How Small Businesses Can Use Chatbots
Chatbots are taking over in the world of business. These chatty software applications carry on conversations that mimic human speech, tone, and intelligence with the power of artificial intelligence. Chatbots provide big benefits for businesses, including growing your business, increasing engagement, answering questions, and influencing decisions. They’re in demand, too. Research indicates chatbot demand is high with as many as 80 percent of companies expecting to have chatbots by the end of 2020.
But chatbots aren’t limited to just large companies. There are several ways chatbots can help your small business, too. Here’s how:
1. Provide Round-the-Clock Service
Unlike software applications, humans must rest to perform their best at work. But they may also mean missed sales or engagement opportunities with prospective and existing customers. Chatbots can instantly handle common inquiries that don’t require a human around the clock. That’s like giving your audience access to get help at any time of the day, 365 days out the year. You can even set up chatbots to deliver relevant content to your customers via social media platforms. For instance, you can create a Facebook Messenger bot to deliver fitness tips and links to relevant content or fitness apparel your customers want.
2. Collect Lead Information
If you want to grow your business and increase your sales, then you need to have a way to collect lead information. Chatbots are useful for collecting data accurately. Take advantage of chatbots to qualify leads before you push them through the sales marketing funnel. Your chatbot can also collect the lead information and even follow up with qualified leads to help them make a buying decision.
3. Personalize the Customer Experience
You can also use chatbots to further increase engagement with your customers by personalizing their experience. For instance, you can program the chatbot to follow up with customers after they’ve experienced a problem with your service to ensure their concerns are addressed. You can also use chatbots to engage with customers and ask questions about their preferences, so they can provide service or product recommendations to influence customers buying decisions.
4. Help You Scale Your Customer Service
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a small company with 30 employees or a one-person show. If you plan to scale your business, you’ll need extra help to support your customers. That’s where chatbots can lend a helping hand. With a chatbot, you can have extra help to answer your customer questions. For instance, you can program your chatbot to handle simple or frequently asked questions (FAQs), such as inquiries about your store hours or contact information for your business. Additionally, you can use chatbots as your first line of defense to handle an influx of online chat conversations during peak seasons.
You can also use chatbots to help you handle simple tasks, such as scheduling an appointment or taking a payment. This helps reduce wait time and frees up time for human customer service representatives to work on the most important matters or more complex issues as your business grows.
5. Increase Your Sales
Chatbots provide an incredible amount of accessibility and opportunities to engage with customers on other platforms. By using chatbots that are compatible with the apps and platforms your target audience uses, you can engage with them more often. For instance, you can increase sales by using a chatbot to engage with customers on Skype, Slack, Facebook, Apple iMessage and other platforms that use instant messaging.
There’s no denying the benefits that chatbots bring for business. With chatbots, you can save time and energy for more complex problems. These innovative software programs make it simple to collect valuable information that can lead to sales and growing your business. Just ensure you consider your business needs before committing to a chatbot, and you can find the ideal chatbot to help your business grow.