“Chatbot” is the compressed form of “Chat Robot”. It uses Artificial Intelligence to assist interface between humans and machines, without the need of a human operator.
Though we are observing a lot of chats around the Chatbots of late, they have been in regular use for over a decade now. But as the results of their applications have started showing now, we are hearing a lot about them lately.
Types of Chatbots
Chatbots can be classified in many different ways; based on the kind of business, the type of technology, and the platform used, etc.
You can use either messenger, like WhatsApp, Facebook to build your Chatbot or you can design independent Chatbots.
Chatbots can broadly be classified into 2 types,
- Fixed Scripted Chatbots- These Chatbots have a fixed script. Chatbots used in answering FAQs is an example of a scripted type of Chatbot.
- AI or NLP Chatbots- These Chatbots use Artificial Intelligence and do not have a fixed script. These Chatbots are self-learning and hence keep improving with interaction.
Applications of Chatbots
Chatbots find their application in almost all the business situations. They can be utilized in tours and travels, banking and finance, online marketing, online services, healthcare and wellness, and customer services, etc.
Advantages of Chatbots
Chatbots offer many advantages depending on the type of Chatbot and the kind of business they are used in. In this article, we will talk about some of their benefits and how they can help you in growing your business. People are using it on vast majority in their facebook marketing.
Customers are the backbone of any business. Every business put its best efforts to grow the customer base. In this endeavor, it finds ways to get new customers and also tries to retain the existing ones. Giving the maximum opportunity to the potential as well as existing customers to get connected with business is, therefore, very important. Chatbots can be very helpful in fulfilling this objective.
More Time to Connect
You can make Chatbots available for customers to use them round the clock. Customers may chat at any time or any day to get to know about your business. They can as well book orders or provide feedback at a time convenient to them. Customers can get a response to their queries or problems in real-time. This makes customers highly satisfied. And hence, they tend to associate with the business for a longer time.
Chatbots do not have mood swings, stress or boredom. This makes them highly dependable. This helps in avoiding any conflict while interacting with irate customers as they would not reciprocate and fuel customers’ anger.
Some customers feel too shy to speak to customer care personnel. They find texting a much easier way of communicating. Chatbot helps such customers in engaging with the company in their preferred mode.
Making Chatbots available round the clock increases the number of hours available to customers for interacting with the business. The chances of such interactions thus increase significantly. This helps in increasing occasions for viewing, lead generation, conversions, and order-booking, etc. This leads to broadening the customer base and increasing sales as well. Broader customer base too eventually leads to higher sales and profits.
Chatbots can handle multiple clients at one time. This helps in reducing manpower engaged in these tasks. They may be used for some other more useful work. This also reduces a lot of other supporting requirements like building, furniture, and PCs, etc. Thus saves on rents and other utility bills as well.
Many companies that outsource these services may totally get away with these costs.
Many small businesses may not provide certain customer services due to a lack of resources like manpower, finance or infrastructure, etc. They may also use Chatbots for those services without adding to their running costs. Thus they may use this spared time in a more fruitful activity. This single facility may bring them on par with their bigger counterparts.
Chats with the customers or leads create a lot of useful information. You may use these inputs in building a very useful database of the customers. This database helps in knowing customers’ needs or buying patterns. This may further be used in designing your products or services as per their needs.
You can retrieve this information by connecting Chatbots to the mails, web analysts, surveys, etc. This would help in analyzing this data and making some important business decisions. This can also help in getting important feedback on the existing products or services. You can use this feedback to upgrade your existing products or services.
You can also use such data to rewrite input messages to the Chatbot. This will help in improving the performance of the Chatbot.
Fewer Errors & Conflicts
If you provide Chatbots with the right inputs they provide more efficient outputs as compared to humans. They make fewer errors as well, as compared to men. Chatbots that are self-learning constantly improve with every interaction in their ability to deal with the customers.
Chatbots do not possess any emotions or feelings. Therefore, problems related to Human Resources get automatically resolved. Traditional conflicts between the bosses & the subordinates and among colleagues get eliminated.
Limitations of Chatbots
Though Chatbots have a lot many advantages yet the technology is under development and hence poses a few limitations. Following are a few of them-
- The inability to understanding the language and accents of different customers spread across different parts of the world can cause Chatbots to err in their responses. This can create confusion during interactions.
- Consumers who are not-so-comfortable in using technology, particularly the older generation do not find it a preferred option of communication.
- The cost of deploying Chatbots might not be justifiable for many small businesses.
So, you can very easily see that Chatbot is a wonderful tool to improve your contacts with your leads and customers. Improved contact time improves the chances of conversion and retention.
Chatbots also help in saving your time and money that you may use in some more fruitful activities.
There are a few limitations of Chatbots yet the benefits offered are much more than the limitations.
Deploying Chatbot would give you an edge over your competitor and help in growing your business and increasing your profits faster.