Soon after Facebook Messenger started using third-party chatbots, the technology started to become mainstream. Many large businesses now use chatbots for a variety of functions, but smaller companies are skipping the trend, for the most part, citing the reason that chatbots are unnecessary for their business success.
However, half of Facebook Messenger users say that they are more likely to purchase from a company they can chat with over an app. Plus, chatbots have other functions — for instance, they can improve the lives of your employees. Any small business, not just tech companies, can take advantage of chatbots.
Ways to Use Chatbots
One of the most common uses of chatbots is to improve customer support. Chatbots avoid the need to have a company representative constantly available to answer questions — which is usually not feasible for small businesses anyway.
A chatbot can respond to customers at any hour of the day or night, allowing users to check order statuses, file complaints, leave feedback, and more. The chatbot can then just send responses that require further attention to your customer service team.
Orders and Purchases
Customers can place their orders directly with a chatbot. This can help anyone who is struggling to order through your website, prevent the need for a phone call, and ultimately avoid lost sales. Chatbots can even integrate with payment solutions, allowing you to receive a payment in a chat. This means you never need to send a customer elsewhere to complete a purchase.
Decision Stage Marketing
Whereas AI is still far from capable at automating the entire marketing process, it does have a role to play at the decision stage. At this point in the buyer’s journey, the user is definitely going to buy and is now making a final assessment of possible options.
When you introduce a chatbot to users at this stage, it can ask questions to help customers find a product that meets their criteria. The chatbot can present various options and espouse their benefits. As well as increasing the chance that your business, rather than one of your competitors, receives the sale, you may even succeed at upselling.
Users are often willing to provide chatbots with their personal information. You can use this data to nurture leads or remarket to customers after a sale.
Chatbots are also useful for improving productivity and making work easier for employees. There are several ways to use chatbots everyday within your company.
It is rare for employees to work on just one task at a time. More often, employees are working on multiple projects, many of which involve repetitive tasks. As well as costing your business money, this is frustrating for the employees themselves.
One way chatbots can assist employees is through automation. For instance, marketers can use chatbots to automate the content promotion process. Chatbots can also simplify workflows, send updates, and can even automatically populate information into another tool.
Collaboration on Projects
For collaboration on projects, chatbots can align employee schedules. Instead of emailing back and forth to keep calendars up-to-date, employees can simply message the chatbot and ask it to schedule meetings. Furthermore, if someone on the team needs to change the schedule, a message to the chatbot resolves the problem and ensures that everyone on the team can still attend.
Employee Help Desk
Just as chatbots can offer 24/7 customer service, they can also offer round-the-clock support for your employees. This allows staff to complete tasks like changing passwords, applying for leave, and searching for company information.
By adding the option to clarify whether the chatbot solved the issue, you can prevent resolved tasks from reaching human support. Moreover, this feedback allows chatbots to learn from the experience and become better at responding.
Every small business must manage cash flow, a process that becomes more complex as you grow. A chatbot can manage all aspects of accounting for you, including expenses, revenue, and invoices. For example, if a payment from a client is overdue, a chatbot can remind you and even provide you with the client’s contact information.
Whether employees need to travel out of state or they are flying to another country entirely, a chatbot can help with every step of the travel process. Employees can ask a chatbot to search for flights or another type transportation and find accommodation, specifying their preferences or requirements. The chatbot can then book everything and send the confirmation details. This improves the experience for the employee and saves time.
Clearly, chatbots are not just for large corporations and tech startups. Whatever your business, whether you have an e-commerce website or a team of employees who need to work together on projects, you can benefit from chatbots. If you want to stop wasting your time on mundane tasks that lower productivity and reduce morale, if you want to increase sales and push for up-sells and cross-sells, and if you want to ensure that your employees are focusing on what matters, you need chatbots.
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