You’ve probably watched tons of videos where people test chatbots asking them various questions to see which one is smarter — Google Assistant, Siri, or maybe Alexa, or which AI will understand the name Benedict Cumberbatch pronounced in English, but in different accents. But chatbots are more than just fun. They can be quite different in their capabilities, yet they offer quite a lot of advantages for companies. Read on to find out about the top benefits of chatbots for businesses and examples of bot usage.
What is a Сhatbot?
A chatbot is a software program that uses language learning processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence to make a text or/and speech conversation with people to provide them with specific outputs.
Chatbots are used for a variety of purposes — from pure entertainment to resolving health issues, providing excellent customer support, promoting sales, increasing brand awareness, helping users with their daily routine, or educating people on a company’s products and services.
You can implement and design chatbots for different platforms and channels — build stand-alone chatbots, like mobile applications or web-embedded chatbots, or integrate them into various messengers, like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Telegram, WhatsApp, Skype, Kik, Twitter, and many others. Chatbots provide you with a perfect opportunity to reach out to your customers whenever they are.
What are the main types of chatbots?
Depending on their capabilities, chatbots can be simple, intelligent, and hybrid.
- Simple bots are quite basic tools that rely on natural language processing. They can understand and respond to human queries with certain actions that are based on keywords and phrases. This type of bots has a defined rule-based decision tree (or RBDT), which helps users find needed information. FAQ chatbot is a perfect example of a simple bot.
- Intelligent chatbots, which are also known as virtual assistants or virtual agents, are powered by artificial intelligence and are much more complicated than simple chatbots. They can understand human written and oral language and, which is more important, the context behind it.
- Hybrid chatbots are bots that are partially automated, meaning that they lead conversations until a human interaction is required. They might have the same functionality as simple bots, but a user can opt for a person when needed.
What are the top benefits of chatbots for business?
Having a well-developed chatbot is much better for your business than not having it at all. Regardless of your company’s size, location, and industry, it will provide you with these benefits:
- Round-the-clock availability
No matter what kind of business you have — a local or international one, you are always there for your clients. May it be the middle of the night, early morning, or Sunday, your customers always find what they are looking for. With 24/7 chatbot availability, you won’t miss a chance to sell a product, help to resolve an issue, or educate your customers on an extensive range of services you provide.
- Improved customer engagement
Chatbot is a perfect tool for customer engagement as it is always there to communicate with them through various messengers, corporate websites, or mobile apps. As Paul Greenberg stated: “Customer engagement is the ongoing interactions between company and customer, offered by the company, chosen by the customer." So, do not deprive your clients of another tool for perfect customer engagement.
- High customer satisfaction
There is no worse thing for a company than unsatisfied clients. But some of them are so demanding that it is becoming quite difficult for your employees to deal with them without losing their temper. In this case, chatbots become a perfect medium for communication. They are always even-tempered, no matter what happens. Besides, a chatbot answers your users immediately and doesn’t keep them waiting on the phone line or in a chatbox. With a good chatbot, your clients are left satisfied and content.
- Fast multitasking
Your phone lines and chats will never be too busy to lose interaction with a client, as chatbots are designed to perform multiple tasks and serve a large number of people simultaneously. You might have hundreds of queries at your call center, and a chatbot will be able to answer them all.
- Business processes automation
You can automate many business processes with the help of a chatbot. For instance, you can optimize the delivery process, help them choose the necessary service, or you can guide your clients. The number of options here is quite broad.
- Cutting costs
With a chatbot in your business, you can significantly cut costs as you create your chatbot only once, and use it as much as you need. It does not need salary, vacations, or sick leaves. Thus, you can spend your budget on other employees and company’s needs.
What is the main usage of chatbots in healthcare, customer service, and commerce?
Even if you do not have massive customer flows or your business is not related to e-commerce or retail, you can still find a good use of chatbots. If you are a healthcare professional — have a healthcare chatbot. Let’s consider several examples of such chatbots.
