As a small business owner, you know there are a million things to do and not enough time to do them. Small business owners have a lot on their schedule. Solutions like Managed WordPress Hosting leave all the heavy lifting to us, freeing up time from your schedule.
Checking your finances, collecting information about upcoming new products, and running your social media – all these tasks require time and effort, especially for small businesses, which usually employ fewer people than major companies. You need every advantage to stay ahead of the competition, and chatbots may be your edge.
Traditionally, customer service involves real people who answer all the customers’ questions via phone, email, or chat. Depending on the size of the customer base, this task may require a lot of people, so investing wisely will help your business massively at its start.
This HostPapa blog is all about chatbots, so we gathered eleven ways they can help your small business grow its marketing and customer service efforts.
- Chatbots Provide Better Customer Service
- Chatbots Can Help With Marketing
- They Can Help Drive Sales
- Chatbots Can Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking
- Can Understand Your Customers Better
- Chatbots Can Help You Reduce Customer Service Costs
- It Can Help You Automate Repetitive Tasks
- Chatbots Are Available 24/7
- They Can Scale to Meet Your Needs
- A Great Way to Stay Ahead of the Competition
- They Can Improve Customer Satisfaction
What Is a Chatbot and How Does It Work?
Chatbots are computer programs that can mimic human conversation. You can use chatbots to simulate a human’s talkative nature to provide customer service or help with marketing efforts.
They work by understanding rules or “scripts” that tell them how to respond to specific questions or comments. They can also be programmed to recognize exact keywords or phrases that trigger a particular response.
This makes chatbots an efficient and affordable way for small businesses to provide customer service. Since chatbots are computer programs, they can handle multiple conversations simultaneously.
Advanced chatbots leverage machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to listen, comprehend and form very well-written sentences almost indistinguishable from ones written by human beings.
Conversational chatbots are the next big thing in AI chatbots and are far better than rule-based chatbots that work by simply following a pre-defined set of rules or responses based on the users’ input. This is currently the simplest form of a chatbot and is found on many websites and social media like Facebook Messenger.
Now you must be thinking, how does one create bots?
There are several chatbot platforms available, and each has its own set of features, and they all help you create chatbots for your small business. You can build a chatbot using prominent programming languages like Python if you’re a skilled programmer.
For all the other people, here’s a list of the most popular chatbot platforms:
- Wit.ai (Parent of Meta)
- Dialogflow (Powered by Google ML)
- Actions for Google Assistant
- Azure Bot Service
- IBM Watson
Now, let’s move forward to the benefits of using chatbots in small businesses.
The Benefits of Chatbots for Small Businesses
It’s fair to say that chatbots are meant to help you formulate robust customer relationships. The more “chatty” a bot is, the more engaging it can become with your audience, thus, creating more opportunities for prospects that find your business online.
We should also note that chatbots offer a more personal experience for customers. Chatbots respond in real time and make customers feel they’re being heard and that their concerns are substantial. This is integral to building an online business and should be a priority for all small business owners starting out now.
A chatbot can provide personalized recommendations and suggestions based on the customer’s purchase history and interests by having an intimate connection with the customer. This is a great way to keep your customers satisfied.
Research from Facebook showed that 60% of people are open to receiving company marketing messages. A Facebook Messenger chatbot is a good start if you already have a solid social media presence.
Chatbots Provide Better Customer Service
If you’re too busy to answer customer questions, chatbots can take care of that for you. Thinking smart and leaving your chatbot to take on simple questions from the queue can significantly unload your customer service department.
Having human agents undertaking specific tasks is recommended for most companies, and chatbots are only meant to act in a supplementary but crucial role, covering frequently asked questions and those that can be answered in just a few words. Artificial intelligence-driven chatbots respond with greater detail as they assess all the available user input before replying.
They can provide information about your products or services, and they can also handle customer complaints. This can free up your time to focus on other essential tasks.
Chatbots Can Help With Marketing
Chatbots can be used for various marketing tasks, such as lead generation, market research, and customer segmentation. Chatbot marketing can be beneficial when used alongside all the traditional means like email marketing which offers direct communication with potential customers. Lead generation chatbots, for instance, can encourage potential customers to leave their email so they don’t miss out on new products your shop offers.
They can also be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and to track the results of those campaigns. Additionally, chatbots can be used to send out promotional materials, such as coupons or discounts, to your users.
