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Julia Hammond
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Does your business need chatbot technology?

With new social technology emerging daily, your business has endless opportunities to connect with your customers and provide valuable interactions. One of the most recent additions to aid digital business/consumer communication is the introduction of the chatbot. Let’s take a look at what it’s all about and how your business could capitalise.

What is a chatbot?

Have you ever ventured onto a website to find a pop-up message appear? Ben from Toasters Plus wants to know if you need any assistance. How lovely! What an attentive and personalised experience Toasters Plus is committed to providing. Little did you know, Ben isn’t there at all – he may not even exist! However, the impression it leaves consumers, if they find the pop-up help useful, is a positive one. So, how does it work?

A chatbot runs on the internet and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to simulate human conversation. By automating useful customer interactions, you can provide an individual experience to your customer while saving on time and resources. Available on many different platforms, from your website to social media and networking apps, it is the next step in customer support.

But this technology provides a two-way street. Not only do chatbots improve the user experience, they are also a great data collection tool, allowing you to capture key insights into your customer base through recorded interactions.

Are there different types of chatbots?

Depending on the type of bot you have installed, the instant messaging software can be programmed by the owner with standard responses to frequently asked questions or can learn through data collected from previous exchanges using AI.

Simple chatbots are pre-programmed by the owner to use different responses depending on the keywords entered by the customer. These bots don’t use AI, rather they draw purely from data provided by the owner. If there is a question the bot doesn’t have a programmed answer for, it can be programmed to ask questions to get to the root of the question and deliver the relevant response.

Smart chatbots do rely on machine learning. This means that rather than using pre-programmed data, they rely on the data collected from prior interactions. Learning can be slow for the bot and, during this time, users can have frustrating experiences; however, once the bot has a large pool of data to pull from, the experience becomes far more personalised to the user.

What can a chatbot do for your business?

There are a range of benefits to including chatbot technology into your digital marketing mix. From timesaving to better customer experience, let’s take a look at the options a chatbot can open up for you.

Simulate a personal experience

Rather than trawling through pages and pages of FAQs, the chatbot is instantaneous and answers the specific question your user has. Providing this level of attention to your customers raises your profile, instils a sense of trust and leaves the customer more likely to want to purchase from you.

Encourage simple sales

For eCommerce businesses, a chatbot can streamline your online sales process. By making it easier for customer to get the information they need, you improve your chances of conversion. What’s more, using cookies, your chatbot can store information specific to the user to make it quicker when they return.

Save time with automation

By automating the simpler tasks, like answering simple, common questions, you save both time and money. With a chatbot, your employees will have less on their plate, giving them more time to bring in and convert new customers.

Better your reply rate

As a result of saving time, you will also see an improvement in your reply rate. As a small business owner, you do it all. Sometimes this means that messages get buried in your inbox and questions go unanswered. With a chatbot, your customers won’t be left out in the cold as 100% of enquiries are answered. This show your customers that they are valued which will subsequently improve conversions.

Who can set up a chatbot for my business?

If you’re a web developer or a computer programmer, chatbots are simple but, for the amateur, they can be a little tricky. There are plugins you can install to make the process easier; however, to ensure that your chatbot is both integrated and functional it’s best to enlist the help of a professional. It will also save you a whole lot of time! If you’re interested in having a chatbot installed, get in touch with a WME web developer and bring your website up to speed.


By Jen McKinnonJulia Hammond

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