Top Chatbot Benefits
What every business owner, entrepreneur, and professional needs to know to benefit from using chatbots in their marketing campaigns.
First, I want to share about the chatbot trends.
To market a product or service today, we need to use the apps our customers are using, Facebook Messenger. Businesses are tapping into this market and it’s projected to grow $9.4 Billion by 2024.
Sounds too good to be true?
Enter MESSENGER CHATBOT TRENDS in your search engine or use this Google Link.
I have a great reputation with my clients and it’s because I lay it on the line and avoid the fluff.
Did you know…
There are over 133 million users currently using Facebook Messenger in the United States; source link. If you do business outside the United States, the number jumps to over 1.3 billion users; source link.
These days, you’ll find chatbots proliferating every corner of the internet, from social media like Facebook (FB), Instagram, and Slack to individual websites and SMS solutions. Just look at Facebook Messenger alone. Chatbots linked to Facebook Messenger have grown from 30k in 2016 to more than 100k in 2017 and around 400k in 2020. According to Business Insider, 60% of young people already use Messenger chatbots on social media sites and mobile apps like Facebook and Instagram daily, and Facebook Messenger gets more daily use than Facebook itself. Meanwhile, 68% of people who use any mobile apps at all use the Facebook Messenger app. As of a 2018 count, that makes for approximately 1.3 billion users on Facebook’s Messenger app alone. All this helps explains why, according to Oracle, 80% of businesses say they want Messenger chatbots by the end of 2020 and why, if yours is not among them, it should be.
That said, remember chatbots aren’t just for FB Messenger either. You can use a chatbot on your website and mobile app, in your SMS contacts, and on all social media and e-commerce sites and mobile apps on which you have a presence. In fact, the ways to utilize chatbots for your business are practically innumerable, but whether it be in FB Messenger, SMS, your website, or mobile app, their role is the same. While a chatbot can perform many duties, from understanding questions to providing answers to executing tasks, their fundamental role is simple: to help businesses administer, manage, and scale their customer relations and support services.
Artifical Intelligence (AI) chatbots make use of artificial intelligence and data science to help businesses from web hosting companies to footwear manufacturers to save money on staffing a full support team, and this is just one of the many benefits chatbots offer to both businesses and their customers alike. Many of the others you’ll find conveniently listed below.
For easier scanning and understanding, we’ve divided up these benefits accordingly: that is, by whether they directly benefit businesses or customers, but what you’ll undoubtedly note as you read through them is they each affect both. That is, the benefits to your business inevitably also benefit your customers, and vice-versa, the benefits to your customers invariably benefit you and your business as well.
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Benefits to Your Business
A single human support representative can help a single individual at a time. A chatbot, by contrast, can help as many individuals at once as require help at that moment. A chatbot can start a conversation with one person while processing a query for another person while completing a task for another person, all at the same time.
Whether you’re a small business or a corporate empire, if you rely solely on human support staff, the number of representatives you’d need to hire will grow every time you grow your business. More than that, when you expand your reach from conventional marketing to online and mobile apps to social media to Messenger, you expand the number of people potentially reaching out to your company at the same time, only further increase the number of human agents you would need to handle all that influx exponentially. By contrast, the only number of chatbots you’ll ever need is one, no matter how much or how fast you grow, expand, and broaden your reach.
While the cost savings of chatbots was mentioned in the intro to this article, it bears repeating and expounding a bit upon. Every person you hire for your team, including customer relations staff, you must pay for all the work they do. The more they work, the more you must pay them. A chatbot is an investment you pay for once and only once, no matter how much work it does for you or for how long.
Moreover, if web hosting costs are a concern, there are options available to maximize your chatbot usage with minimal investment. Weighing the option to program the chatbot yourself or to hire a professional. Most businesses will opt to hire a professional to get the chatbot up and running with minimal time and focus on what the know best and leave the technical stuff to others. This is just one of the ways Juniper Research estimates that thanks to chatbots, companies will be able to cut $8 billion per year in costs globally by 2022.
