Whether you embrace chatbots on your website or not, technology that automates much of what we do is taking over.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, consumers want exceptional levels of communication and they want more than just the ability to pick up the phone and make a call. They want answers at the click of their fingers and the solution around that is to opt for chatbots.
What is a Chatbot?
We see Chatbots on social media accounts, website contact pages, but what are they? A Chatbot, which is short for Chat Robot, is an artificial intelligence program that interfaces and interacts with consumers online, whereby they can ask common questions to funnel down queries for internal customer service departments. Using pre-defined scripts they are a smart way to access human behaviour and common feature on many websites.
They are now so good that many people might think that they have actually spoken with a real person due to the natural way they respond.
They work by responding to questions and answers which means that a human is not required to sit and respond to messages. The aim is to streamline the process of helping consumers find what they need and that means that they can provide answers and point them in the right direction.
Most of us use a Chat Bot every day, either on an Amazon Alexa or via Apple Siri. As 5G grows and mobile phone online search expands, voice search will be a bigger factor. Siri and Google Assistant will come more into play for the average user.
Why Should You Use a Chatbot on your Website?
The benefit of a chatbot becoming the online face of your brand or business is crucial because consumers need to feel as though they are receiving a personal experience.
Chatbots Improve Customer Engagement
When businesses appear faceless, consumers are known to look elsewhere but a chatbot helps to overcome that problem and engage with them.
With a chatbot that is set up to answer questions about products or services, it enables consumers to feel as though a business is considering their needs and actually values them.
Chatbots Deliver Lead Generation
A chatbot is almost a form of lead generation because when people use a chatbot they might not yet be a part of the sales funnel. With the correct level of interaction and guidance, it’s possible for chatbots to encourage users to take action.
Chatbots Improve Customer Service
Along with this customer service is also an imperative part of running an eCommerce website. Even customers who have a complaint can be turned around and become loyal with the correct customer service.
Customer service is about understanding and identifying the needs of consumers and a chatbot has to be exceptionally good if it is to excel.
While many businesses are still opting to use human interaction as part of their customer service more are spending money on implementing chatbots to elevate this.
Chatbots can scale up your business, reach a wider audience, effectively answering queries that you otherwise missed or delayed in responding to on emails & phone calls.
Could Chatbots Be Bad For My Website
Despite all of this, it’s crucial to remember just how much damage a chatbot can cause to your brand. Even the most advanced systems cannot handle a change in direction of conversation or pick up on the tone or users and react accordingly.
These are crucial elements that are lost when businesses switch from human interaction to chatbots. If a chatbot fails in delivering a satisfactory solution then there is no doubt that consumers are going to look elsewhere.
With your pre determined script, you must always assume the customer wishes to phone or text a real person after a few minutes with a chatbot.
Chatbots Can Not Handle Complicated Consumer Queries
Most users of this technology get on fine when the question is direct and the answer is simple. But you will find that still, over 50% of customers do want real contact with you.
Every customer has a different query, complaint, or buying request. You must be flexible to pick these opportunities quickly.
You as a business owner or your customer services team should be there on the phone, to take on which is essentially a pre-filtered caller.
If you are marketing to an older demographic chatbots may not be the ideal solution for your website. A more traditional solution, yet more labour intensive, will be required.
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Chatbot?
If businesses want to enhance customer satisfaction then providing them with information when they need it is vital.
This is where a Chatbot can help and so, they could be seen as an investment. Despite this, they are clever, and with that comes the cost of developing one that can work for your business.
So, as with anything, there are different types and they range from basic to brilliant.
A simple chatbot online is basic and responds to basic commands but if any questions are typed beyond the capabilities of then it will fail.
An advanced ai chatbot uses artificial intelligence to communicate effectively. They can understand language and communicate using suggestions without relying on phrases or keywords being pre-programmed. It is this type of chatbot that can leave visitors feeling as though they have communicated with a real person.
In terms of cost, they can range from free to over £1,000 per month and this all depends on their capabilities.
