By Dominique Bandet on Sep 3, 2021
If your business isn’t using chatbots, you’re missing out. Today’s chatbots have become invaluable tools for customer service and operations. Why? Because they can help businesses streamline their processes while creating a more positive experience for the customer.
You have likely seen or interacted with a chatbot. For example, when you visit a website and a chat box pops up asking, “How can I help you?” or if you’ve ever used your smartphone to request a ride via chat. And you’re not alone. 67% of global consumers interacted with a chatbot in the past 12 months.
These chatbots are programs that simulate and engage in human conversation (either written or spoken), allowing users to interact as if they were communicating with a real person. They can be used across digital devices, including SMS chatbots that communicate via text message marketing services.
For businesses, the use of these tools continues to grow. According to Drift’s 2020 State of Conversational Marketing report, usage of chatbots grew by 92% since 2019 and it is predicted that the global chatbot market will increase from $2.9 billion in 2020 to $10.5 billion by 2026. That’s why we’re highlighting six ways chatbots can help you enhance your customer service and customer experience.
According to consumers, the number one benefit of chatbots is 24/7 support. Not every business has the money and resources to have human customer service representatives available 24/7. While you have staff available during business hours, customer questions and inquires don’t follow a 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule. And if you do have 24/7 support, chatbots can drastically reduce your costs.
Fortunately, chatbots provide a way for customers to contact your company and get responses at any time of day. Being able to engage with customers at their preferred time can improve their overall satisfaction with your company.
In line with constant availability, chatbots can answer questions and help address issues sooner. 40% of consumers don’t care if a chatbot or a human helps them – they just want to be helped. Chatbot software can leverage provided data to answer a variety of questions.
While the answers to these questions may be listed on your website, chatbots can save the customer time and get the information they’re looking for immediately. In some situations, a human representative may need to take over and provide further support. Still, chatbots alleviate some of the initial back and forth, so your staff only has to focus on the final steps to solve customer problems. According to Salesforce, 77% of customer service agents say automating routine tasks, such as gathering basic information and customer feedback, allows them to focus on more complex work.
SMS chatbots and text message marketing services can make it even easier for your customers, letting them connect with you anywhere, anytime on their smartphone. In fact, when it comes to communicating with a business, more than 75% of users prefer to text.
Another powerful benefit of chatbots is that they run on NLP (natural language processing) standards to easily understand different languages. IBM describes NLP as “the branch of computer science—and more specifically, the branch of artificial intelligence or AI—concerned with giving computers the ability to understand text and spoken words in much the same way human beings can.”
While a majority of your audience may speak one language, 29% of businesses say they have lost customers for not providing multilingual support. As of January 2020, English was the most popular language online, representing 25.9% of worldwide Internet users, followed by Chinese (19.4) and Spanish (7.9%). Being able to communicate with users without language barriers can increase your audience and create better communication with your customers.
In 2020, Google saw “how to” searches increase across industries proving that today’s consumers are self-sufficient. Almost 70% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. They want to fix their own problems, but they might need a little direction. Chatbots can easily direct customers to answers or resources that can help them solve their problems or gather the information they need.
Chatbots can save a business up to 30% in customer support and customer service costs by speeding up response times and answering up to 80% of routine questions. With chatbots and text message marketing services, your business can handle numerous conversations at the same time without having to pay multiple customer service representatives.
Of course, chatbots will not completely remove the need for human involvement. Many customers would rather speak to a real person than interact with a chatbot. However, these tools can support a customer representative by providing chat history and what information has already been shared by the customer to reduce time spent on repetitive data collection.
Chatbots offer an opportunity for you to learn from your customers and improve your customer service efforts. For example, chatbots can help you better understand the types of questions customers are asking or discover common issues or concerns. With this data, you can provide better answers and solutions and continually improve your customer experience.
These tools can also help make the process of collecting feedback from your customers interactive, quick and easy. Whether at the end of a chat conversation or via text message after a purchase, you can encourage customers to take a brief survey to gain insight into their overall experience with your company.
Chatbots and text message marketing services can provide your customers with 24/7 support and attention, creating a better customer experience and enhancing your customer service. Umbrella Local offers a business texting platform that can help your business answer questions, address issues, schedule appointments and give you an advantage over your competitors.
Contact one of our marketing experts to learn how we can help you stay engaged with your customers.
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