Chatbots are not only cost-efficient, but they’re also time-efficient. Most of the questions or concerns people have when they contact a support department are among a select few frequently asked questions you don’t need a human being to answer for them when AI chatbots are perfectly capable of doing it just as effectively.
For those rare instances when an individual has a special query, concern, or request that cannot so easily be addressed, a chatbot can easily redirect that individual to an actual human support agent. In that way, you can still provide your visitors with personal service while simultaneously streamlining your resources.
Similarly, chatbots aren’t just good for answering questions. You can also program them to perform a wide array of tasks. Not only can this make your operations flow more smoothly and efficiently, but it can also prevent your human staff from expending their time and energy on monotonous, repetitive tasks and allow them to turn their focus to areas where their skills and interests can be most efficiently and effectively applied.
For example, you can use chatbots instead of human staff to automate shopping cart or messenger tasks, download mobile apps, and report bugs to the technical team. A chatbot can transfer calls to the proper departments, process simple orders and returns, provide appropriate marketing offers, and deliver relevant marketing campaign messages, demo products and help with product selection.
This, in turn, can increase not only your satisfaction with your workers but your workers’ own job satisfaction. And as any business owner knows, a happy staff is an effective staff.
If you have a Facebook and Instagram presence, then you need a Facebook Messenger and Instagram Messenger chatbot. And if you don’t have a presence on Facebook and Instagram, then you need one. Millions of people around the world rely on Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis. More, most of them use those social media multiple times throughout their day for a wide array of tasks, from communication to accessing services to shopping. A messenger chatbot allows you to access these millions of daily visitors and capitalize on the myriad marketing benefits of social media behemoths like Facebook and Instagram.
When small business marketing campaigns are limited by the small business’s marketing budget, making use of the access larger businesses provide you to their vastly broader customer bases is essential for your marketing success. For the same reason companies large and small rely on Facebook ads and Instagram ads for their marketing campaigns, so too is it vital to make use of Facebook Messenger and Instagram Messenger chatbots for your customer relations.
If you have a company with a global reach, then after you set up messenger bots on the likes of Facebook and Instagram, you can then create messengers bots on popular messaging apps in other countries. For example, if you conduct business in Asia, you’ll want a messenger bot on LINE, KakaoTalk, and WeChat.
Getting back to Facebook and its Messenger app, in particular, however, another way an FB Messenger bot helps provide you access to more people is through the benefits of early adoption. While it may seem like all you hear about anymore are chatbots, the fact is it’s still incredibly early in the use of chatbots for businesses. Only around 400,000 of Facebook’s approximately six million advertisers currently use messenger bots. That means making use of a messenger bot gives you access to all the users not getting suitably served by your competitors who have, as of yet, failed to hop on this bandwagon.
Artificial intelligence isn’t just useful for making a chatbot able to understand a visitor’s questions and provide the proper answers. Artificial intelligence is also useful for turning contacts into genuine targeted leads. By using your chatbot to ask particular questions and collect certain information, it can filter visitors into different categories that help you develop a list of target leads you can pass along to your sales team to approach with relevant additional offers. In this way, a messenger bot can be as useful a part of your marketing funnel as any ad campaign.
The more you know about the people your business serves, the more effectively your business can serve them and the more, in turn, they will continue to rely on you, and even recommend you to others, to provide those services. A business’s customer relations departments are one of the richest sources of data on what the people you serve care about and how they feel about your business’s ability to serve them.
With that in mind, consider the difference between a human and a bot in terms of ability to collect, organize, and report on that data. Obviously, a bot can perform those tasks much more thoroughly and efficiently than a human being. The data a human agent can give you is mostly limited to a personal impression of a caller’s needs and the transcript records of the conversation, but a bot can analyze every iota of that communication to glean loads of useful information.
You can then feed that information through the latest data science methods and technologies to determine how to better serve that person and all your visitors and users. For example, with the data science a chatbot provides, you can then develop more custom-tailored marketing campaigns that more directly address the personal needs and desires of your customers. Use the information gleaned from your chatbot, for example, to develop new and improved product demos that directly address your users’ most common and pressing questions, interests, and concerns. You can even use your chatbot to solicit feedback on that product demo in order to make it even better and further show your users that you care and heed their concerns.
