If you haven’t heard, the AI chatbot known as ChatGPT created a sensation on the Internet. It was the latest version release of a highly-trained AI that functioned in chatbot format. But underneath all the fun responses ChatGPT returned, an underlying message was clear to business owners paying attention: chatbots have arrived, in force.
Part of what makes ChatGPT fun for most people is the fact that it has a fun personality and some clear beliefs. But it’s usually going to try to accommodate what you’re asking for. Someone asked it to explain quantum theory to a child “Snoop Dogg Style” and another asked it for instructions on how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR, in the style of the King James Bible.
There are millions of dollars of funding behind the company maintaining ChatGPT, but there are plenty of reasonably-priced chabots available for business. There are two types of chatbots:
- Simple: responds to certain keywords and queries in a specific, pre-programmed way
- Smart: has the capabilities of the simple chatbot but with machine learning added in, allowing it to learn from queries
It’s probable that you’ve run into chatbots already, be it with an airline, or credit card company, or even with a brand you love. There are many uses for this technology, but we’ll share seven we like.
1. Customer Service
A chatbot doesn’t go to sleep and doesn’t take vacations. It’s always on your website, or active in your app. If a customer is on your site outside of business hours and needs help with something, your chatbot, linked with your CRM, may be able to give a quick answer.
For anything very complicated, a human will be the best bet (and the chatbot can log the inquiry and promise a callback window) but most customer service inquiries can be answered fairly easily.
Part of customer service is answering the same questions over and over. While different employees may phrase the answers to standard questions in a non-standard manner, a chatbot never does that. There’s a consistency in how it answers questions because it’s simply doing what it was programmed to do.
Customers who don’t want to scroll through an FAQ can simply type in a question and get an answer.
Sales funnels always start somewhere, and as an inquiry starts on your website or app, the chatbot can be instructed to do exactly what a human would do in guiding a potential customer through a funnel. With a link to a CRM, these potential customers are also easily tracked all the way to closing.
4. 24/7 Coverage
As already alluded to above, chatbots don’t sleep, and they add a veneer of “always on” sensibility to your business without the additional costs of a human who would be up all the time.
5. Free Up Staff
Technology is at its best when it handles lower level tasks so that staff can be freed up for higher level or revenue-generating tasks. A chatbot can take away significant workload from not just one, but multiple employees (remember that a chatbot can have 100 simultaneous interactions — or more — but a human can only ever deal with one customer at a time). The resulting additional bandwidth given to team members for higher level tasks can often pay for the chatbot and then some.
6. Add Languages
With translation automation, your chatbot can take in multilingual inquiries and answer in those languages. While it will have the same imperfections as any automated language program, most people have used Google Translate enough to have appropriate expectations. More often than not, their questions and queries will be solvable, even in a language you or your team don’t speak, leading you to the satisfying possibility of doing business with companies you might not previously have had a chance to interact with.
7. Learn More About the Customer Journey
While you may have analytics installed on your website allowing you to see a “heat map” of how customers interact with you, a chatbot adds an element of action that didn’t previously exist, allowing you to refine and optimize your site. Why did a customer pause here, or why did he/she not click through to buy? A chatbot can even actively ask these questions when a customer has paused, if you program it to do so, asking something like, “Is there anything I can help you with?” Typing “I’m just looking” won’t happen, even if that’s true!
We’ve got enough brokers to field your questions, so if you call you won’t get a chatbot…yet! But we still have old-fashioned machine learning in place, via our experienced brains, and we’d love to share that learning with you. Give us a call!