It might sound like sci-fi future tech, but a chatbot is a reality in business today. It is a computer program that is capable of mimicking conversation with people using artificial intelligence. Your customer clicks to contact you and asks a question that is constantly asked of your company. The computer program then offers a response to the issue without the need of a human operator. Just a sophisticated search engine? Not at all. Chatbot AI is a way of simulating interaction with a live agent any time of day and therefore improving customer perception of communication with your company.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) and recognition still have room to develop, but it hard now for customers to know if they are talking to a person or a computer. Chatbots are also based on Machine Learning technology. This learning means that the more conversations it has with your customers, the better service it provides.
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AI chat in business
There are two applications of AI chat in business.
First: it can be a means of making customer service more efficient and effective. If the information needed by the customer is standard and part of a database of known enquiries, then there should be no need live contact. This means you can respond much quicker to all communications, as live connection is reserved for those that genuinely need it.
You will need this chatbot AI most on social media. Social media is a means of improving engagement, but it is impossible to conceive of the thousands of operators it might take to manage your messages in different apps. However, if you fail to interact on social media, then it can be counter-productive and reduce favourable opinion of your business.
Second: the chatbot can access technical information faster, searching multiple documents and sources. This means it can resolve issues quicker and more efficiently. This makes the chatbot perfect for internal processes, helping to assist with training.
The benefits of chatbots in business
Let’s begin with the most obvious benefit: much-reduced wages bill. Appointing the number of employees needed to offer the same level of responsiveness is beyond reasonable. You could be looking at literally thousands of customer service operators for a single chatbot application.
Reduction in operational costs may seem most significant, but the chatbot can guarantee a 24-hour service. Business aspires for a lifelong customer. Retaining customer loyalty can improve business prosperity, and this can be achieved by being responsive. Delay times in responding to requests can damage customer satisfaction levels. With the personalised experience facilitated by a chatbot, you can be assured of 100% satisfaction.
Some case studies
One automotive company has set up a chatbot that activates as soon as the buyer takes delivery of the car. The chatbot will send a preferred method of communication, usually a text message, helping with anything from setting up the music entertainment system to prompting when a service is due. It also offers to act as a go-to guide for real-time problem-solving. This reduced calls to dealership and helplines and empowered the customer to resolve issues with the car in a stress-free way.
A different company sought to streamline HR functions. This is a common desire of most companies, as it can be expensive. The chatbot can be used for onboarding queries, different program promotions, benefits assistance and more.
The automation of internal and external processes has immeasurable benefits for a business. The increase in customer engagement alone can more than justify the use of a computer to answer the standard and repetitive communications with and within your company.
Your future goals will always include a desire for greater efficiency and improved customer relations. If you are persuaded of the benefits, then your first step is to map out your clear objectives for implementing your chatbot strategy. This planning will ensure the implementation of a chatbot will achieve all you hope.