Chatbots have been on an upward trend over the past few years with more and more businesses using this popular technology. Business Insider even came to the conclusion that 80% of businesses will either be using or plan to use some type of chatbot by 2020. It makes sense. Chatbots can initiate conversations with customers, qualify leads, and speed up the buyer’s journey.
Before you purchase a chatbot platform and start building, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of this talkative technology.
What is Chatbot?
Chatbots are an artificial intelligence that performs automated communication. This automated communication can be performed on outlets such as your company website or social media profiles. As guests visit your website or social profiles, the chatbot software can be used to answer any questions or provide certain insights to guests regarding your business.
Chatbots need to be configured to execute the tasks you desire it to handle when interacting with guests. Creating and configuring a chatbot can either be done in-house or by paying a company that provides chatbot software.
How Do I Use a Chatbot?
One of the most common uses of chatbots is to communicate with people that are interested in your business. Let’s say someone is viewing a car dealership’s website and has a question regarding a trade-in. As long as the dealership’s chatbot was properly configured with the correct information, it can answer most if not all of the questions that person may ask.
That’s the beauty of chatbots. The AI’s level of interactivity is completely up to you. Chatbots can be configured to perform tasks as simple as answering general questions about the business to in-depth as providing legal advice.
The Pros of Chatbot
Efficient Customer Service: If your website traffic is bustling with guests inquiring about your business, a chatbot can handle that workload. Having a system where every online guest is greeted in a timely way is useful for increasing customer satisfaction.
Better Time Management: If one person or department is currently having to handle the guests that visit your website or social outlets, they could be pushing off other tasks to help grow your business. Using a chatbot allows a person or department to get back to other operational duties they could have been foregoing beforehand.
Additional Sales Rep: Do a lot of your sales come from your website? Chatbots can take on some of the sales processes that you have gotten so used to doing. A well-configured chatbot can take a potential customer through the entire sales process on your website without the need for any human monitoring on your end.
Increase Data Collection: Chatbots are even being used to collect contact information from the people that interact with them. This is a perfect tool if you =need to build a stronger list of people who are interested in your company.
The Cons of Chatbot
Lack of Human Interaction: If you’ve built your business behind the idea of human interaction, then chatbots may not be for you. There are still people who are turned away from the idea of having to talk to a program to get their questions answered. It’s always important to know your audience and what they expect from your business.
Additional Costs: Chatbots are fairly inexpensive to maintain, but there is an initial fee to set one for the first time that could be a steep price for some businesses. It’s a good idea to find out just how much manpower is being placed on interacting with your website and social media traffic before making a purchase.
Limited Information for Guests: As stated before, a chatbot is only as good as it’s configured to be. If a person cannot get a clear answer and becomes frustrated, you may lose that potential customer. The best way to prevent this scenario is to test your chatbot regularly and update it often.
Constant Maintenance: Be aware of bugs when using a chatbot. If you decide to create one in-house, be warned that maintenance is crucial to making sure your AI isn’t riddled with bugs. Another option would be to outsource it so that the company that creates your chatbot can handle your maintenance.
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