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The Benefits of Incorporating Chatbots into your Business Strategy

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07 May The Benefits of Incorporating Chatbots into your Business Strategy

Chatbots have been around for some time but lately they are being touted as the next big thing. If you’re the owner of a small to medium sized business you may think they are just for enterprise level companies, and not something you need concern yourself with. Actually, chatbots might be just the thing you need to help you grow your business while saving you time and money.

So what exactly is a chatbot? A chatbot is basically a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically communicating with a user through a messaging interface. The most advanced bots are powered by artificial intelligence and can understand quite complex requests. The great advantage to using bots is that instead of hiring extra people, you and your employees can tackle some of the more complex issues and let the bots take over the more mundane or routine tasks.

Chatbots can be used in many different areas of your company including sales, marketing, customer service and HR. Chatbots can help to find new leads and convert customers. They can simplify the sales process and help to influence decisions. Chatbots can be programmed to remember the information users tell them which can then be used to better help future customers.

Chatbots offer an affordable way to provide better customer service. You can load them with FAQs and they can provide sufficient answers to customer queries. This frees up your busy employees to concentrate on other tasks. They are much more affordable than hiring additional personnel especially if you want to offer 24/7 customer support.

Bots can also make very useful personal assistants. They can schedule and cancel meetings, send and receive emails, and alert you when you have an appointment. Using a chatbot in this capacity can free up a few hours of your day and improve your efficiency. Perhaps you need to keep on top of the news and latest information for your industry but don’t have the time to tackle this, a chatbot can come to the rescue by providing you with news feeds and alerts to keep you on track.

In terms of HR, they can help to create and send out a feedback form or poll to gather information from your employees. They can even gauge the morale within your company. They can also answer frequently asked employee questions.

Once you’ve decided that it makes sense to incorporate a chatbot into your business model, where do you begin? The best starting point with chatbots is probably to create a simple customer service bot. There are several platforms that enable you to do this. A couple of them have free subscription options to get you up and running which provides a great introduction to the world of bots.

Octane AI

Octane AI offers conversational commerce to interact with your customers via Facebook Messenger. Your bot can be programmed to answer questions, send push notifications with new announcements and to send messages to customers who abandon their carts without purchasing. It can also send out shipping notifications and receipts. Octane AI offers monthly subscriptions at two different levels.

Chattypeople

Chattypeople will build a custom chatbot for your company to use on Facebook and Slackbot. As the service is customized, you need to contact them directly for more information. They also offer chatbot development training if you would rather go down this route and develop your own bot.

Manychat

Manychat enables you to create a Facebook Messenger bot for marketing, sales and customer support. They have a free subscription to start with and the option to upgrade to their pro version for a monthly subscription fee.

Dialogflow

Formerly known as API.AI this company has since been purchased by Google and renamed. Dialogflow helps you create an engaging voice and text based conversational bot through which you can connect with users on your website, mobile app, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger and other popular platforms and devices. They also have a free plan to get you started.

When used correctly, chatbots can help you to communicate with your employees and customers more consistently and more often. They can automate many tasks negating the need for you to take on additional personnel. They also place your business at the cutting edge of technology which will no doubt impress your future customers.

 

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