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To Chatbot or Not to Chatbot?

Chatbot customer support on cellphone

When it comes to new technology like chatbots, it can be a little hard to decide whether they’re going to be a trend that quickly fizzles out or if they’re here to stay. When it comes to chatbots, it does seem like the AI-driven, business productivity increasing, sales pushing bots are here to stay. In one form or another, your business could likely benefit from incorporating a chatbot into your website design, mobile app, or social media and networking plan. If you’re still on the fence when it comes to chatbots, this week’s blog should help you understand the purpose and potential benefits of these automated communication tools.

What Actually are Chatbots?

When they hear the word chatbot, most people probably immediately think of those dialogue boxes that open up on the bottom of most websites. This is one of the most popular chatbot options, but other examples of chatbots include using your business’ Facebook page to generate automatic communication via the messenger app. You may also have similar automated communication functionality through your business’ own mobile app. Other examples are automated text messages and emails that allow customers to complete basic tasks like making a payment, requesting a call, or unsubscribing from the message group.

Animated chat robot popping out of phone

Basically, chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) driven communication tools. Yes. AI is no longer future-tech. It’s today tech. These chatbots are designed to gather specific information (appointment requests, contact details, survey response, etc.). Then, if the client really needs to talk to one of your employees, they are redirected. This can save time and money as well as improve overall employee productivity.

How do Chatbots Work?

Chatbots rely on programming to communicate with potential clients, employees, and other end users. The sophistication of the programming will determine how much work chatbots can do for you. Some common uses for chatbots include:

  • User Screening – in order to bypass extra time on task for your employees, chatbots can be used to “screen” users who may be able to troubleshoot an issue or find the right resource with a little guidance from a chatbot.
  • Gather Information – if you need to gather survey results, increase your Google reviews, or you want to get feedback from your customers and/or employees, chatbots may be a great option. You don’t have to worry about an employee sending out and following up on these messages. Instead, you can automate the system, and in many cases, increase the number of people who respond.
  • Automate the Basics – if you have a mobile app for your business, chatbots can be invaluable. If a customer accesses your app looking for contact information, specific troubleshooting help, and other services, you can use chatbots to walk them through some basics before sending them to an actual employee to handle more complex tasks.

Will Your Customers Use Chatbots?

Chatbot conversation on cellphone

If your chatbots are programmed well, your customers should never even know they’re talking to a bot. Sometimes the “bot-y” language is unavoidable. For instance, using a chatbot to offer an automated opt out for customers who signed up for a text chain will likely sound like it’s a process run by AI. However, the sophisticated level of detail that can be programmed into chatbots is amazing. You’d be surprised how effortlessly a chatbot program can get your customers headed in the right direction, answer their questions, and increase the usability of your website or mobile app all without any extra time, stress, or distraction for your employees. Plus, the majority of chatbots allow seamless access to a real-live employee if a customer’s needs can’t be met. In short, if you take the time to do chatbots right, not only will customers use them, but they can even be programmed to deliver the same level of customer service while maximizing productivity. It’s a win-win!

Still Not Sure Chatbots are Right for You? Let’s Chat!

Still not sure chatbots are a good option for your business? Don’t make the decision on your own. The iKonix Studios team can help you better understand what chatbots are and how to integrate them into your website, mobile app, or social media accounts. Give us a call to set up a consultation with our knowledgeable team.