The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
How to Leverage the Power of Chatbots to Improve Sales & Productivity
If you are a regular internet user, there is a high chance that you have had an interaction with a chatbot at some point in time whether you realised it or not.
You know those little chat bubbles you see pop up in the bottom corner of so many websites these days– the ones that say “Can I help you?” or “Chat with us now!”— more often than not those are chatbots.
You may have thought you were having a conversation with a human thanks to their little human picture, but if it responded instantly, that probably would have been a chatbot (at least to kick off the conversation).
Chatbots are a form of artificial intelligence, also known as AI.
They are everywhere and they are powerful. So it’s time to EMBRACE the power of chatbots in your company’s digital marketing strategy.
In this blog we dive into the world of artificial intelligence to help you leverage the power of chatbots to increase your business’ productivity.
What exactly is a chatbot?
If you hadn’t heard of chatbots before, I have a feeling that right now as we speak your brain is jogging back to every interaction you’ve ever had with one…… Am I right?
In simple terms, a chatbot is an online service run by artificial intelligence which people talk to and interact with via an online program. The most commonly known virtual assistants are Apple’s Siri or the good old “Ok Google”. But regular businesses are now tapping into the power of chatbots to improve their customer service and everyday business needs.
Chatbots are being designed every single day for a huge range of purposes and industries. Not to mention they are being hosted in a wide variety of ways. While some are run directly on a company’s website via a pop-up chat box, others are run as personalities on Facebook Messenger, or even via text message.
The limits of what chatbots can do are constantly growing. It’s a hot area that all businesses should be tapping into.
Types of Chatbots
These days we are seeing an influx of chatbots coming in all shapes and sizes. They are being used for so many different purposes and uses, from news to customer service assistance and even mental therapy.
Weather bots, scheduling bots, finance bots, reminder bots, help bots, news bots – you name it.
We are seeing weather bots, like Poncho the adorable weather cat who sends entertaining personalised weather forecasts straight to you every single morning on Facebook Messenger.
Marriott International, one of the largest hotel and hospitality companies in the world – has employed artificial intelligence with their chain Aloft Hotels to add a new point of engagement and personalised service for guests. Their bot allows guests to speak to the front desk, ask for information, or make other requests throughout their stay – whether they are on or off the property. Such a smart way to tap into the lazy generation who finds walking down to the lobby too tedious of a task – a big win for the company if you ask me!
How They Can Help Increase Your Productivity
Many companies are taking advantage of these new technologies to assist customers in entirely new ways.
A chatbot can act as the first point of touch for a potential customer – your virtual customer service agent.
No more recruiting human beings to respond to queries all day long. Chatbots are a great tool for automating customer service, while still giving the impression that you are speaking to a human.
Enhance the User Experience
Face it – most chatbots we are seeing these days are kinda entertaining. They are designed with personality and character and use the language and phrases that their target market would use. This makes them personable and fun to interact with. Sometimes, people don’t even recognise they are speaking with a bot based on the use of emojis, slang and detailed responses.
One tip for building a chatbot for a business is to create a character. Give it a face, a name, with a specified look and feel. It will mean your users will be able to associate your chatbot’s look and name with your company whenever they see it.
Hit Your Target Audience
According to The Economist, over 1 BILLION people are using messaging apps for an average of 200 minutes every. single. day.
The trick is to tap into your audience where they are already spending their time. Creating a chatbot that is readily available to interact with your audience and customers on the go from their messaging apps on their smartphones is exactly where you need to be.
Eliminate the Waiting Game
People like things fast these days.
Say goodbye to the days of frustrated customers who have had to wait minutes or hours (or even till next business day) on hold on the phone or waiting for an online representative to chat with them.
Chatbots respond virtually instantly, meaning customers can get answers to their queries – or at least be led in the right direction – extremely quickly.
It will leave your customers more satisfied with their customer service experience if they aren’t frustrated about wasted time.
Would you believe some chatbots even cater for in-message purchases!? Chat with the user about what they are interested in, show said user an image and link to buy- and BOOM – they can make quick and easy purchases without even leaving the messenger platform.
It’s simple – eliminate the legwork and you’re more likely to make a sale.
This is useful if you are trying to tap into the young generation of users who like things available instantly and handed straight to them.
Increase Overall Productivity
Overall, chatbots will let you spend less of your precious time dealing with small customer queries. You will have more time left open for the tasks you really need to be focusing on while running that killer business of yours.
Bot Tools You Can Use
We thought to help you out a bit we’d share a few tools to build basic chatbots for business.
Chatfuel is a great tool for those who have zero coding experience but as ready to create their own Facebook Messenger bot. It’s also a free tool – until you it over 100,000 convos in a month – then you will have to buy a premium membership.
Botsify is another good option, which will let you use a very simple drag and drop template. Once again, great for those without a technical or code background. Make one bot for free but any more and you’ll have to pay for a higher package.
Botsify even uses their own customer service chatbot right on their own website.
ManyChat is another popular tool that lets your create your own Facebook Messenger bot for sales, marketing and support.
If you’re keen to learn even more than we’ve talked through today, give PUNCH digital a ring at our Melbourne office on 1300 841 244 and we can talk through your business’s digital strategy and how to hit your marketing goals out of the park.