What are Chatbots and How Can an Average SMB Use Them to...

What are Chatbots and How Can an Average SMB Use Them to Their Advantage

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Within the business landscape, small and medium-sized businesses have always lagged behind large companies with an international presence. One of the reasons for this is that they simply never had enough resources at their disposal, which would allow them to get a competitive edge. 

One of the areas where SMBs couldn’t match the investment capabilities of large corporations is, of course, technology. Technology has become a vital aspect of business as it improves various processes and increases overall efficiency. 

However, with the introduction of new technologies which are affordable and extremely useful, SMBs can finally get on board with some new solutions and use them to their advantage. One of these solutions are chatbots and here some of the advantages they bring to SMBs.

What is a chatbot?

Simply put, chatbots are computer software solutions designed to simulate human conversations. Chatbots are primarily used online and they have a chat interface through which customers can communicate with bots. They can work as standalone solutions on the website but are also compatible with some of the biggest messaging systems like Slack and Messenger. 

These solutions can also be designed for private messaging services or chat systems. They are governed by a set of predetermined rules and some of the best ones adopt artificial intelligence to improve their decision making and responses. What is a chatbot? It’s a superhero customer support rep!

Some of the best AI chatbots can process complex pieces of information and make proper decisions based on the information they have, not just repeat predetermined answers. They are typically used for improving the sales process, lead generation, and customer service. However, there are many more ways chatbots can help customers deal with various issues. 

24/7 availability 

When a chatbot system is set in place, it doesn’t take any rest, breaks, or days off. Chatbots are available 24/7 and always ready to process client inquiries. This helps small and mid-sized businesses with their customer support needs. Instead of having to hire new employees to meet the customer support needs, they can get a single chatbot that can handle around 80% of the workload. 

In these situations, customer service agents only deal with some of the most complex requests that need human attention. A powerful AI chatbot can handle hundreds of conversation simultaneously while a single customer support agent can communicate with 3 customers at most. 

This kind of coverage means you won’t miss out on any customer request, a potential sale, or lead. It also helps with scalability issues many SMBs face. It’s simply difficult to achieve such a large number of requests a chatbot can’t handle. 

Effective resource management 

As we mentioned earlier, chatbots don’t entirely remove the need for customer support agents. However, they can greatly help improve the efficiency of the whole customer management strategy. No matter if you use email, chat, calls, and even face-to-face communication, a chatbot helps all of your employees improve their efficiency. 

This is because most of the questions that come from customers are pretty common and basic. All of these questions can be handled by intelligent chatbots. Furthermore, some of the best AI chatbots have the ability to give even more complex answers. 

This means that your employees won’t have to waste time on simple and repetitive matters. They can work with more sensitive issues and use their knowledge towards a positive resolution. In a way, a chatbot is the frontline of customer support that protects your employees. 

Improving customer loyalty and experience 

Simplicity is essential for good customer experiences. A lot of consumers today don’t have the time to dig through a site in search of information. Furthermore, they don’t have the patience to send emails and wait for days until someone gets back to them. 

Consumers also prefer chatting with company representatives rather than calling on their phone. Everyone is used to messaging systems. People use them on a regular basis. This is where chatbots come into play. All of this contributes to the overall experience as chatbots have intuitive interfaces and they offer immediate answers. 

Modern consumers value responsiveness and, with chatbots, companies can always provide the necessary information. On top of that, they are always available so even if your business is currently closed, a customer can ask for important information via chatbots. 

These are just some of the general ways an SMB can take advantage of this technology. There are many other ways companies can benefit from their use like gathering valuable customer information and promoting products. It is now even possible for companies to create a chatbot of their own without any programming knowledge and seamlessly insert it into their support and sales operations.