Chatbot: What, Why And How To Use them In Business?

  • 26th Mar'21
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You must have come across a chatbox asking, “tell me how can I help you” when you enter a website, and when you put your inquiries there you get replies thinking some agent is sitting behind the screen on another side to listen to you. But it’s not. They are AI-powered chatbots having a conversation with you. 

The use of AI has become very popular in recent years, and the pandemic has just multiplied its use manifolds. The evolution of AI has given us a number of incredible things which made our lives easier and chatbots are one of them. Over the years, chatbots are being used by various organizations so much that 2017 is known as the “year of the chatbot”. Leading businesses like American Express and H&M have started using them to provide proactive support and give their customers a better service experience. 

 

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer program that can automate conversations and interact with people through messaging platforms. It is used to conduct an online chat conversation via text or text-to-speech. Also known as conversational agents, chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence. Many organizations are now more focused on building a chatbot to grow their business more and more. 

These bots can help you know the weather report, help you pick and order your groceries, give you life advice, help you manage your money, among others. In fact, in China, there is a bot named Xiaoice, built by Microsoft based on an emotional computing framework that aims to add a more human and social element to chatbots. There are more than 600 million users of Xiaoice worldwide. Modeled on the personality of a teenage girl, she ranks among China’s most admired celebrities. She is a poet, painter, kid audio-books reciter, Designer, TV presenter, news pundit, and a lot more.

 

Must-read: How AI Is Supercharging RPA?

 

Importance of chatbot in business

A chatbot is a virtual assistant that communicates with us through text messages. They are virtual companions that work in favor of an organization and help them build a better relationship with the customers. Chatbots help an organization operate 24*7, a human can not operate that way. Not only that, if you have to communicate with such a vast audience, each one with different issues, you get irritated after entertaining them for a few hours. This irritating feeling may result in replying in a way that they may find offensive, and it may create a problem for the organization. In the case of chatbots, entrepreneurs get closer to customers without any of the above-mentioned drawbacks.

Source: Quora

Besides, the speed with which chatbots process is tremendous, and also consumers are getting increasingly interested in this technology. In November 2017, a study presented at the 4th International Conference on Internet Science reveals that the main factors that motivate people to use chatbots are:

  • Productivity: Information provided by chatbots is quick and efficient.

  • Entertainment: Chatbots give funny tips to people and amuse them. Also, they help users in killing time when they have nothing to do.

  • Social and relational factors: People can have a heart-to-heart conversation with chatbots knowing that they will not be judged. It helps to avoid loneliness and improves conversational skills.

  • Curiosity: Chatbots are a new thing, and people get curious about how they can answer my questions and to what extent they can answer. So, people want to explore their abilities and try something new.

 

Recommended: Do You Know About Innovation in The Age of Digital Disruption?

 

Why Use Chatbots In Business?

 

The benefits that chatbot has given to businesses can not be described, it is that huge. Some of the primary reasons for using chatbots in business are:

1. Saves time and money

Many customers can have the same issue, or a customer can keep asking you the same questions again and again until and unless they are fully satisfied with the answer. Answering the repetitive questions can piss off your employee and also waste their time. So, you can handover this job to chatbots. They will efficiently answer the repeated question while saving your time. They also save your money which you may be spending on an employee for handling these queries. 

 

2. Improve customer service

For the success of a business, customer service is all that matters most. Chatbots can keep operating 24/7, and by being available they reply to queries in no time. The quick replies to their questions help customers trust the organization more. Also, chatbots capture the data of users who contact them through chat which further helps you grow your audience. 

Source: Drudesk

 

3. Eliminate Errors

As we know, chatbots work on pre-written commands, and they don’t forget things. They do what they’re programmed for. Hence, there is a minimal chance that they will commit mistakes.

 

4. Drive Customers

Chatbots persuade their users with offers and convert them into buyers by suggesting the right products they want to buy. People find it easier to buy pre-recommended products than do product browsing. The easier buying journey drives more customers.  

 

5. Personalization

AI-driven chatbots can remember the products you enquired about. So, when you initiate the next chat with the same info you don’t have to ask for everything again. This makes customers happy and gives a personal touch to the chat. They feel that the organization really cares about their choices.  

 

6. Request Handling Capacity

Doesn’t matter how many questions you ask, be it 10 or 100 at a time, a chatbot can answer each one of them with the same zeal without complaining.

 

7. Flexibility

Chatbots can be used in every sort of business. Sectors like eCommerce, marketing, healthcare, finance, among others are already using them. So, no matter which industry you are operating in you can also use them. 

Source: REVE Chat

8. Removes geographical boundaries

The ability to operate day and night helps in interacting with customers out of your national boundaries. The chatbot is selling a product or driving new customers while you are peacefully sleeping at your home. 

 

Visit the below links to know more related to chatbots:

  • Types of chatbots

According to their use in different businesses, chatbots are divided into various types. Before having one for you get to know the different types of chatbots and which one will be best for you. Read more.

  • Chatbots for marketing

There are a number of marketing tools available, but chatbots are in trend right now and are used by several businesses. Get to know about chatbot marketing and how to use it. Click to read.

 

How to use a chatbot?

Now you know the benefits one gets by using a chatbot, but that does not mean you just go for it without thinking anything. Here are some strategies you must follow when using a chatbot for business.

 

1. Be very clear about the purpose

The first thing you must understand if you are using a chatbot is why are you using them. There must be some motive behind using chatbots. and it can be anything. It may be the need of your audience, or you want to give answers to all the questions put across by the users, whatever it is, be clear with the intent, it will help you to be more focused.

 

2. Select the platform

There are Facebook messenger bots, WhatsApp bots, website chatbots among others and you can use whichever you want. But, before that, you need to research what your audience prefers, whether they are more likely to connect through the website or some other platform. Once you are aware of the platform used by your audience you can build a bot for it.

Source: REVE Chat

 

3. How will you make the bot?

There are two ways you can use to make a bot. These are:

  • With coding

If you have a good command of the coding languages and you can spend time and wealth on creating a chatbot. Then with the help of a technical team, you can create your chatbot from scratch and make it work your way.

  • With chatbot builder

If you have no idea of coding or you do not have time to build it on your own, you can choose a chatbot building platform. Below mentioned are some popular chatbot building platforms:

i.) Chatfuel

ii.) Beep Boop

iii.) ChattyPeople

iv.) Botsify

v.) Smooch.io.

 

In a nutshell, we can say that chatbots are a good opportunity for business growth and customer engagement. Its ability to automate the conversation makes you stress-free as you know that there is a machine working for your business, answering customers’ questions non-stop. So, why not get one for your business today!

 

We, at OpenGrowth, are continually looking for trending startups in the ecosystem. If you want to know any further information about the startup ecosystem or have any mind-boggling ideas, do refer to our other blogs.

Sources/References:

*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

About the author:

Jyotshana Rani, OpenGrowth Content Team

Jyotsana is very keen to express her views on new topics and wants readers to remember her through her writing. She is passionate about reading and believes that words wield the power of changing the scenario and she uses them to encourage people to the best of her knowledge.


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