What is a chatbot and how can it help your business?

30

NOVEMBER, 2018

Online Marketing
Chatbots

In recent years, technology has opened up a world of tools for us to use in our daily lives, especially in professional contexts. Plenty of companies have managed to leverage the resources spawned by artificial intelligence. And one of the most important tools in the box are chatbots.

Today we will be exploring the definition of what a chatbot is and, most importantly, how far its scope extends and what benefits it can entail for companies.

What is a chatbot?

Ever since 2015 we have borne witness to an unstoppable trend: tools popping up everywhere as artificial intelligence develops. One of those resources – and possibly the most valuable for companies – is the chatbot, introducing a way of automating interactions and consequently lowering costs and shortening deadlines, but especially enhancing the user experience.

To put it simply, a chatbot is a computer program that can hold a conversation. Its function is to facilitate interactions between companies and their users, clients and consumers. What the chatbot does is use artificial intelligence to interact in a conversation.

Nowadays, it is not unusual to come across a window or box at the side of the screen inviting you to use the website’s chat feature to ask any questions, get advice, seek details regarding your order, etc.

For a company, chatbots are the chance to have their own kind of automated virtual advisor interacting with users.

OK. So, how does a chatbot work?

As you now know, chatbots are computer programs developed using artificial intelligence. As such, they are able to learn about the users’ tastes and preferences over time. This means that with every interaction the chatbot’s response will become more refined according to the user.

Some chatbots are given a name, just like a person, which means that when you enter a web store you may find yourself chatting to someone called John who is giving you information and advice but who, in fact, is a computer program developed thanks to AI.

Chatbots are based on the idea that users tend to ask the same questions and that the answer to those questions should always be similar, a bit like the response models used in call centres.

So, if you are the chatbot administrator and a user opens the chat window, you will already have configured the questions they are going to ask so the AI service can steer the conversation as it goes.

Why do companies use chatbots?

The reason companies use chatbots is to automate part of the management process which would otherwise require more staff and more time, thus freeing up resources to be invested elsewhere.

But the main purpose of a chatbot is to enhance the user experience by providing a more agile and efficient service on the basis that its programming helps to provide an instant, accurate response to the consumer’s queries. This has made them one of the most popular tools among companies thanks to their great capacity to automate interaction with the user.

When to get a chatbot for your company?

It is always the right time to include a chatbot in your marketing strategy, but there are certain stages your company will go through that you can use to get the very most out of it.

You can implement a chatbot to optimise your technical assistance service. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons why companies decide to include this tool in their strategy.

A chatbot can also help to guide consumers through the purchase process after launching a new product or special offer.

Another good time to install a chatbot in your company is when you are thinking of launching a marketing campaign and wish to provide information for users. This way, you can send automated information and updates about the company to clients and potential buyers.

But without doubt, the first thing that comes to mind when talking about chatbots and marketing strategy is customer service – this is where they excel as the perfect advisor for your users, operating 24/7, 365 days a year.

Why to get a chatbot for your business?

You are now aware that there are plenty of reasons to include a chatbot in your business, but let’s have a look at some of the main advantages:

-Immediacy

It is an exceptionally agile tool designed to give the user an instant response. At times like these, speed is a fundamental advantage.

-Availability

Another of the great advantages of having a chatbot is knowing you have an assistant that is available all day every day to talk to your customers anywhere in the world.

-Time saving

Absolute immediacy and availability means that a chatbot is the perfect ally to help save time on customer interactions. It is an efficient and, above all, agile resource.

-Cost saving

The chance to automate certain processes will always mean financial savings for any company.

-Data collection

Another great advantage with chatbots is that they enable the company to gather data in every interaction. This is one of the most essential and useful tasks these AI-based systems can perform for the organisation.

 

If you are interested in streamlining the interactions between your brand and your customers, a chatbot is a tool you simply cannot afford to miss out on.

Check out El Economista to find out when bots came about and how their business model works. El Economista (spanish)

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