Therefore, it’s possible to create a chatbot in-house with a basic function. Next, you could choose to blend your time with software to create a chatbot that works well and feels almost real but this will increase in price.
Finally, you could find a chatbot agency that takes care of creating and maintaining chatbots allowing you to benefit from enhanced communication capabilities with customers. However, this can cost several thousands of pounds per month.
For small businesses, we recommend the Chatbot with IBM Watson. An easily integrated plug-in for WordPress websites. However, it’s very basic and does lag a little, read the reviews carefully.
If you want to start off somewhere it’s a fine place to go. Cream Soda Media can however build you any bespoke platform that can fit with your brand personality, maintaining UX and Responsive Design of your site
Where Can Chatbots be Used?
What makes chatbots so unique is that they are completely adaptable to a range of scenarios and situations.
The capabilities of chatbots are wide and varied. You can discuss products, arrange a meeting, and even find love with a sex chatbot, it’s a very diverse piece of technology.
In fact, would you believe that during our keyword research for this article ‘dirty chatbot’ and ‘sex chatbot’ were one of the highest searched for? OMG!
Twitch broadcasters are now using chatbots, allowing them to post automatic timed messages about their other social media accounts, and enabling users to chose different types of music whilst viewing the video.
E-commerce shops are also investing in Facebook Chatbots, providing order delivery updates, order tracking, and even showing you another item you may like to buy. These are clever AI-based programs which can be your motivated salesperson 24/7.
Ultimately, wherever there is interaction with consumers and users it’s possible to use bots and chatbots. So, this can be utilised in relation to food orders, product suggestions, customer support, arranging meetings, and even looking for a particular service.
As technology evolves, more businesses will have the scope to benefit from it.
What Large Websites Are Using Chatbots?
The desire to implement chatbots is growing and now a vast percentage of businesses and brands are turning to the technology to help grow their brand and awareness.
However, if you think that chatbots are used by small businesses then it’s time to think again. In fact, they are used by a vast array of brands, some of which are the biggest in the world.
Estee Lauder – This brand might be leading the way in the cosmetics industry but they are also leading the way when it comes to chatbot technology. Example below:
They have paired it up with augmented reality to allow users to try products before they purchase. It’s a very clever yet unique way of giving consumers even more power over the decisions they make.
Match.com – One of the biggest dating services in the world and yet, you might wonder how it would want or need a chatbot?
The truth is, they’re using this technology to help singles find matches. Known as Lara, she is actually helping people by asking them questions using a conversational approach to determine what they are looking for.
KLM – A big player in the airline industry, KLM uses the technology to help its employees, making it possible for people to find flights. It actually has a cheeky personality but helps take the effort out of booking flights and more.
How Do You Measure the Success of a Chat Bot?
The process of measuring the success of a chatbot is one that is hugely important when determining whether it is adding value to your business.
The activity volume alone will tell you whether people are using it and that is a good indicator. However, it is also worth noting that the time it takes for dialogue to take place is also a clear sign as to whether it is working.
Consider whether users are voluntarily using or are using it after being prompted to use it.
Bounce rate is commonly related to websites and those users who leave a site without taking action. The same measure can be used for Chatbots. Consider the number of sessions that do not end with a satisfactory outcome. The higher the rate, the more that your bot is not doing the job you want it to.
There are many other considerations to make when measuring success. This can include conversation length, questions per conversation, usage distribution by the hour, and even the retention rate.
Ultimately, all of this data will provide a clear insight into the impact your chatbot is having.
Is a ChatBot the Future for your Website?
It’s a technology that is evolving at an incredible rate and one that is going to change the way that businesses interact with consumers.
As artificial intelligence improves, chatbots are going to become more efficient at dealing with consumers and their problems or queries.
However, at the moment, they are not a complete replacement for human interaction as that is vital for businesses if they are to retain consumers and build brand loyalty, both of which can help them to stand out among competitors.
For any advice for your next project, contact Cream Soda Multimedia at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel +44 (0)1276 490448.