with zero codings based on business needs. You can deploy chatbots in a short time frame, train the bots and measure their performance much quicker compared to a custom solution. It is ideal for enterprises or small businesses that want to manage conversations in a hassle-free manner.
The chatbot platform is available at $50 per month with any of the plans.
ManyChat is a widely accepted chatbot platform that automates & combines Facebook Messenger and SMS to grow your business. It is an excellent platform to build your chatbot in just a few minutes and deployed it on Messenger for use cases on sales, marketing, and customer service.
ManyChat offers both free as well as paid plans. The Standard plan starts at $10/month for 500 subscribers, and at $145/month for 25,000 subscribers.
Now that it is clear that before you choose your best chatbot platform it is very important to identify your business objectives, understand the bot flow, and identify the touchpoints and the points to automate. It will help to build the best conversational AI chatbot for your business.
Not following the chatbot’s best practices and not doing it right, will have a negative impact on the overall customer experience. Customers will not be satisfied with the bot's performance and prefer interacting with it.
Technology today is evolving at break-neck speeds, offering businesses multiple opportunities to market their brands and enhance the customer experience. A chatbot is one of the most prominent technologies among these advancements.
Chatbots are industry-agnostic and can be implemented across different verticals. Chatbots not only help you save costs but, at the same time, ensure a superior customer experience that helps set your business apart.
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