Mention chatbots and the imagination fills with images of sleek androids and hyper-intelligent AIs, a world of sci-fi inaccessibility. In reality, chatbots are an accessible and incredibly useful tool than even small businesses can make the most of. In fact, many would argue that it’s small businesses that will see the greatest gains from the widespread adoption of this emerging technology. It’s time for you to think just how much a chatbot could boost your small business.
Wouldn’t it be great if your customer support team didn’t have to answer the same questions, again and again (and again…)? Well, thanks to chatbots, they won’t have to. Chatbots can be given a script of common questions and answers, and will supply that answer whenever a user asks them the relevant question. This leaves your support team with more time to go in-depth with complex queries and really focus on customer engagement..
When a chatbot is unable to supply an answer, you’ll need to ensure that there are additional measures in place to help create a resolution for the customer. The most effective options are creating a support ticket for them or redirecting them to a live source of human help, although redirecting them to a general FAQ can work if you’re short on manpower.
In some cases, redirection can actually be the most effective option. This is best used for queries that need a more substantial answer than can be comfortably provided in an online chat window. If you’re making the most of business blogging to provide value for their customers, you’ll likely be able to see what a boon that kind of chatbot can be. All those great resources on your blog are suddenly just a user query away, making your resources considerably more accessible, without clogging up your site’s design. It’s a user experience designer’s dream!
Chatbots aren’t just useful for helping customers. They can be integrated into your own systems to make swathes of data just a question away. For example, you might hook your chatbot into a workplace messaging program like Slack, then into your sales CRM. Now, users with sufficient clearance can simply ask the bot for information on revenue, sales or lead gen and have it delivered to them in seconds. Or perhaps you’d rather have an automatic alert sent to a number of key figures whenever a metric reaches a certain threshold. This can help celebrate successes, like highlighting a particularly shared blog, or bring attention to landing pages with abnormally high bounce rates.
What Bots are Not
As great as current gen chatbots are, they can’t be expected to fulfil the role of an actual employee in its fullest. A chatbot is not going to comprehensively analyse metrics for you, nor is it going to be the sole form of customer engagement and support you need. They’re best thought of as enhancements: tools that can help boost your capabilities to do certain tasks. Used like this, they’re already widely helping small businesses do more with less resources and could provide you with an invaluable boost.