One great example of chatbots being used for marketing is the Facebook Messenger bot, which radically changed how customers interact with your business online. A Facebook page can create a Messenger bot that responds to simple customer queries automatically and every time.
They Can Help Drive Sales
Many people are hesitant to make a purchase online without talking to someone first. Chatbots can tackle sales inquiries, schedule appointments, and even help with the sales process. They can also keep track of customer interactions and sales data, which can help you improve your strategies and simplify sales on both ends of the process.
Your target is to drive people through the sales funnel and make them loyal to your brand, so social media is an excellent place to start. Since most people are “social media regulars”, you’ll be surprised how many are willing to buy right from the comfort of their Facebook or Instagram feeds.
When a user shows interest in your brand on social media, use Facebook Messenger to send a personalized message to attract their attention and help them navigate your sales funnel.
Chatbots Can Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking
Search engines also factor in the engagement generated by chatbots. Adding chatbot content to your website will help improve your ranking and bring more traffic to your site. A helpful metric that helps boost your SEO is the time spent on the web page.
With an advanced and conversational artificial intelligence-driven chatbot, chances are that people are staying longer as the chatbot can clear more questions than a simple rule-based chatbot.
If chatbots on your website are getting a lot of engagement, that’s a good sign. Increased customer engagement shows search engines that your website is relevant and valuable. This will help improve your ranking even further.
Can Understand Your Customers Better
Chatbot data can give you a detailed understanding of who your customers are and what they want from you. From your website visitors, a chatbot can log valuable data that can be used anonymously to identify their habits and interests.
This data can create more effective marketing campaigns and improve your products and services.
Chatbots Can Help You Reduce Customer Service Costs
Chatbots are a cost-effective way to provide customer service support; for a small business, this can be lifesaving. They don’t require human intervention, so you don’t need to hire additional staff to answer customer questions.
Chatbots, especially those based on artificial intelligence, can gain experience from the data gathered in past cases, making them more effective the next time a similar issue appears. Since chatbot conversations are recorded, you can use them as a training tool for your staff and any new employees to your customer service department. Your team can save time and focus on other complex tasks.
It Can Help You Automate Repetitive Tasks
If you find yourself doing the same tasks over and over again, chatbots can help you automate those tasks. For example, chatbots can be used to send out automatic reminders for appointments, events or deadlines.
They can also be used to fill out forms, such as contact information or order details. Automating these tasks will free your time to focus on more important matters.
Chatbots Are Available 24/7
Your customers don’t just shop during business hours; they shop all the time! Chatbots are always available, so your customers can ask questions or make purchases whenever convenient for them – day or night, weekday or weekend.
This is a major advantage over traditional customer service channels, which are often only available during business hours, and a fantastic way to keep engagement going even for customers in different time zones.
They Can Scale to Meet Your Needs
As your business grows, chatbots can be scaled up to handle more customer interactions. You’re a small business owner today, but soon, your company will increase significantly to the point where more people are required to run it.
With a robust web hosting plan, chatbots can quickly scale up to your increased demand. This helps you maintain excellent customer service levels as your business is more significant than ever.
A Great Way to Stay Ahead of the Competition
More and more businesses are using chatbots, so it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve. Chatbots offer a great way to improve customer service, increase sales, and better understand customers. Implementing chatbots into your business strategy is a great way to stay ahead of the competition.
They Can Improve Customer Satisfaction
By utilizing all of the above, chatbots can help improve customer satisfaction. They can provide quick and easy access to customer support, answer customer questions, and keep track of customer interactions.
Chatbots can also be used to gather customer feedback, which can be used to improve your products and services. In addition, chatbots can keep customers informed about new products and sales promotions.
Before We Wrap Up
Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular for small businesses because they provide a great way to improve customer service, increase sales, and better understand your customers. Chatbots can gather customer feedback, which can later be used to enhance your products and services.
Although the word “bot” doesn’t always have a positive meaning, with chatbots that offer all the above services, it’s perfectly okay, as it’s a computer program and nothing more. And like all programs, it can be used for good or evil intent.
These eleven tips discussed can genuinely give your small business the edge, and they can scale perfectly with your increased demands.
Implementing chatbots into your business strategy is a great way to stay ahead of the competition, and working with them can yield exceptional results in the long run.