If you are wondering whether a chatbot could be a solution to a problem within your organization, this post will talk about the problems that chatbots, conversational agents, and virtual agents can solve.
Businesses that struggle with customer engagement can often utilize digital transformation solutions to help discover more information about what the market needs from their organization. Chatbots can be one part of this multi-faceted solution. With Alexa and Siri leading the effort in helping change the paradigm for how consumers should perceive chatbots, the industry as a whole has caught a lot of attention because of the ability to help inform businesses about their customers using data. This is the first small step into using “big data” in a way that is digestable and consumable. For example, this data includes understanding how humans use language in both subtle and non-subtle ways as well as being able to discern information from their initial request.
Organizations that quickly adopt and iterate on their chatbots can often find a treasure trove of information that can be used to quickly help inform how to better engage with their customers, learning how to trend and using it as a predicting service, and resulting in an increased bottom line. Chatbots with speech recognition have also drastically improved over the years, which has enhanced the interaction with various applications.
In terms of business trends, the following forecasts were made about chatbots, and that’s just a few of the many chatbot statistics available:
- A Business Insider survey said that by 2020, 80% businesses expect to have chatbot automation implemented to some extent.
- A LivePerson survey of 5,000 consumers showed that 67% had used a chatbot for customer support in the last year.
Overview of the Business Problems That Chatbots Solve
Chatbots can solve a broad array of both simple and complex problems for businesses. I’m going to share with you some of the most common ways that chatbots can be used to help businesses better engage with their customers, streamline business workflows, and also increase profitability in an organization.
1. Assisting with Continued Lead Generation
Chatbots can help gather information from potential customers to better understand the intent behind a user visiting a website or an application. The ability to automate this user interaction will allow data to be stored to better understand the patterns, and ultimately, predict what the user is wanting from your organization. Being able to understand what the desired intent is and providing an interaction to capture that lead through a conversion via the chatbot can help streamline the lead generation process. This data could also be used to link the user up to a sales rep within your CRM database.
2. Driving More Sales
Chatbots can help customers and users find the product that best solves their problems. Chatbots can build a customer journey and understand the persona of a user, which enables the business to suggest relevant products to a customer. If patterns emerge and successful interactions are rendered by the chatbot, the ability to automate these interactions and build additional sales funnels will allow the chatbot or virtual agent to better serve the user without the need to engage another human. In addition, the data used for lead generation and sales can help with future retargeting marketing campaigns.
3. Guiding Customers and Users to Better Outcomes
Customers sometimes don’t always know where to find the information that they need or are unaware of what they need. Chatbots can help by asking questions to better route your customers to the information they are seeking. In addition, it allows them to qualify the information they are seeking. In developing a chatbot that helps guide customers, machine learning algorithms along with predefined FAQ services can help gather information from the customer and provide them the information they need.
4. First Line Customer Service Support
Having customer service chatbots available can help your brand build loyalty and also retain user engagement on your website or application. Chatbots that are responsive and interactive that aligns with the brand allows for more brand recognition, which then drives continued user engagement. Once customers feel comfortable with using your brand’s chatbot, they can also use it as the first line for support, the benefit of not only saving expensive human customer service support interaction, but also providing prompt responses to inquiring customers. It can help automate ticketing processes as well, which allows your teams to free up your customer support human agents’ time by automating ticketing and follow-through for low-complexity issues.
5. Scaling Businesses Globally
Chatbots are an effective support tool because they can help sustain customer support around the clock without the need to hire human agents around the clock. In addition, for e-commerce businesses that have high traffic website during large sales and events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Years, or President’s Day, chatbots can help alleviate some of the strain from your human customer service agents by handling initial interactions to gather the information needed for the human agent handover.
6. Managing Risks
Chatbots can be developed and configured to handle requirements around finance, auditing as well as regulatory reporting that have a low threshold for error. Often, chatbots have a benefit over human agents when configured properly, have a low risk of human error.
7. Increasing Productivity
Chatbots can help businesses improve efficiency and accuracy all while reducing costs. By automating workflows and streamlining processes, chatbots can be configured to help reduce the need for hiring human agents in some work streams, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives.
Chatbots are completely transforming the way we get things done.
8. Providing Entertainment
With Siri, Alexa, and Cortana leading the way, current day bots can be built to customize their behavior based on the brand they represent by being preconfigured to do quizzes, creating lists, reading news, and weather reports in an interface that is easy to use.
9. Simplifying Day to Day Activities
Chatbots can help people simplify their life by being able to share information quickly and easily. From an enterprise perspective, imagine if a chatbot could help inform maintenance for a conference room without ever having to pick up a phone to log a request. That’s the scale of how chatbots can simplify the daily life of not only a consumer, but also a worker.
