Customers and customer service are at the heart of every business. There is no need to emphasize the importance of B2C communication since we’ve done it before. Let’s look into its automation process and the way it can help you move your business to the next level instead.
To cut a long story short, successful and efficient B2C communication creates sales funnel, which, in its turn, creates profit. How often do you get overwhelmed with your daily to-do list as a small business owner? I bet you do every day. Nowadays robots are taking over the manufacturing process all over the world. The same goes with other spheres of human activity.
As per recent survey by the end of last year almost 90% of B2C communication was handled by the customer without interaction with a human being. This means that most of the time you’re chatting with a chatbot. “Chatbot” means a “chat robot”. This is the software, which can imitate human conversation in a live manner on a company’s website or an app, or other platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp etc. Chatbost actually revolutionize the way companies, brands and businesses communicate with the customer. Here is why:
- Chatbots provide 24/7 Customer Support
- It handles multiple customers at the same time
- It reduces mistakes rate and emotional support
- Cross-Platform accessibility
- Better Data Gathering
- Better service at a lower cost
Time is money. In other words, chatbots handle a huge number of marketing conversations at a time, thus bridging the gulf between marketing strategy and sales and helping you close more sales. High-quality Chatbots make a positive change.
The simplest chatbots can handle the simplest customers’ questions like: “what are your working hours?”, “how much does it cost?” etc. They remind of an interactive FAQ section. The more sophisticated AI-driven (Artificial Intelligence) and ML-powered (Machine Learning) chatbots, sometimes called Virtual Assistants, can even mimic natural language processes and provide more complex answers.
And eventually, chatbots will benefit your business in:
- Customer Service and Engagement Improvement
- Profound and Valuable Customer Insight
- You will get more Leads
- Operating Cost Cut
Mainly, there are two types of Chatbots – Rule-based Chatbots and AI Chatbots.
The Rule-based ones got its momentum after Facebook launched its Messenger. This platform allowed performing automated communication to improve customer service. The customer is actually given a decision tree with predefined answers. It’s the simplest one and convenient for making a reservation in a restaurant or booking your tickets. They often have two tracks: a sales track captures customers’ information, while a support track provides necessary website links and info. But they are quite often key-based, that is why they might provide poor customer service.
AI Chatbotscan even read between the lines and understand the customers’ implicit intent, because they use Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. They are much smarter and can actually solve the issue with no human assistance. API integration and back-end system allows performing a task instead of offering a link for self-service. The main difference between them lies in machine learning models, which in its turn increase functionality.
There are plenty of chatbot platforms available on the market. The most popular ones are:
Tidio, Chatfuel, MobileMonkey, ManyChat, SnatchBot, Engati, Flow Xo
The choice of the platform is determined by the type of your business and its goals: whether it’s speeding up a customer service or the automation of some marketing strategies. The pricing ranges from free versions (which are quite limited though) to $30 per month for premium features like unlimited active chatbots etc. Some of them work only on Facebook Messenger, some can operate on many channels.
Here is a table with all the pros and cons:
If you feel lost already, you might want to get some help with your choice. Remember, that you can always outsource a specialist on a certain task. Programming a chatbot is no exception. And yes, it requires a bit of extra work at the beginning (choosing a platform and plan, programming etc). But when all the processes are in place, all it needs is maintenance. Automating a process will save you a ton of time. So, don’t waste time and hire a Virtual Assistant to set up a smoothly running process of a Virtual Assistant (Chatbot) for you.