Chatbots, are they worth it? In high street stores, positive experiences with customer service increases customer satisfaction by upwards of 70%. In return, this positive customer satisfaction will increase the amount of sales, positive reviews and returning customers. With so many businesses operating online nowadays however, how can this level of customer service be maintained without face-to-face interaction? The short answer… Chatbots. In this article, we’ll explain what chatbots are, how they work and why you should consider utilising them on your business website.
What are chatbots?
Chatbots are programmed chat interfaces that website visitors can interact with. They are programmed to mimic human interaction, offering help in a conversational manner. Interacting with clients in real time, chatbots can be used to answer frequently asked questions or even help with more advanced issues depending on how they are programmed. There are two kinds of Chatbot: Simple and Advanced.
Simple Chatbots respond to pre-written keywords or commands and are therefore limited when it comes to communication. For example, if a customer uses non-keywords to describe an issue they may have, the chatbot will fail to understand and will not give adequate customer service. If however, you’ve found that a lot of customers ask the same kind of questions, this simple chatbot can be extremely helpful in presenting answers to FAQs in a way that feels helpful to the customer rather than searching for an FAQ page.
Advanced chatbots use artificial intelligence to communicate with customers. This allows them to give multiple suggestions and understand basic language and communication. Keywords do not have to be pre programmed into the chatbot, so customers feel like they are having a conversation with a human being rather than a program. This mimics face-to-face customer service more closely, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
Why use a Chatbot?
With the definition of chatbots now explained, let’s take a look at the reasons why you should consider using a chatbot in your website. Firstly, chatbots simplify things. Customers often don’t want to spend time digging through your website to find answers to questions they may have. Chatbots completely solve this problem by allowing all answers to questions to be in one place, and as chatbots are often programmed to pop up in an obvious place on the website page to announce to customers that they can help, it cuts out all unnecessary time for your customers.
Chatbots, when incorporated correctly, can mimic human interaction. This is a massive strength as customers feel as if they are getting quality customer service, which increases their satisfaction with your business. However, you don’t need to waste any of your time by answering questions all day or hiring a customer service team. This means that you get the benefit of a customer service representative without the cost of time on your part. Unlike Customer service staff, chatbots can also run 24/7, allowing customers to have their questions answered whenever they have an issue. This goes beyond what a high street store can do and promotes higher customer satisfaction rates.
Access to a chatbot also creates a more personal experience for your customers. Part of the appeal for high street stores is that customers get a personal experience. The simple act of feeling as if you’re talking to a person helps create a personalised experience for your customer. Websites however can feel a bit cold and clinical. Customers only have access to information and a screen. Chatbots however, add this element of personalisation back into your website, encouraging visitors to turn into customers.
Chatbots also build brand trust. When your customers’ initial impression of your brand is online, you need to make sure your website helps customers gain trust in your brand. The best way to do this is by having a positive experience with your brand. By having a chatbot and allowing customers to have helpful conversations, your customers will build trust in your brand quickly and that trust will help them return as a customer or leave a positive review.
Overall, chatbots are incredibly useful assets for your website. With so many advantages from keeping visitors engaged to capturing the interest of buyers, you should definitely consider incorporating a chatbot into your website. However, they do come with their downsides. Chatbots will never be able to replace a human with the ability to empathise with customer issues and so it’s important to think about whether chatbots will be helpful to your business.
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