Earlier, whenever customers faced issues, or had queries related to a product or service, they would call a helpline number. Those days of calling a tele-representative have now taken a backseat as chatbots have taken over. Businesses now use chatbots to establish their online reputation and expand their online presence.
According to data published by Comm100, chatbots handled around 68.9% of the entire chat process. Another data suggests that 41.3% of customers prefer using the conversational marketing method to buy any product.
So what are chatbots? How do chatbots work? Most importantly, what are the benefits of chatbots?
What is Chatbot?
A chatbot is an automated application that appears whenever a website has a visitor. Chatbots help visitors with general queries and direct them to product pages on your website. They also store information of these visitors so that you can contact them if you identify them as potential customers.
Chatbots can be a perfect replacement for customer support executives if programmed correctly. They interact with customers who have queries regarding a product or service, and help with troubleshooting problems.
Chatbots for SEO
Chatbots have become increasingly popular in search engine optimisation (SEO). When your website’s chatbot handles various complex queries, visitors spend more time on the landing page. The more time visitors spend on your site, the more likely they will find what they are looking for on your page.
Chatbots can also assist you in obtaining better reviews and ratings, which is another crucial factor in increasing your rank and brand reputation. Customer reviews are vital for converting leads to consumers. Your conversions will be below average if your site has a low rating, regardless of how high you rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Chatbots also analyse visitors’ behaviour through the queries they raise thus enabling you to identify potential clients among a large number of visitors. Thus, the claim that bots provide data for sales is not incorrect.
You will find different chatbots in different industries. For example, chatbots that serve as medical experts, bots that assist with investment decisions, and bots that provide you with the news you seek. Other bots can help you find destinations and directions, choose the latest movies, book tickets, and place food orders, among other things.
Types of Chatbots
1. Rule-based Chatbots
Rule-based chatbots, also known as decision-tree bots, follow predefined rules. These types of chatbots can only solve problems they are familiar with or have resolved before. These chatbots have planned conversations. For example, if on a ticket booking site, you type ‘Hi’, rule-based chatbots might answer with:
- New booking
- Booking cancellation
- Booking status
A major disadvantage of using them is their failure to solve queries for which programming is still under trial. In comparison to other chatbots, however, they are relatively cheaper.
2. Intellectually Independent Chatbots
The functionality of intellectually independent chatbots is dependent on machine learning (ML). This sort of chatbot responds to queries in its database. If you submit a question that is already in the database, it responds with a more user-oriented answer. It learns and trains itself based on the information fed to it. Intellectually independent chatbots are ideal for the science and entertainment industry. The response of such bots improves with time.
3. AI-powered Chatbots
AI-based bots or artificial intelligence chatbots use machine learning to interpret and execute functions. When you type something in the bot column, the AI-powered bot tries to comprehend the query’s intent and context before answering. Since these bots employ natural language responses, they can answer even the most complex questions. AI bots are advantageous in many ways. They continue to improve as the volume of data increases and are multilingual. They can also help you understand customer behaviour.
How do chatbots help in SEO?
1. 24-hour services
As a business owner, you know how costly it is to establish a solid network of customer support executives. You will have to spend on salary, training, and other employment-related benefits. Moreover, if you intend to provide 24-hour customer service, your costs will skyrocket. Now, this is where chatbots are beneficial. Chatbots are ready to serve your customers round the clock. You may also program bots to store complex queries received at odd hours. This functionality can help your manual support executives respond the next day. Chatbots are essential for building your brand’s reputation and closing sales deals.
2. Seamless communication
It’s frustrating to call customer support only to hear that the executives are busy on another call. It’s even more aggravating when the call keeps escalating without any reason. As a customer, if this happens to you, you won’t choose that company again, and the company will lose a valuable customer. Nowadays, more and more companies have started deploying chatbots to their website to address this issue. Chatbots are quick to grasp the context and intent of your question and react swiftly. If they don’t know the answer, they will forward your query to the appropriate person. Within a few minutes, you will get a call from a support representative.
3. Help grow your business
Chatbots have the potential to improve your company’s annual sales and revenue. When someone visits your website and raises a query through the bot, they spend time there. If they have a product-related enquiry that the bot answers, they may browse your product list. There is also a possibility that they will buy the product immediately or in future. Chatbots are one of the most effective tools for increasing customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the more time visitors spend on your site, the better the chances of enhanced ranking and visibility on search engines.
4. Make marketing more targeted
Chatbot marketing is more precise. For example, people may visit your site’s product purchase and payment pages but leave without making a purchase. In such cases, the bot collects data from the visitors, which you may use to contact them and learn about their concerns. Bots also provide you with a detailed account of the conversation your visitors had on your site. You can utilise that information to find out what they are looking for and plan your marketing strategy accordingly. After introducing bots, you do not have to rely on random cold calls to find quality prospects.
5. Reduce people-to-people interaction with customers
On average, the customer care representative spends around 8-10 minutes over a single call. So, if you are operating on a large scale but only have a small customer care team, it could be tough to stay afloat in the long run. In such cases, chatbots reduce the amount of time customer service professionals spend dealing with consumer enquiries.
