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Personal touches: a short guide to chatbots

Touchpoints are an essential part of marketing, branding and sales for a business. They are the sum total of your interactions with a potential or existing customer, helping guide the buyer’s journey and add value through information, assistance and objection handling. As Forbes reports, 80% of customers say that they are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences, and 96% say that customer service is a key factor in their brand loyalty.

But you can’t physically be there for your customers 24/7 – the cost of staffing support around the clock is unfeasible. That’s why, as more consumers shop via apps and online platforms, businesses have turned to emerging technologies to satisfy their customer service needs.

Enter chatbots: a convenient way for companies to add a personal touch anywhere, to anyone, and at any time of day. In this article, let’s explore the basics of chatbots. What are they, what are their benefits, and how can your company utilize them to offer better service?

What are chatbots?

Essentially, a chatbot is an AI-powered software application that replicates human conversation. It is that dialogue box that pops up when you are on certain websites or mobile applications, asking you if you need a hand with anything.

To use a real-world example, let’s say a customer is shopping for a used car through a mobile app. A chatbot appears – much like a sales representative might at a brick-and-mortar dealership – and asks, “Can we help you find anything today?” The customer might indicate what vehicle type or make they are looking for, and the chatbot might offer suggestions and recommendations.

Chatbot

How do you implement a chatbot?

As you create or retool your company’s mobile app, partner with experienced app developers who know their way around emerging technologies. For instance, if you look at the portfolio for TheAppLabb app developers, you’ll see several examples of successful chatbot deployment for a diverse range of companies. Choose a company with a track record for implementing chatbots.

During the strategy and discovery phase of your working relationship, talk to the app developers about how best to implement chatbots for your business goals. They should be able to analyze your current customer interactions and performance metrics to suggest a suitable course of action.

What are the benefits of chatbots?

There are several benefits of chatbots, but these are some commonly cited advantages from both businesses and customers:

  • Fast, frictionless support that doesn’t require the customer to hunt down answers
  • 24/7 functionality to appeal to diverse time zones and buying patterns
  • A convenient opportunity to advertise promotions, offer recommendations and drive engagement
  • Natural conversation patterns that don’t feel forced or impersonal
  • Easy implementation with the help of an app developer

Chatbots are a relatively new technology, but an increasing number of businesses are deploying them as part of their web and mobile strategies – due in large part to the benefits listed above.

Just because your business is online, it doesn’t mean your customer service should be impersonal (or, worse yet, non-existent). Chatbots are easy to implement with the right app developer and simulate real conversations to help steer, support and empower your customers.

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