Why a chatbot just might be your business’ best friend

- May 26, 2022 3 MIN READ

Many small business owners are hesitant to add a chatbot to their website, but digital growth expert Nick Brogden says all smart businesses should implement a chatbot ASAP. Here’s why.

Chatbots have become so commonplace online that every website offering a product or service seems to have one already.

If your website is one of those that doesn’t have a chatbot to interact with your visitors, then it’s time to consider acquiring one.

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation using natural language through voice or text.

You’ve probably noticed these on websites, messaging channels and apps – they appear to spark conversation with a targeted question. They’re also there when you’ve got a question that needs an immediate answer.

The different types of chatbots

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become synonymous with chatbot technology. However, not all chatbots use this type of software.

Here are two types of chatbots:

  • 1. AI chatbots

This type of chatbot software can learn from its communication exchanges with customers. It gathers data from past interactions and provides solutions depending on the circumstances.

An AI-powered chatbot learns more with more interactions with customers, therefore improving to offer more accurate results in the future.

  • 2. Rule-based chatbots

This type of chatbot software does not utilise AI technology. It strictly adheres to a programming script that follows ‘if-then’ decision-tree statements.

Person on tablet using chatbot on website

How can a chatbot help your website?

While you can personally reply to all the queries of your website visitors during office hours, a chatbot can do so 24/7, allowing you to focus on growing your business or brand.

Here are some ways a chatbot can help your business grow.

1. Assist with lead generation

Chatbots provide immediate help to your site visitors as a resource of answers and solutions. As a pop-up that is there to assist instantly, visitors are instantly gratified and feel recognised. And once engaged and the interaction continues, the visitor becomes more trusting and thus becomes ready for the next step – lead generation.

Only ask for their email address and similar information once all other bases have been passed – their names, roles, problems or queries, location, and more.

One effective way of utilising your chatbot as a lead generation tool is by offering your visitors a freebie – such as a calendar, ebook, or access to a video and the like – that helps solve their problem.

2. Centralise customer support

It’s essential to prioritise interactions that focus on customer support. Chatbots can do this by offering a series of questions wherein a user has a choice to select from a series of scripted questions.

And if the chatbot can offer an answer to the user, it takes a snippet from the FAQ section or provides helpful links to resource articles. If not, the chatbot can forward the user to a live representative.

The advantage of the chatbot for the live representative is that it collects all the necessary data, like pain points and other contact information, that prepares the live representative for more in-depth interaction with the customer.

Data gathered from chatbots is stored and used to discover any issues with a product or service. The data points the brand in the right direction regarding sniffing out trends.

3. Facilitate in moving forward

Chatbots may offer help and support from the get-go, but another use is as a planner. Chatbots allow users to schedule a meeting or sign up for an event.

But most of all, chatbots are just the initial step needed for your visitors to interact and engage with your brand. A chatbot can redirect your visitors to sign up forms, calendars and more, without the user having to search for it on your website.

Your chatbot should offer further contact with the right people and the right timing. Following the interaction with the chatbot, the ideal situation is for your visitors to interact with a representative or become more involved in your brand (for example, by signing up for events or webinars).

Chatbots are undeniably helpful in any business or brand looking to increase conversions and build a database of customers. Chatbots offer numerous benefits, including customer service, scheduling meetings and events, and even lead capture and generation.

But most of all, bots offer instant gratification to potential customers who feel recognised, and then positively start their experience on your website.

This article originally appeared on Flying Solo, read the original here

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