Chatbots have been around in some form or another for over half a century. The first chatbot ever developed was called Eliza. It was developed by an MIT professor back in 1966. However, chatbots have only recently started to impact the e-commerce industry.
I recently found a great article from Rob Jordan Big Data Made Simple, which said chatbots are the biggest trend shaping businesses in 2020. Jordan reports that Allstate and Marriott International are some of the major companies that are relying on chatbots.
Although chatbots are a fairly new technology for the customer service profession, customers have already started expressing a preference for them. One study by Tidio found that they are the most popular option for customer support. This study found that 43.18% of customers prefer chatbots when they need to resolve issues with a product or service. Only 18.18% of customers preferred to use the telephone and 10.39% of customers preferred contacting the company through social media.
Companies of all sizes are using chatbots more frequently. SalesForce reports that 53% of companies plan to use them by the end of 2020. All businesses should consider the benefits of chatbots. They may be able to improve the customer experience significantly by utilizing them.
Are chatbots a viable customer support option for small businesses?
According to www.ada.support, chatbots are becoming integral to the customer experience in many different industries. Many small businesses mistakenly believe that chatbots are only useful to larger organizations. However, they are actually more widely used by smaller companies. The vast majority of organizations using chatbots have fewer than 500 employees. Companies with fewer than 10 employees account for 40% off all chatbots.
The appeal of chatbots to smaller organizations is undeniable. However, companies need to make sure their chatbots are equipped to provide the support that customers expect.
Here are some factors that all businesses need to consider when setting up a chatbot.
Chatbots can and should be programmed to deliver immediate customer service solutions
One of the top benefits of chatbots is that they offer expedited customer service solutions. As a result, they have raised the bar for consumer expectations. The Tidio Study showed that 51.95% of customers expect instant responses to questions while interacting with a chatbot.
Chatbots need to be programmed to handle a wide array of questions that customers are likely to ask. Most questions will probably be asked frequently, so it is definitely possible to program them to handle these inquiries. Before setting up a chatbot, it is important to make a list of these questions and ensure that the chatbot is programmed to provide advice in the clearest and most concise way.
Chatbots should use machine learning tools to improve the services they offer
The best chatbots rely on highly advanced machine learning technology. They are capable of learning from experiences with previous customers, which enables them to deliver timelier and more accurate responses.
Small businesses using chatbots should be aware of these capabilities. They must choose chatbots from companies that use up-to-date machine learning technology.
Chatbots shouldn’t be used as a total replacement for human customer service professionals
Chatbots are very effective at serving customers. They can handle a virtually limitless number of customers at once, which is not a possibility with human customer service professionals.
Nevertheless, chatbots are not infallible. The biggest limitation is that customers will sometimes ask complicated questions that they are not program to handle. They will be able to answer a wider range of questions overtime, due to their machine learning capabilities. However, they will always be unable to help with certain issues.
This means that they should be used to supplement the work of other customer service professionals. chatbots Will be able to answer simpler and more routine questions, while their human counterparts will need to step in when a chatbot can’t handle the request.
They need to be program to identify situations that they can’t resolve on their own. They will then hand the inquiry over to catch a customer service agent.