The online marketplace is expanding faster than a balloon on helium and it's becoming harder for businesses to keep up with customer expectations.
Why? Technology has pampered us in such a way that no matter the time or day of the week, when we direct message our favorite brands via Instagram or Facebook, we're expecting them to answer instantaneously and help us find what we need.
Are those expectations unreasonable? Maybe.
Is it possible, as a business, to meet those expectations without breaking the bank? Definitely!
Lucky for us, there's a new sheriff in town - the chatbot! These bots can provide seamless customer support with their capacity to answer customer questions, and even drive sales while you're drinking your coffee or taking a nap.
Hard to believe? Well, saddle up and join us as we dive into why chatbots are a must-have for any e-commerce business looking to ride off into the sunset with happy customers and bulging wallets.
Types of Chatbots
If you've worked with chatbots before chances are, you know that there are two main types: rule-based and AI-powered.
The differences between them may appear to just have to do with machine learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand user intent, or the ability of AI to provide personalized messaging.
But we love reminding everybody because we've experienced it first hand: don't be quick to dismiss any of them.
Both have advantages that can make them the better choice for your business and both can achieve incredible results for your company.
First, we have rule-based chatbots that are like your trusty old flip phone. They do what they're told, they're reliable, and they get the job done.
Sure, they may not be as flashy as their smartphone counterparts, but they're a cost-effective solution for answering basic questions and driving visitors to check out, being more than capable to automate customer communication, driving sales, and helping out your human agents in dealing with big workloads.
Now, Artificial Intelligence powered chatbots are like the latest iPhone model. They use machine learning and NLP to understand user intent and provide personalized messaging.
They're smarter, more intuitive, and can handle a lot of the most complex customer queries precisely because of their AI capabilities.
Think of them as the slick, smooth-talking salesperson who always knows just what to say in closing the deal.
Plus, with their ability to learn and improve over time, they're like the Energizer Bunny - they just keep getting better and better.
However, the truth is they are a lot harder to create, and require a bigger investment, usually requiring the business to hire an agency that can create the bot for them, and train the AI brain, so they're not a perfect fit for everybody.
Chat bot benefits
Whether you're team rule-based or team AI-powered, chatbots are here to revolutionize the way we do business.
With their ability to provide better customer service, personalized experiences, and round-the-clock sales support to all potential customers, they're the superhero sidekick every business owner dreams of having.
So buckle up, and get ready because here are the key benefits of chatbots:
Perfecting interactions, customer satisfaction, and customer experience!
In this day and age, customers are like toddlers with a sugar high: they want what they want, and they want it NOW.
Customers want businesses to be available 24/7, to provide personalized experiences within their favorite messaging platform, and to make their customer journey smoother than a hot knife through butter.
According to a study by Salesforce, 64% of customers expect companies to respond to them in real time - because who has time to wait?
And get this - 80% of customers say that the experience a company provides is just as important as the actual products or services they offer. Talk about high maintenance!
Now, let's talk about the customer journey.
A lot of people overcomplicate it, but think about it this way: it's like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but instead of fighting dragons and saving princesses, your customers are browsing your online store, bombarding your support team with questions, and interacting with your sales squad.
And the best way to make sure they don't bail halfway through the story and maybe come back again and again for a retelling?
Get a customer service chatbot that has the sales logic built behind it to offer a personalized experience that's smoother than a baby's bottom, and consistent across all touchpoints.
That way, your customers won't feel like they're trapped in a twisted, never-ending maze of confusion and frustration.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "How can a bot provide a personalized experience? It's not like they can remember my birthday or my favorite pizza topping!"
Yes-they-can! Chatbots can analyze customer data and behavior to provide personalized recommendations.
Plus, they can even offer assistance and dish out some sweet discount codes to incentivize purchases!
And the best part? While you sit back and sip on your coffee, these bots will be collecting valuable customer insights, helping you understand consumer behaviors and preferences.
And you know what they say, time is money, and chatbots help businesses save both!
You already know that, once your chatbot is up and running, customer queries won't have to wait on hold for hours to get an answer, and businesses won't have to hire a team of night owls to man the customer support line after normal business hours.
With chatbots, answers are instantaneous 24/7, meeting even the most unreasonable of customer expectations and businesses get to keep their sanity and a good night's sleep.
However, there's a plus that some of you might not know: chatbots provide consistent answers to customer questions, so every customer gets the same quality of service, improving the customer experience, building good customer relationships, and driving sales on autopilot. Quite the package huh?
Cost-effective chatbots = happiness
Chatbots are truly the unsung heroes of customer support!
Not only because they can automate customer communication, handling queries like a boss, leaving your support team to deal with complex queries that are the real doozies, but precisely because, with chatbots handling the grunt work, your support team can focus on the big stuff, like figuring out how to solve world hunger (okay, maybe not that big).
Plus, you'll be saving so much money that you can finally afford that fancy coffee machine for the office.
Chatbots never get tired, never need a coffee break, and never complain about working overtime, they're a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to provide seamless customer support for a large volume of customer interactions without incurring additional costs associated with hiring and training customer service agents.
Remember we said before chatbots are like the Energizer Bunny 'cause they keep going, getting better and better? Well, they also do exactly that for customer support.
Implementing your chatbot solution
When you’re implementing your chatbot, you want it to increase customer engagement and drive more sales, right? So don't forget to give it personality!
Do you WANT your chatbot to feel cold and robotic? Of course not, you want it to be friendly, seamless, and consistent with your brand, so make sure it uses the same brand language and tone as the rest of your company's marketing.
Also, make sure your chatbot can get to and manage customer interactions where the customers are actually hanging out, capturing them at any point of contact, whether they:
comment on your posts, reels, or live videos
reply to your stories or mention you in their stories
click a button on your website, email, or SMS blasts
click or comment on your paid ads
direct message your page
Any of these actions can trigger a DM to be sent and a chatbot conversation to start.
It’s got to be a simple experience for customers and you can deliver that experience by building your chatbots behind popular messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM, and WhatsApp.
The Verdict: Do yourself a favor, and get a chatbot!
Well, well, well, you're still here and reading! You must be a real chatbot enthusiast by now. Anyway, let's cut to the chase.
The super-high customer expectations from businesses are making the job of meeting those expectations get harder and harder. But fear not!
Chatbots are here to save the day, like Batman without the cape but with really cool gadgets.
Whether you go for a rule-based chatbot or an AI-powered one, they offer a bunch of benefits that will make your customers go wild: you'll have personalized interactions, 24/7 support, and a smoother customer journey that will make your competitors turn Hulk-green with envy.
Chatbots are also cost-effective, which means you'll save money and have more time to enjoy your coffee, plus, they collect valuable customer insights that will help you improve your business and make EVEN MORE money. Who doesn't want that, am I right?
So, if you're still interested in riding off into the sunset with happy customers and bulging wallets, you need to consider implementing a chatbot.
What are you waiting for? Embrace the chatbot revolution and get ready to be the hero your customers need, but not the one they deserve, that's still Batman's job.
Don't forget that if you want more chatbot wisdom, you can give us a follow on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn. We won't disappoint!