Why Are Chatbots a Must-Have in 2019?

by Victor T. Miller

The entire digital universe is in a constant state of flux, permanently evolving to develop new, more advanced ways in which brands can stand out and reach their customers, and keep them happier than ever.

The alterations that pop up on a regular basis can evolve into trends, some of which have the power to reshape the entire industry into a more productive, customer-centric space. One of them with this potential is the emergence of AI within the digital ecosystem, and its application in the form of chatbots.

While not a new concept, the usage of chatbots has dramatically increased over the last few years, and for a few excellent reasons. For example, 75% of users expect an instant response from a chatbot at any given moment, which means that we are becoming more impatient by the minute, and with more customers to please, brands cannot afford to increase the waiting time.

So, let’s take a closer look at other relevant reasons that will make chatbots a must-have this year, and how you can benefit from their implementation sooner rather than later.

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Saving on Customer Support

Not every brand has the same success finding and training top-notch customer support agents who can relate the right brand image to their users. Not to mention the costs of continuously bringing in more agents as you grow your customer base, and keeping an eye on their performance for the sake of protecting your brand rap. However, utilizing chatbots has shown to cut as much as 30% of customer support costs for a business.

This may not seem like too noble of a cause, but cutting costs in this particular department means being able to invest in other, more pressing matters for any brand, and devoting more time to existing customer agents and improving their skills. This is the perfect example of focusing on quality over quantity in terms of improving your existing customer service representatives, but also cutting unnecessary costs in the process.

Truly Smarter Conversations

The idea of a robot taking over a conversation with a real human didn’t sound like an appealing idea only a few years ago. Nowadays, however, the refined AI algorithms enable chatbots to learn from their collected data, recognize return customers, and strike up a very human-like conversation. This allows start-ups to thrive in the face of ever-growing competition and demand, enabling their customer engagement efficiency to become better with the help of these AI-driven inventions.

In turn, any brand that works with a reputable agency can focus on more relevant, brand-related matters such as creating appealing ad campaigns, refreshing its visual identity, or continuously producing stellar content. Chatbots are becoming increasingly capable of handling these on-the-spot issues without human monitoring, letting brands grow their reputation as a result.

Boosting Conversion Rates

In addition to achieving a higher satisfaction rate among customers (to which we’ll get in a moment), chatbots utilize their many smart, interactive features to actually learn. They gather and analyze relevant data on your customers’ behavioral patterns in order to help you understand where your business might be failing to fulfil its potential and increase conversions. This can be particularly useful for multi-branch businesses such as franchises, since relying on human-led data collecting and analytics would be too costly and time-consuming, not to mention biased.

In fact, every franchise business definition entails expanding based on previously successful models, and ensuring more financial stability and structural support for its future branches. If chatbots can deliver more actionable data based on which you can open another store in a different location and avoid making the same mistakes, it makes perfect sense to utilize this advantage to the best of your abilities.

The same helpful principle applies to your online stores. Chatbots can gather ample data across all of your web stores, and help your overarching business understand where they can make changes to convert that organic traffic into actual buyers. That said, chatbots not only have that momentary perk of helping your customers navigate your store (in a consistently polite manner), but they also have a long-term use for your business in discovering those weak links in your web presence.

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Faster Troubleshooting

No matter how impeccable your brand presentation, there will always be a customer or two who will have trouble navigating your product page, finding the right size of their product, or finding the best shipping methods for their country. For such technical problems, chatbots are the life-savers for any brand out there. Instead of wasting the time and energy of your busy agents (who can focus on more complex customer matters) chatbots can handle these issues and provide the right information without delay.

Not only can brands finally offer zero waiting time for each customer query that pops up, but they can also ensure 24-hour support for their global audience. When there’s an emergency to handle, a failed payment, or a complaint, chatbots can help to resolve many a burning issue in order to avoid exasperating any potential negative consequences. We live in a highly impatient era, so it’s no wonder customers want their questions and concerns addressed without delay.

Avoiding Human Error

Utilizing chatbots, as well as AI in general, doesn’t only benefit the end user, but also the rest of the customer service team – the ones in the human form, that is. Even though there’s still some reasonable concern as to how chatbots can make mistakes even in their problem-solving mode, the most advanced of these inventions are actually very intuitive and come with a steep learning curve. Still wondering how this translates to your team? Well, modern chatbots are only one segment of a complex network of digital tools that brands use to get deeper customer insights.

That effort helps your agents receive more in-depth data (already analyzed properly) so they can address the most frequent issues, and even introduce certain proactive measures to increase prevention. The collected customer data also helps chatbots become better over time, which in turn makes for a truly cutting-edge tech solution for a growing business.

Enhancing User Experience

Finally, there are certain tasks that all of your customer service agents dread. They are time-consuming, repetitive, and oftentimes mind-numbingly boring. This is where chatbots have infinite tolerance to challenges that would drive many a human insane, ensuring that your customer is treated with patience and care every single time.

Although chatbots are merely one piece of the complex digital puzzle of the online experience, they are a very valuable asset for any brand out there. Make sure to implement them in your own strategy and watch your business thrive as a result!

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Guest Author
Victor T. Miller, a Sydney-based business and marketing specialist who has expanded businesses over 5 years. I am a person who loves to inform people about the latest news in the marketing industry, as well as sharing tips and advice based on my professional experience and knowledge.

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