6 Ways Your Small Business Can Use Chatbots
Chatbots are computer programs that conduct conversations through either text or voice. If you’ve ever asked Siri for directions or to find movie tickets, you’ve taken advantage of all the cool things chatbots can offer.
But what can chatbots offer your small business?
This is low-hanging fruit, but that makes it important to mention. Lots of companies offer customer support through messaging services like Facebook, and frequently chatbots handle those conversations—at least, the first part. For example, a customer contacts customer support, and the bot asks them to describe their problem, some clarifying questions, and necessary identification stuff. If the problem isn’t common (and the chatbot isn’t equipped to solve it), a person can take over without the customer realising.
Want to order a pizza? Pizza Hut has a chatbot that can help you with that. Other companies like Whole Foods and Taco Bell have also jumped on the trend of selling via chatbot. In the case of Pizza Hut, their chatbot has taken over the conversations that once happened when customers dialed their delivery number. For Whole Foods though, using a chatbot represents a new opportunity to tap into customers ordering products.
Help With Buying Decisions
How would you describe your style? Are you looking for a new fall wardrobe? Where do you stand on twill weave?
Clothing retailor H&M might want to ask all their customers questions like this so they can best direct their customers to exactly what they want, but their retail workers don’t have that kind of time. H&M’s chatbot does though. Retailors like H&M have created chatbots that get useful information out of their customers by discussing customers tastes in fashion. These conversations help the chatbot influence customers buying decisions.
Automate Low-Level HR Tasks
When an employee at Overstock.com feels sick, they don’t call or email a manager. Instead, they talk to Mila, a chatbot. They tell Mila they’re sick, have a quick conversation about when they’ll be back, and Mila will contact the relevant manager and adjust the schedule to accommodate the employee’s sick leave. Mila replaced a hotline that a manager had to check regularly, simplifying the process for HR.
Replace Call Centres
Want to speak to someone at the Bank but don’t want to sit through a directory over the phone? Ask Luvo. Luvo is the Bank of Scotland’s chatbot, and it can help clients better direct their call. It’s worth noting that the Bank of Scotland has big plans for Luvo. In the future, Luvo will be able to do simple things like share balance updates and give limited investment advice.
Boost Social Media Engagement
Perhaps the biggest platform for chatbots out there is Facebook. You’re on Facebook because that’s where your customers are, and chatbots can help you connect with your customers in the social space. Chatbots on Facebook have been programmed for all kinds of things like reserving hotel rooms, sharing receipts, and getting weather updates. By putting their chatbots on Facebook, businesses tap into an already massive network of potential customers.