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The Impact of Chatbots for SMEs

How are you communicating with your customers?

The advent of chatbot technology has made it possible for individuals and companies to utilise new features and technologies to bolster communications between their customers and their businesses.

The introduction of these AI bots has seen a dramatic shift in how businesses compete to enhance their service delivery.

And the best part of it all is the fact that development of the chatbots is affordable; meaning small enterprises can join in and be competitive. The popularity of these bots is growing too with recent estimates suggesting 67% of consumers worldwide used a chatbot for support last year.

This can in part be attributed to the increased use of these features in social media platforms and across websites. Facebook’s chatbot functionality is a prime example of the way it has been made possible for people to engage with their favourite brands and products with ease.

However, businesses can use chatbots as more than just communication resources. They can turn them into avenues to generate significant leads for their sales teams, to reach out to potential clients, and to help with their marketing campaigns.

How Can Chatbots Benefit Your Small Business?

Given the rise in the use of the AI bot, how are these chatbots benefiting small businesses?

Below are some of the most notable gains of using the bots.

1. Increased Customer Engagement

After Facebook opened its doors for businesses and individuals to use messenger platforms, the use of chatbots has ballooned, especially in the business circles.

They can use these features in different areas of their service delivery. As a result, companies can enhance their customer support services and increase sales.

Business specialists at maxfunding.com.au say, “businesses can also rely on bots to maintain old customers and attract new ones directly; either on their websites or via their social media accounts.”

They explain “providing a ready-made service, chatbots allow users to interact with a company via their social media accounts. While this may have been a simple act of brand exposure, the support given can bring people to your website. Adding valuable site traffic, businesses can use the information provided through their site analytics to tailor content and ads to new target audiences. The result is a new way to collect leads.”

From the user’s perspective, the interactions they have when using the chatbots makes them more interested in products or services in a real-time capacity.

This is information that clients rely on to know if they will benefit from purchasing a particular product or service; and this is what chatbots can provide.

2. One-Stop Shopping Platform

AI bots not only mimic human conversations when interacting with a customer but also have the ability to skim different apps to source for information.

They are therefore efficient in offering suitable recommendations and answers to various queries that customers have.

This can reduce friction standing in the way of a conversion, with 24/7 support and customer service representatives able to guide shoppers through the sales funnel.

While human staff could not match the hours of your bot, AI innovation has created eCommerce and other business platforms that never have to be unmanned.

3.  Enhanced Online Service Inquire Assistance

Customers can now interact with ease thanks to these AI bots and the experience that mimics that of human interaction.

But with bots, companies do not need to hire communication representatives. As a result, the simplest result is cost-saving. In fact research suggests chatbots can help save up to 30% in customer support costs.

Moreover, bots are an inexpensive option that can provide basic customer support for a range of business niches. These chatbots can give recommendations on a wide range of issues based on data collected from various inquiries and previous interactions. As such, small businesses that are interested in utilising the chatbots can benefit from increased personalisation and audience segmentation.

For example, businesses can build bots to cater to common service inquiries and procedures thus saving time and money that would otherwise go into recruiting customer assistants.

4. Sales Procedure Become A Lot Simpler

Along with the role of information delivery, AI bots can have a significant impact on sales.

They can be automated to handle sales procedures making the process simpler, faster, and more efficient.

Such a thing is what many businesses need to help reduce overheads and save time and money.

More than simplifying the sales process, chatbots can also generate leads. What may have been an enquiry can be moved down the sales funnel by providing the answers and support prospects need to become engaged.

Using a chatbot on Facebook has enabled a customer acquisition plan on steroids. Highly affordable and able to handle an increasing number of customers without direct increased spend, chatbots are an example of the innovative way technology is opening up lead generation to small businesses in 2019 and beyond.

5. Streamline Payment System

Visitors can be convinced to buy faster through the support of AI tech. This is reinforced by the data that shows 40% of people don’t care if they speak to a human or a chatbot as long as it helps to resolve their issue.

Chatbots also make the payment process straightforward. Customers can pay for their purchases without having to exit the chat interface. Most of these bots are built with high end-to-end security because they gather information regarding the customer’s payment and items bought to help make the shopping experience faster and simpler during the next purchase.

6. Effective Way Of Dealing With Customer Enquiries

Overall, the popularity of these AI bot is on the rise because their features are built to tackle customer requests and inquiries.

They are designed to handle questions and various issues so that the human representatives of the company can only handle the issues that the clients feel the bots could not handle. Most of the chatbots are equipped with FAQs to ensure they provide suitable and satisfactory answers devoid of the jargons that people often use unknowingly.

Chatbots may still be a new technology, but have proven to be a useful resource for doing business.

Small companies that make use of these AI bots to have an edge over their competition or to tap into target markets.

So, when are you going to introduce chatbot technology to your organisation?


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