As I write this article as a person of the Millennials generation I confess, we are impatient people. Many of us were born already knowing how to tinker with technologies, pure intuition and curiosity.
But what do these qualities translate into?
We want to spend as little time as possible on any task, whether that task is more elaborate or simpler, for example, to ask a question about a product we are looking for.
This is where the chatbot concept comes in. But what really is a chatbot?
Many have surely heard the concept of digital transformation mentioned on numerous occasions and chatbots are an extension, or a consequence, of this transformation.
Chatbots are software that allow a customer to chat with a brand 24/7, without the need for human interaction.
This type of software makes immediate responses available to consumers, reducing the waiting time that users are usually subjected to by being dependent on the availability of a human agent.
But let's deconstruct the chatbot concept further; for starters there are two types of chatbots and there are various applicabilities of them.
Types of chatbots:
- chatbots guided by a set of rules
- chatbots that use artificial intelligence
Rules-driven chatbots are more limited in the sense that they have standard questions defined, i.e. they do not allow for as open a conversation with the user. Artificial intelligence-based chatbots, on the other hand, learn as they talk to the user.
What benefits come from the use of chatbots?
Although, theoretically, chatbots guided by a set of rules do not allow such an open conversation with the user, they are just as effective in a business context and their application in everyday life brings several benefits to both the company and the consumers.
The benefits for businesses:
- The automation of conversations and interactions with users allows for a smaller allocation and expenditure of time by employees in attending to the public
- Increased responsiveness
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Improved brand perception, in the eyes of the customer
- Increased customer engagement with the brand
- Increased likelihood of customer conversion
- Another, perhaps less obvious, benefit is the collection of customer data for later analysis that allows the company to gather insights about its consumers.
|MAIN BENEFITS OF CHATBOT FOR BUSINESSES||MOTIVES|
|69% COST REDUCTION||By automating conversations and interactions with users, employees can spend less time on customer service, according to a study published by Forrester, operational costs decrease.|
|55% INCREASE IN CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT||Depending on the types of services offered by brands, this will either improve or worsen customers' perceptions of them. The better the service, the better the customer perception, and the greater the likelihood of customer loyalty to the brand|
|55% INCREASE IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION||The better the service a brand provides to the public and the wider the range of services offered, the higher the customer satisfaction|
The benefits for consumers:
- Immediate responses, the client does not have to wait for the intervention of a human agent to obtain contact from the brand
- 24/7 service, the client is not dependent on the opening and closing times of the brand
- More personalized experiences
But what steps must be taken to build a successful chatbot?
- You should start by studying the kind of questions your company usually receives from customers
- Create a chain of actions that make sense and are clear to the user
- Guide the type of conversation based on the information provided by the help section or FAQ's of the company's website
- Use language that is user-friendly and allows the customer to feel that he is not talking to a robot
- Use a human agent takeover option, when the bot cannot suppress the customer's needs or questions
What is the impact of a well-built chatbot?
Take the example of the large retail chains.
After analyzing the responsiveness of chatbots in the messenger of major retail chains in Portugal, such as Pingo Doce, Continente, Auchan, Lidl, we found a common factor: the lack of automation.
With the exception of Continente, none of the other chains has a functional chatbot system in the messenger that allows the user to interact with the brand.
But what is the impact of this lack of interaction?
Let's say the customer needs to order a certain product, however, since he plans to travel, he needs to know where he can pick up the product.
So, he goes on Facebook, searches for the Pingo Doce page and starts a conversation. However, he gets no response.
Thus, he searches through Continente's website and starts a conversation to which he gets a reply and is informed about the places where he can pick up his order. Which of the two chains will the customer choose? Continente, most likely, since it was not necessary to wait to get a response.
During this process, Pingo Doce would lose a customer for the simple fact of not having an automated customer interaction process in the messenger.
Why invest in this kind of technology?
Since the pandemic began, according to a study published by SalesForce, 78% of decision-makers in companies have invested in new technologies. The reasons behind this choice may be related to the fact that companies feel a need to compensate for the lack of physical contact with customers and face the new challenges that have been presented.
In this way, companies can offer a more personalized service to their customers, which in a way contributes to an increase in their satisfaction and possible loyalty to the brand.
Also according to a study published by SalesForce, 65% of consumers prefer to use self-service to solve relatively simple situations.
By using chatbots, the customer has much more control over the course of the conversation, and they will be able to ask less demanding questions, such as finding out which payment methods to use to make an online purchase.