If your business is related to healthcare, you can successfully apply chatbots. For instance, Woebot is one of the most popular chatbots in the healthcare industry. It was created by a clinical research psychologist and Harvard alumni, Alison Darcy, who also has a programming background. She applied her knowledge in psychology and technology to create a chatbot that helps people battle depression and anxiety with the help of CBT techniques, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
As a rule, depressed people have a particular pattern of thinking, but Woebot assists them in overcoming those negative patterns by regularly checking up with the user. By answering its questions, monitoring your mood every day, you can easily track your mood patterns and understand yourself and even break some habits of negative thinking.
This bot acts not as a serious psychiatrist but more like a friendly specialist who educates you on different mental health-related topics. For instance, Woebot uses a good sense of humor, which puts you at ease immediately and you do not feel like as if you are being judged.
Benefits of a healthcare chatbot:
- It does bring value not only to business but has a significant impact on the society
- Helps you properly monitor health
- Assists you in breaking bad habits and creating healthy ones
Customer service chatbots
Probably, it is the most widely-used type of chatbots. You can find it on different websites and messengers. When you are swamped with lots of letters, this chatbot will save you from disaster . For instance, a live chat agent can handle only a few customers properly answering their questions. But what to do if there are multiple chats and you are out of agents. The odds are that you will lose potential customers as some people will be angry and leave your website with a bad impression of you and your company.
In addition, you can significantly cut costs by having only a single bot than a team of human customer service agents. You can easily train one bot instead of multiple chat agents.
Benefits of customer service chatbots:
- 24/7 support — service your customers whenever they are
- Dramatically improves customer satisfaction
- Help to increase customer engagement
- Have a fast response speed
- Can easily automate customer service processes
- Can handle multiple users simultaneously
- No need to train a team of agents as it's much quicker to train a single chatbot
When you have a wide range of products or services, help your clients choose the right item or solution with the help of commercial chatbots. Various retailers, financial institutions, travel & hospitality companies have already implemented such bots. If you are a winemaker or retailer, for example, you can have your bot ask the next questions:
- What is your pricing range?
- What type of wine do you prefer?
- What is your preferred wine region?
Based on a customer’s answers, the commercial chatbot can offer a bottle of wine that would be the most suited.
Benefits of commercial chatbots:
- Help customers find what they need much faster
- Can easily substitute a seller
- Always available at your customers’ fingertips
What are the benefits of a Facebook messenger chatbot for business?
One of the popular bots that is implemented into a medium channel is a Facebook messenger bot. The main advantage of this bot, as well as other messenger bots, is that a lot of social media platforms have an enormous amount of users. According to Statista, Facebook has 2.41 billion monthly active users around the globe in 2019.
Embed it into your Facebook page, engage your users, and use your chatbot to the fullest.
Benefits of Facebook chatbots:
- You do not have to build a separate app chatbot or have it on your website, which is cost-effective
- Facebook chatbot is available round-the-clock, you won’t lose a single customer
- You can find a lot of free information on how to build you perfect Facebook chatbot
What are the main disadvantages of chatbots?
If you are still wondering if chatbots have any disadvantages — yes, they still do. Here are the main ones:
- Require time to create and implement an intelligent bot
- Lack of human emotion
- Does not understand full contextualization
They might not be so sophisticated yet and can’t fully substitute people, but with multiple technological breakthroughs, we are going to see chatbots’ full potential.
How do you know if you need a chatbot?
You definitely need a chatbot if:
- Your business is in the realms of retail, e-commerce, finance, healthcare, entertainment, or any other, which drives a lot of customers in or if you have a wide choice of services or products.
- You do not want to lose any lucrative opportunity, want to support your users 24/7, or you are looking for a way to scale your product like Woebot did, it’s definitely the right time to consider a chatbot.
How to build a chatbot?
If you have a technical background, and you want to create a chatbot to integrate it with a social media platform, you can find a lot of online resources to do so. But, if you want to have an intelligent chatbot or to have a standalone bot like an app, for instance, you should have a look at an experienced software development company that will carry out a proper analysis of your business needs and build a custom bot that will provide you with all the benefits listed in this article.
No matter what kind of business you run, or what type of bot you choose — a simple one, intelligent, or hybrid, it will bring you invaluable advantages in cost savings, business process automation, and it gives you a perfect chance to keep in touch with your clients 24/7. Besides, your clients will always be duly assisted and provided with excellent customer support.