Imagine a customer service experience where the representative of the company is always at your side, polite and equipped to handle any request you send. While this may seem too good to be true, for many companies it is a reality today.
Chatbots are a platform powered by artificial intelligence designed to engage in online conversation with human users. For an increasing number of businesses, they quickly took over customer service functions. Nonetheless, Gartner analysts predict that 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a person by 2020. In today's user interactions, chatbots are used for a number of different tasks – they can work as your personal shopper, update your bank account, serve as your hotel concierge, and even send pizza delivery updates.
If your company is B2B or B2C, chatbots will boost the overall customer experience in many ways. Chatbots are a growing tech phenomenon that will soon become a staple in business operations, ranging from answering customer questions to recommending goods to increasing sales funnel efficiencies.
The B2C Experience
Due to the proliferation of smartphones and mobile search apps, customers today are accustomed to obtaining immediate responses and instant web access. This means you will communicate with consumers in the same way as your sales and service processes. Although consumer research reports suggest that your consumers are willing to wait up to 4 hours for a reply to their online query, nearly 90% of these inquiries were left unanswered by brands. Sales converts, sales, and product longevity will eventually be counterproductive to lack of response.
This is where chatbots can affect the B2C experience proactively. As a virtual assistant, they will step in to direct consumers through their sales process. For example, if you are unable to answer customer questions on your site's behalf during the overnight hours, chatbots can provide an instant response that is often more timely, reliable, and accurate than a human customer service representative's response.
The B2B Experience
The benefit of chatbots for B2B companies is their ability to improve sales performance. In B2B activities, a sales process where chatbots are the only point of contact when engaged in sales conversations can be difficult to imagine. A successful sales professional will gain confidence, be confident, and eventually use their communication skills to guide customers through the sales funnel. A chatbot can, however, serve as an additional tool that actually makes your sales team more effective.
Chatbots can automate parts of the sales process in a B2B sales scenario to allow sales teams to increase leads, reduce administrative tasks, and shorten sales cycles to boost productivity levels. In reality, research from the McKinsey Global Institute suggested that, thanks to AI-powered technology such as chatbots, up to 40% of the time spent on sales work activities can now be automated. As a result, sales professionals will spend more time personally communicating with leads rather than coping with the data acquisition, management and evaluation work behind the scenes.
If your company still has to invest in chatbots, the time is now. More and more businesses are starting to use chatbots to support their customers in user-friendly ways, promising a great impact on customer experience. There's also plenty to look forward to for decision-makers, though. Not only now, but in the future, they offer great potential to benefit your company.