Chatbots reduce the time spent interacting on any communication channel, including social media, phone calls, and messaging apps. Chatbots save time, which you can use to deliver better customer care service and manage more clients in a short duration.
6. Save time and money
According to one survey, businesses across the globe invest over 1.3 trillion dollars every year to give customer support assistance to about 256 billion customers. But, if they use chatbots and incorporate them into their website and mobile applications, the cost drops by 30%. The reason for this is that with chatbots, they won’t have to spend any money on customer executive training, staff overhead, or higher compensation to night shift support staff. Chatbots only require timely programming and the regular addition of new features to their database. Moreover, it also saves a lot of money on utility expenses. So, if you are starting a new company, consider using chatbots instead of hiring more customer service representatives.
7. Humanise your brand
Businesses are investing heavily in personalising and giving more conversational aspects to their bots. As a business owner, choose to create a bot persona, name it, and give it a distinct voice. You may also add visual expressions like emojis, videos, and GIFs to the chatbot’s database. These factors will humanise your brand, making buyers feel more connected to your company. You can also use humourous responses to give your bot a witty persona. The bot’s play around feature increases time spent on the site and, as a result, makes your brand more visible on the Internet.
8. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems
Chatbots eliminate the need for IVR systems. Traditional IVR calling requires you to press specific numbers for specific transactions. The scope of IVR is limited to the number of keys on the phone or cellphone. If you need a more complex solution, you need to connect with the customer care executive. But chatbots are a completely different thing and are far superior to IVRs. Chatbots offer personalised service and have a more defining user experience that saves your time. Moreover, it allows you to execute various tasks simultaneously. Due to these features, they are considered one of the best self-service support options.
9. Smoother customer journey
One of the benefits of chatbots is providing a hassle-free journey to customers. Here is an example.
Assume that you, as a customer, want to place an order for a smartphone through an e-commerce platform. The moment you visit the site, the chatbot pops up with ‘How may I help?’. Here, you only need to type your preference. For example, ‘I want to purchase a smartphone under Rs 10,000.’ Following this input, the bot will display personalised results. As soon as you select a smartphone, another pop-up appears, which, when clicked, highlights the features of the product.
10. Reduce tedious time-consuming tasks
Chatbots make difficult jobs appear simple. Assume you are making an investment decision. You go to the website of a well-known financial advisor that features a chatbot facility. If you ask a chatbot for the top 10 mutual funds, they will respond with a list in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, if you decide to conduct your search manually, it might consume the whole day. Another benefit of chatbots is that they can handle various repetitive tasks without complaint. If you expect a customer service representative to assist you with your repeated enquiry, they may disconnect your call.
11. Provide immediate feedback
Chatbots are known for solving issues immediately. This is something that other customer support options cannot really achieve. How often have you received instant assistance by raising your concern via mail? How often have you contacted a customer service number with a complicated question only to be placed on hold indefinitely? Switching to a chatbot eliminates the need for unnecessary wait periods. If the bot already knows the solution, it will respond within a few seconds. If it doesn’t, it will forward your inquiry to the support team. After that, a member of the support staff will either contact you or send you an email to connect with you.
12. Instant transactions
Another benefit of chatbots is that it facilitates instant transactions. Assume that you want to invest your money but have several concerns and are unsure about which investment option to go with. A bot can answer any financial questions you may have, and can provide the best investment solutions for you based on your risk tolerance. If you want more detailed advice, it connects you directly with a financial advisor who can guide you further. The bot allows you to make an informed decision quickly.
13. Reaching new customers
Chatbots can be used as a part of SEO to reach out to new customers. They improve your customer base in distinct ways, as listed here.
- They provides real-time assistance that encourages potential buyers to return to your website.
- They provide a personalised user experience, which leads to increased customer satisfaction.
- They assist your business in gaining reviews and ratings, which new visitors can use to make purchasing decisions
- They collect visitor data, allowing you to determine who your potential client is and plan your follow-up campaign accordingly.
- They help your company gain reviews and ratings, which new visitors can use to make a buying decision.
14. Increased customers interaction
In the modernised world, the thing customers hate the most is boredom. They despise listening to a tired voice offering assistance over the phone. As a business owner, you have the opportunity to use chatbots to increase client interaction. Create a personalised bot that responds in a witty manner. Use funny images and videos, and allow users to do the same. You may also customise the bot so that your customers don’t have to type lengthy sentences. Allow them to perform tasks using voice commands and more. You can also use this tool to obtain feedback from the visitors to your website by asking them to rate/review your service by selecting Yes or No.
15. Help to search for information
When conducting searches on any website or search engine, chatbots are the new normal. Earlier, finding a single piece of information required scrolling through numerous pages of a specific website. Even after browsing many pages, there was little probability of finding an answer. This, though, is not the case with chatbots. For example, instead of navigating through numerous pages on an e-commerce site to buy a smartphone, type your requirements and preferences into the bot, and it will guide you to the appropriate page. Chatbots help you provide personalised search results and eliminate irrelevant things from the search process.
If you own a business and want to develop a marketing strategy, make sure your website and mobile app include a chatbot. It’s one of the most important factors in increasing traffic, improving session rates, lowering bounce rates, and more.
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