How Small Businesses Can Leverage Chatbots Across Different Functions?
A “BIG” challenge that every small business face is cost-cutting. SMEs struggle for reducing support costs. One smart way is automation. With the rising trend of AI-chatbots many small businesses are adopting it for seamless business management.
Automation of sales and support process saves time and money that can be used over different spheres to extend the business horizons. Chatbots could save businesses up to £6 billion per year across industries says Juniper Research.
What makes it an even more attractive option, is the fact that platforms like SendPulse allow you to build a messenger chatbot for free with no coding skills whatsoever.
How chatbots benefit small businesses?
Small businesses can use ready to use chatbot builders. By using the bot builder these businesses can save more time that can be used for other business tasks. The added benefit they get is to build their own flow to improve customer satisfaction.
The three main benefits that small businesses reap out of chatbots are as follows:
- Automate routine work – Small businesses can automate certain manual tasks to save time and focus on other important aspects of the business. With chatbots, you can automate chat conversations to provide faster replies, proactive customer interactions and increase customer engagement.
- Functions 24×7 – Chatbots handle basic queries round the clock when the agents are not available. Bots answer all the basic queries and reduce the number of support tickets raised.
- Reduce live chat support costs – Implementing a chatbot improves operational efficiency by cutting down customer service costs. Chatbots can meet indefinite chat requests with great ease and effectiveness. There is no extra cost involved when the scalability increases.
6 ways small businesses can leverage chatbots
SMEs are significantly cutting costs and delivering excellent customer experiences with AI-powered chatbots. AI chatbots can transform small and medium businesses by creating huge successful operations across a spectrum of business functions.
Chatbots can be easily deployed on your website or app with a live chat plugin to instantly answer customer queries and providing real time assistance. Here are six different ways small businesses can leverage chatbots.
1. Chatbots for sales and lead generation
For every SMEs, sales and lead generation is the prime focus of business growth. Chatbots can be leveraged to convert your website visitors into qualified leads automatically and transfer them to your sales team for further help.
Lead qualifying process can be repetitive for small business. The messaging strategy can be automated in order to reduce the response time and improve chances of closing more leads.
Mindbrowser chatbot Survey found out that the business units will benefit the most from chatbots: sales/marketing 55%.
You can prepare a sales questionnaire, which will be used to convert your website visitors into potential prospects and escalate them to the right sales representative for further follow-up. The sales bots are your virtual assistant to ask the right question and qualify leads for your sales team.
2. Automated customer support
Small businesses look for ways to save business costs. With chatbots, you can freeze the customer service costs. Automating the customer support assures faster response to your customers, proactive conversations along with 24×7 support.
Automating customer support saves time for the team to focus on other revenue-generating activities. Gartner report says 85% customer interactions will be handled without a human agent.
Customer support automation boost customer engagement. Automating the responses to the FAQs helps customers to receive real time solutions while reducing irrelevant questions in the queue. The queries that are complex or difficult can be directed to a customer service agent.
Hipmunk’s “Hello Chatbot” for example, built for closer customer engagement. It is a popular platform to search for travel deals. Users can book flights, rental cars, hotels, and tour packages.
The Hello chatbot helps people to search and reserve their travel activity and can be integrated with various chat applications like Facebook, Skype, and other popular chat applications.
3. Auto conversions
Chatbots provide an advantage of auto conversions to small businesses. It means when the website visitor submits a form, it is escalated to the right sales representative to complete the process. When it comes to conversion rate optimization chatbots prove to be the best.
Gartner forecasts that by 2020, more than 85% of customer interactions will be handled without human-to-human contact.
For an e-commerce business, auto conversion helps to grow the business by increasing sales. It improves your brand image and gains more customers.
4. Increase your website engagement
Website is the main alley for customer engagement for many small and medium-sized businesses. Implementing chatbots allows a significant increase in website engagement.
Chatbots helps in engaging customers in an interactive way by asking customers their shopping preferences to give them personalized advice. Simply put, you can make your chatbot a personal assistant to each and every one of your customers without it costing you more time or money.
5. Answer queries 24X7 with a virtual assistant
Small businesses need to invest in employing additional resources for customer engagement. The productive hours for the support team is 5 to 6 hours. Chatbot functions efficiently 24×7 without the need of investing additional cost.
Chatbots are the best way to answer basic customer questions, which reduces the number of support tickets. A chatbot fed with FAQs is effective in promptly answering customer queries. So, a chatbot serves its best to answer general questions before transferring it to a human representative.
6. Provide order booking
Small businesses can reap out good profits by allowing customers for order booking. Guess what, you give your customers the sophistication to book the items without any human intervention with chatbots.
Besides answering queries, chatbots can take orders from customers with simple and quick messaging commands. Instead of making a phone call or going on your website, your customer can simply type order and send it to your bot. Your chatbot then takes your customer through the ordering process.
Chatbots promptly accept orders and other customer information automatically and helps your business to enhance the overall customer experience.
Automation and AI could look huge rock to small or medium businesses. However, exploring and incorporating the chatbots could turn the business ROI high up. With more small and medium businesses leveraging chatbots into their business processes, it is important that you engage your customers with this rising trend.