Chatbots have evolved as an extremely effective tool for small businesses since they first appeared back in 2016. Also known as messenger bots, this smart computer program initiates a dialogue with the intention of providing customer service or extracting useful information from potential customers.
In some cases, these chatbots are utilized by mainstream giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google. However, small businesses can also use chatbots to create their own messenger bot for various tasks such as building a subscriber list or even to act as a virtual assistant.
Either way, chatbots offer an impressive amount of value to small businesses through a wide range of features and benefits. Here we will take a look at some of the benefits and the importance of chat bots to a small business.
The Benefits of Chatbots for a Small Business
Messenger bots are currently the focus of every corner of the digital industry for a good reason. After all, this unassuming technology is capable of incredible results related to almost every aspect of a business including marketing, customer service, and even profitability.
While many owners are skeptical as to whether the program is organic or harmful to their business, the statistics are a lot less uncertain.
In fact, surveys have shown that more than 30% of customers are unfazed with the implementation of chat bots and more than 40% are perfectly happy to be assisted by a messenger bot instead of a real person.
For this reason, the same surveys demonstrate how more than 50% of people refer to these chatbot encounters in a very positive manner.
Utilizing Chatbots for Marketing
Although chatbots are extremely common in the marketing industry, most customers are entirely unaware of their presence. Chat bot surveys are an easy way to invite potential customers without seeming intrusive while opt-in forms are an automatic way to increase a subscriber list. Furthermore, the use of these chat bots on social media provides instant communication with customers which is surely an immense benefit to any business in a such a busy and fast-moving world.
At the same time, these chatbots have evolved to a standard which feels increasingly personal and less robotic. That is to say, chat bots can be customized to encourage more interaction on social media, and this is an essential feature on platforms which are designed to encourage the sharing of such information.
Moral of the story: Chatbots are rarely intrusive and highly effective when it comes to marketing.
Chatbots for Lead Generation and Customer Service
As already mentioned, chat bots can be used as virtual assistants, and this is one of the most common use-cases for messenger bots. As you know, these chatbots are capable of operating 24/7 which provides continuous access to small businesses and maximum potential for the business when it comes to sales and lead generation.
While chatbots can be customized for different scenarios, the idea is never to trick customers but rather to facilitate their needs. With this in mind, small businesses can choose to be transparent with customers and use this technology to enhance the user experience without concern that they are harmful to the reputation or process. Furthermore, these chat bots can be used for the sole purpose of “touching base” with a customer to let them know that they can speak with a person during a specific window of time.
All considered, when implemented the right way, chat bots are an affordable and valuable aide to compliment the customer service of any small business.
After Sales and Standard Requests
Customer service is one of the most important aspects of a small business and an opportunity to excel or stand out for most customers. At the same time, even when the sale is made, there is still an important responsibility to interact with these existing customers.
Whether a customer is following up on a tracking order or checking the price of a purchase, chatbots are highly competent when it comes to facilitating these requests. Virtual assistant bits can also save ample time for small business by handling these enquiries which are often communicated via social media or chat facilities on the website for a product/service.
Again, once implemented correctly, these chatbots can appear both convenient and helpful to customers without causing any reason for them to question the method of this communication.
Integrating Chatbots for a Small Business
Every small business should know their target market and the various inquiries which are likely to arise during the sales or aftersales process. In some instances, the business may require a limited amount of interaction and chatbots can be integrated without the assistance of a developer. At the same time, for advanced chat bots or support which requires a great deal of personalization, there is always the option of employing a bot development team.
On the other hand, free bot software provides small businesses with the opportunity to create their own chatbot to enable maximum flexibility. However, there is always a learning curve with new technology of any kind which is often the reason why a small business will opt for a developer team to create anything more advanced.
The Importance of Chatbots for a Small Business
Chatbots are increasingly important in a sense that they offer a ready-made solution to the common needs of a small business. Once implemented the right way, these chatbots can initiate helpful dialogue with customers and extract relevant information to help the business excel. Contrary to popular belief, these messenger bots are also non-intrusive, and statistics show that most people are positive when it comes to the end-user experience.
Furthermore, chatbots save time and money for everyone involved, not to mention the fact that these smart computer programs are clearly capable of taking any small business to the next level.
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