For some years now, and increasingly, chatbots are acquiring great importance in those functions that have to do with the interaction of a company and its customers.
Either to offer answers to doubts or questions from users or to send personalized messages for commercial purposes, little by little they are becoming part of the digital transformation of companies in any sector.
You have probably heard of these “virtual robots”, but still don’t know exactly what they are. To do this, below it reveals its definition so that you can take ideas to implement them in your business and be able to offer better service to your potential clients.
1. What is a Chatbot?
A Chatbot is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software designed to perform a series of tasks independently and without the help of a human. For example, bots could make a reservation at a hotel or mark a date on our smartphone calendar.
The most common model is that of the virtual robot with the ability to simulate a conversation with a person, and therefore, they are increasingly present in the digital world.
And what do we owe this for? The truth is that bots have been around for more than 50 years, when Alan Turing, a British mathematician, invented the concepts that make computers and Artificial Intelligence work today.
But, the rise of mobile messaging apps such as:
- Facebook Messenger
All of them have caused these systems to become important again for many digital businesses.
2. What are chatbots for? How do companies use them?
The rapid optimization of AI software has been generating great growth in the use of these robots by companies in the last decade.
Large companies such as Skype, Telegram or Windows have opted for chatbots, in addition to a large number of Start-ups, these systems offer a great reinforcement for customer service.
But… in what other ways do companies use them? The way in which they can be used are many, but the main and most used are:
3. Customer service
As I had anticipated, in the vast majority of cases they are used to perform customer service functions on the main social networks. They can collect registration data, provide information, answer frequently asked questions, etc.
They improve the attention to current and potential customers in a considerate way and make interactions with this service faster and easier, generating pleasant experiences for the user.
4. Management of online purchases and payments
Chatbots help makes online purchasing and payment processes easier and simpler. They provide information and solve the problems that users have throughout the purchase decision process.
Also, they can perform searches, provide similar products, or even allow payments from the chat itself.
5. Sending information and news about your company
These are able to send information and news of the company in an automated way to customers and potential buyers of our online business. If used properly, it can be a very useful tool for any company or brand.
a. Create trust and empathy
It is evident that whatever the type of business you have on the Internet, generating an environment of trust between your business and your potential clients is a fundamental factor.
In addition, this factor will tip the balance in your favor, when this automation manages to provide them with the help they need. This help can be given both when searching for products similar to the one they were looking for, as well as solving questions related to home delivery of products.
b. Assistant 24/7
In the same way, one of its most attractive utilities is that, since they are automatisms programmed to fulfill certain functions within the digital business, they are no longer available.
Thus, whatever the time or day of the year a user enters to be able to find out about our products or services, he will be able to serve them with total solvency.
c. Investing in them is quite profitable
Given that once we properly program the automation, it will hardly require maintenance, it is a very profitable action within our business strategy.
In the event that the implementation is carried out through a plugin, module, or complement, it will only need its periodic update and variation in its programming, in case we want to vary any aspect of its daily functions.
d. Offer the immediacy that users demand
In terms of speed, the chatbots that exist today are so versatile and offer such immediacy that they allow the user to immediately have the solution to the question or problem that is raised.
This factor is very relevant if we take into account that nowadays users demand more and more versatility in this type of program, given the great existing competition, in case they are not happy with its response.
e. Ease of use
Much of their success today is due to the fact that they are very intuitive and their installation and programming are usually not too technical and tedious.
6. What are the most used types of chatbots?
You can find as many types of bots as uses you can think of. In companies, these are the most used types:
a. Chatbots to interact with customers
On this type of systems, we can give as an example application with personal assistance functions by voice recognition, such as:
Siri: Created by Apple for iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS.
Cortana: Developed by Microsoft and available for Windows, Xbox OS, and Google Android.
More and more users are making use of this technology, and it is not surprising, since this type allows the user to interact naturally with the program, answering questions, taking actions, and making recommendations.
There are a huge number of companies that are incorporating chatbots as part of their technical support service. Ikea, for example, is another one: on its website, consumers can make multiple inquiries about the brand, services, or products interacting through one of them.
b. Chatbots to optimize tasks and processes in marketing
We have talked a lot about customer service, but the truth is that the use of chatbots is not limited only to improving the user experience, but there are also some aimed at marketing professionals.
There is a type of chatbot that connects to a wide variety of databases and marketing systems, to provide you with real-time information on traffic data, information for customer prospecting, keywords, etc.
In the world of sales and business, we can find examples such as MarketSpace, a robot that keeps you updated with the most recent and relevant information about the companies of your interest. This alerts you about product or service launches, hiring process openings, etc.
There are also some that can help you classify your customers, such as Driftbot, which, through a round of questions and answers, interacts with customers in order to find the ideal product or service for each one.
In this way, we can channel the conversation to the most appropriate member of your team.
c. Bots on social media
The use of bots in social networks has been an issue that has generated some controversy because it consists of the creation of “ghost” accounts to increase the number of followers.
It is a strategy in which several fictitious accounts propagate messages through social networks, with the aim of influencing the opinion of users or raising a trend.
Finally, taking into account the types of automated systems that you can use for your online business and their various advantages, I would like to give you some examples. Whether you have a blog and eCommerce website on WordPress, you can implement a chatbot in each of them: WP Chatbot for Facebook Messenger.
Currently, it is speculated that even some politicians (like Barack Obama) have used this communication strategy through chatbots, as well as some famous artists, brands, or athletes.
Rather we could say that it is the beginning of a new era, a moment in history in which brands will have more and better opportunities to get closer to their consumers.