Technology and Progress
Chatbots are always evolving, thanks to constant rapid advances in science and technology. That means today’s chatbot, with all its many virtues, will pale in comparison to the chatbots of tomorrow, next year and the coming decade. Progress in artificial intelligence, neurolinguistic programming (NLP,) data science, machine learning, and other sciences and technologies are only making chatbots more versatile, intelligent, and—yes—human.
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Benefits to Your Customers
Different people seek support at different times of day, be that because of their time zone or life demands. Whatever the reason, it means the only way to make sure someone is available to help that person when they contact your business is to always have a representative standing by to serve. While this can be unwieldy to prohibitive to arrange with human staff, AI chatbots are always available.
Chatbots also prevent your visitors from having to wait on hold for the next available agent to help them, since, as mentioned above, a chatbot can help 10, 100 or 1,000 people at a time as easily as it could help one.
Anyone who’s ever contacted a customer relations department knows that the degree to which they come away from the experience satisfied depends largely on the individual agent or representative who served them.
If an agent has a bad day or is ill-informed about the topic of the visitor’s inquiry, that visitor is likely to have a less satisfactory experience than one who was served by an agent or representative having a good day and who is well-informed about the topic of the inquiry.
A chatbot, on the other hand, is always in a stellar mood and fully-versed on every topic within its purview. Moreover, a chatbot always treats every customer the same, no matter the mood, knowledge, or patience of that customer. A chatbot never loses its patience with a person and never treats a person with disrespect.
Messenger bots are far more than simple question-answer sessions. Messenger bots can now help visitors log in to their account on your website or mobile app or, even, create an account if they don’t yet have one. Messenger bots can also provide customized order summaries, track orders, and offer customized product and service suggestions. Messenger bots can conduct surveys and polls and solicit reviews and feedback, further making use of data science to collect invaluable user data.
Your visitors can use your messenger bots to run searches, load pages, or download content like product specs and demos, manuals, and brochures. They can use your messenger bots to make recommendations to friends and share their activity on your site or mobile app with others in their social media network.
On first thought, you may believe that a human being would clearly provide more personal support to an individual than a bot, but there are ways in which a bot can actually provide superior personal service to that which a human can provide. A human agent may be more easily able to develop a personal rapport with a customer, although even that may be a subject for debate. However, a bot can recall every instant of that conversation, including in future conversations, allowing the bot to get to know each individual customer better with every passing moment and, hence, respond to that person accordingly.
By contrast, a human agent will only recall what he or she is able to recall in the flow of conversation and the distractions of the performance of his or her task. And when a customer contacts the department again, the agent may or may not remember any of the previous conversations, if even remembering the customer at all, let alone even be the same agent the person dealt with the previous time. With a chatbot, your customers don’t have to worry about the annoyance of dealing with a different support agent every call. Instead, every call, that customer will reach the same chatbot he or she dealt with last time and who can recall every bit of that prior call.
Relatedly, an interconnected world means a multi-lingual world, and when the people calling your business’s service department could speak any of a wide range of languages natively, you want to be sure your support agents are able to communicate effectively with them. In the past, this required hiring enough bilingual and multilingual staff to cover any language, or at least the most common ones, a person contacting your business may speak. And even then, their effectiveness will depend largely on their fluency in each language. A chatbot, by contrast, can be programmed to speak any and all languages with equal fluency. And thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, your AI chatbots may even be able to recognize the language a visitor is using and reply in that language without even requiring the user to identify his or her preferred language first.
Whether or not chatbots ever fully replace mobile apps, email marketing campaigns, and human care agents as science fiction writers and business and technology pundits surmise, only time will tell. In the meantime, however, one thing is for sure: every single one of those assets is made better and more efficient and effective with the incorporation of AI chatbots. Start with a chatbot on FB Messenger, followed by the Instagram Messenger app, and then build out from there. Develop a network of chatbots out in the digital world that all integrate to demo to your audience that you’re always there for them wherever they may be, and, rest assured, they will keep coming back for more.
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