AI (Artificial Intelligence) for businesses? Oh, yes. It’s called a chatbot.
A chatbot uses artificial intelligence to talk with people. You can set up this computer program on your website to instant message with visitors with text or audio. You’re not available for your customers 24/7/365. But a chatbot is. Chatbots can take care of simple, routine tasks to help you work more efficiently and serve your customers better. And the list of duties chatbots can perform is long:
• Instead of searching your site for what they need, clients and candidates can talk to the chatbot. The chatbot can ask more questions and get more information to find exactly what the visitor needs.
• Chatbots can take orders or payments.
• They can give instructions or walk a customer through a procedure.
• Because chatbots are a computer program, they learn. They remember things about visitors and develop more complex conversations.
• With some chatbots, you can follow visitors’ activities to analyze what they’re doing and how you can perform better. You can use those analytics to learn what customers want and don’t want so you can refine your website content or your marketing strategy.
• Chatbots can recommend other services the customer may want.
• Chatbots can ask questions and send you the potential client’s answers, so you can decide if you have a qualified prospect and how you should follow up.
• And if you want to increase engagement on your site, well, you can’t get much more engaged than talking.
Chatbots are also mobile optimized (a must). You can put chatbots on all your social media platforms to show a “consistent brand voice,” says a SmartInsights.com article, “6 Reasons Marketers Should Start Using Chatbots in 2017.” Customers like chatbots because they get fast, immediate answers whenever they have a question. And, the same article continues, “Generally speaking, bots require just about one-fourth the time to build than a standard mobile app. What’s more, bots require minimum maintenance, designing is easy, and nearly the entire development process is automated.”
If you decide to integrate a helpful, friendly chatbot on your site, be upfront and make sure people know it’s a bot and not a real human (some can be pretty convincing). And because chatbots only deal with simple or routine information, give people an option to talk with a real person. You don’t want customers getting upset and leaving just because the chatbot can’t tell them what they need.
And for the future? This tech is still growing. But an article called “Chatbots Will Be Your New Best Friend” on Forbes.com warns that people could get so used to interacting with computers and artificial intelligence that they’ll treat real people like computers. The chatbot is friendly and patient and doesn’t expect anything in return, but human relationships aren’t like that.
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