10. Reducing Operation Costs
Using a chatbot to help automate support can allow businesses to save money that would have been used to hire and train representatives for your business for first line support. By automating interactions and conversations that would generally require a customer service professional to answer, your organization can allocate those resources to other work rather than answering repetitive questions. Chatbots can be configured to understand natural text queries by a customer and giving them precise answers, even with followup answers.
11. Delighting and Engaging Customers
Delightful customer interactions can help assist with continued engagement from your customers, which increases brand recognition and brand perception. Having an intuitive conversational channel allows you to engage with your target customers, users, and audience while not costing you much in terms of time and resources from a development perspective.
12. Easing the Ability to Track Data and Metrics
With the data collected between a user and a bot, there is the ability to capture metrics at all parts of process. This allows businesses to use the data to understand how to increase effectiveness, accuracy, and efficiency in order to produce outcomes that are best for the business.
13. Increasing Brand Recognition
Chatbots and conversational agents can help your organization provide a consistent and personalized brand experience to your users, especially when powered by NLP, AI, and cognitive services.
Powered by natural language processing (NLP) technology, conversational chatbots empower you to provide a consistent and personalized brand experience to your audience.
14. Scheduled Sales Notifications
Chatbots can be developed and configured to inform website and application users of new deals as they appear on websites with click through conversion actions to increase sales.
15. Shipping and Delivery Notifications
For an e-commerce website, when an order has been placed on the website, the user converts to a customer, which can then allow chatbots to be configured to provide these new customers with information regarding the shipping and delivery of their products or service.
16. Feedback Loop and Suggestion Collection
Chatbots are a great way to allow customers to provide surveys, polls, and questionnaires, allowing users to answer honestly without needing be be surveyed by a human agent, which may cause bias.
17. 24/7 Online Support
Chatbots offer 24-hour support even when your office is closed. Customer service chatbots can allow customers to receive and access the information they need, helping organizations significantly decrease the average time to respond to a customer message, aligning customer expectations with the increasing demand for businesses to be online 24/7.
Adoption of a Chatbot to Solve Problems
When building a chatbot for business, organizations need to understand what the customer base needs the chatbot to do and target the department that will be the most profitable. This can narrowed down by reviewing any existing competitors to see if they have done any digital transformation into this space.
Chatbots can help solve issues, answer common questions, and automate processes. However, the trend is that businesses are now not only using chatbots for customer support, but also shifting usage to identifying lead, activating leads, funnel leadings, and converting to sales opportunities. Being able to integrate marketing campaigns with chatbots allows users and prospects to not only be engaged, but converted into happy customers. This allows your organization to be able to create efficiencies in all potential opportunities, including later retargeting, for all prospective leads for your business.
The elements for having a chatbot that is adopted for each of these problem use cases are the chatbot’s:
Chatbots are a better alternative than user experiences involving calling a 1-800 number and waiting in line for a half hour call, routed to agents with fairly standard or non-customized customer journeys. Chatbots provide a new, fun, and more interactive way to interact and engage with businesses.
Common Problems Chatbots Help Solve as a Pilot Project for Artificial Intelligence
Organizations that are starting their endeavor in trying to figure out how they can use artificial intelligence within their business can quickly startup a chatbot as a proof of concept on the outcome of what the data collected can help do for the company. From there, automating other workflows, adding in robotic process automation, and other cognitive services can quickly be adapted from the learnings of the chatbot implementation.
When presenting a chatbot as an initial solution to streamline any workflow, it can be expected to be met with a lot of skepticism. Being able to explain the value of the data derived from chatbot is the key to any successful stakeholder conversation. The trend with enterprises and small business owners have showcased the ability for businesses to have an edge in the market place by just using small pieces of data gathered in interactions with chatbots. While no chatbot can be perfect, but the potential for problem solving, customer engagement, and prospecting can be enormous if the data is used appropriately.
Summary of Problems that Chatbots Can Solve
Without a doubt, chatbots can revolutionize the experience of the customer and streamlining business processes for efficiency. Chatbots are inching towards the mainstream market for business owners. They can help increase customer satisfaction with your organization’s products and services, which is a great way to help level set expectations. Chatbots have close to 100% view rate and super high response rates, eclipsing even email marketing. Prospecting, troubleshooting, and increasing engagement are all things chatbots can help solve. Chatbots are solving a multitude of problems from simple to complex, and are becoming an important part of marketing and operational strategies for businesses across the globe.
Over the last decade, chatbots have had a dramatic improvement due to natural language processing and machine learning techniques. Currently, businesses are facing a multitude of solutions to automation as their markets become more competitive with data. In full transparency, chatbots powered with speech recognition and other cognitive services are in the nascent phase. That shouldn’t stop an organization from pursuing developing a chatbot, as the data about what your customers want can prove to be invaulable.