Nowadays, you can get an employee who is available 24/7, never complains and will do all the boring customer service tasks that other members of your team prefer to avoid—well, and draws a much smaller salary.
Impossible? And yet! You can get an AI chatbot to do many of the jobs of a typical employee without ever complaining. Often, it used to be that one employee had to do, for example, clerical work and answer questions on social media. Other companies outsource social media to third party companies—who typically don't know what to do or how to answer questions.
We live in the age of "conversational commerce," a situation where companies and customers talk to each other via messaging apps – often you can make a purchase already using Messenger or chat on websites. That's why face-to-face customer service is so important these days.
What are some of the chatbot benefits? Well, they will allow your company to instantly talk to customers and solve their problems across multiple platforms, such as Facebook and your online store. Artificial intelligence is used by every chatbot, meaning that they can work around the clock to maintain your customers' interest.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that can simulate a conversation (or chat) with a user in natural language through a messaging app, website, mobile app or phone. You can embed a chatbot into a free chat on the website or maybe you want to buy a new T-shirt, so you browse the store's website: however, you don't know if a particular T-shirt is available in that color and size combination. You go to the store's Facebook profile and send a request on Messenger. If it's Saturday or Sunday, or even if you live in a different time zone, you may be waiting for a response for up to several days—and if a third party responds, they may not know at all.
But what if that store had a business chatbot? You could program the robot to respond in a certain way to certain keywords. You could connect it to your CMS to know your inventory and respond right away. Even if you don't have that option, at least it will respond to the customer at no cost with a "hello, someone will contact you"—and that has psychological significance. You can also teach your chatbots to respond naturally using machine learning.
You'll free your team from having to perform annoying manual tasks every day thanks to chatbots. Customer service will improve significantly. And you'll save on labor costs in the long run, whether you are just starting a business or running an established company.
How do chatbots work?
Now that you know what is a chatbot, you should learn how it works! Chatbots respond to questions, comments, and other user requests using a chat interface or voice technology. AI, automated rules, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) are some of the technologies they use. You may have already heard how fast artificial intelligence is developing—and it's not just something like Skynet!
Rule automation is like giving your chatbot directions or instructions. Natural language processing combines linguistics, computer science and AI—it's what makes search engines work or powers the recently popular apps that paint pictures.
Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows applications to accurately predict what will happen. ML makes predictions based on past information. For example, it knows that if you're looking for gray T-shirts and black T-shirts, you can ask for colored ones.
What are the major chatbot benefits?
Chatbots: customer service revolution
Customer service that is slow and unreliable only hurts sales. Improving response times is one of the best ways to increase sales. People now expect faster responses because they can talk to a company online at any time. By using an AI chatbot, you can make your customers feel heard.
Of course, it may be telling them that you will put them in touch with a real person as soon as possible. This is how human psychology works. People are much more likely to buy your goods if they feel heard and established contact.
You can also have an online chatbot perform sales tasks for you. They can help your customers move through the sales funnel and even accept payments. A chatbot can send a message like "if you're interested, send us your contact information." Chatbots can also help your agents find the best leads.
You've heard that many IT problems can be solved by asking "And did you reboot your computer?" Such simple processes can be automated by chatbots. In business, an AI chatbot might allow your team to focus on more complex tasks instead of answering the same questions over and over again.
Automate tasks in customer service
Your chatbot can help you with simple customer service tasks. Use it for tasks such as comparing two products or services, suggesting other products for customers to try, or helping with returns. For example, you can program your chatbot to automatically provide a summary of "how this T-shirt is different from that one."
One of the most important advantages of chatbots is that they can work all the time. If you have support available 24/7, your employees can take much-needed time off, and customers can get their questions answered on holidays and outside of business hours. What's more, a chatbot doesn't need any rest—they won't answer rudely, and they never get tired of answering the same questions over and over again.
How to add a chatbot to your website
If you are looking to add a chatbot to your website or Facebook profile, there are ways to do it - foundations like OpenAI are creating AI models with automatic responders and are making them available to users for a fee. It’s also hard to integrate it with your chat plugin - WordPress might not have an option to do that.
You can also use ready-made chatbot like Botsify or Pandorabot - which allow you to program basic reactions. These models, however, have little to no space for improving the bot’s AI. You can embed them as a free chat on a website or as chat plugin. WordPress is very popular, and it can accommodate any extension.
However, Artificial Intelligence is a dynamically growing field—and more solutions will appear soon. Watch our blog to be informed about new technologies like blockchain, AI and much more!
Are chatbots replacing humans?
A chatbot is only as effective and useful as the company or service that creates it. You will get more if you put more time (and probably money) into creating a chatbot—meaning that it will quickly pay for itself. However, it is important to know that each type of chatbot has its own limitations and cannot take the place of real people.
Chatbots do what they have been taught to do. If you haven't predicted the customer's action, the chatbot won't respond or will give a generic response. They are great for general predictable conversations as in tech support - but you need to have a plan B in case the unpredictable happens.