Chat-bots for everyone: why is it such a great idea?
by Ruslan Botnar
WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, WeChat, Line, Facebook Messenger, and others. These messengers are convenient, and they have become a familiar means of communication. Every day they fill our daily life more and more. We communicate with friends and relatives, colleagues in chats. And it became commonplace. Thanks to the digitalization of life, all our affairs, events, entertainment area in our beloved smartphones and messengers. And why?
Because 60% of users who want to place an order for a product, product, or service prefer to write a message rather than call. Of these, 30% use instant messaging. It is not surprising that instant messengers have confidently begun to overtake social networks. First, we stopped calling and switched to text communication. Now we stop writing manually. With one click, we select from the suggested answers by the chatbot.
Chatbots - who are they, and what can they do?
Chatbots are special accounts that are not assigned to people, and messages sent from or to them are processed by an external system. At the same time, for the user, communication with the bot looks like an ordinary correspondence with a real person. A chatbot is an intelligent program that lives in instant messengers and performs different functions. Modern chatbots can do almost everything:
- Place orders and make purchases;
- Set tasks;
- Work with support and delivery services;
- Make financial transactions;
- Get access to information: news bulletins, weather, books, and other materials.
A chatbot is also an alternative to a mobile application. Since it is easier and cheaper to create a chatbot messenger than a mobile application. After all, there is already a messenger base for it. So there will be no need to adapt to different operating systems of smartphones, hire specialists, think over the design, and go through a long and expensive process of placing the app in the AppStore, GooglePlay, and other official stores. In addition, applications take up memory, are not updated on time, and do not load with slow Internet connections.
Are Chatbots effective?
51% of users expect an immediate response from brands at any time of the day. So, businesses launch a 24/7 support service and spend a lot of money on it. But most of the user questions are typical, and a properly configured program, such as a chatbot, may answer them. And users are satisfied with this: on average, 30-40% of users respond to chatbots, and well-configured chatbots receive answers in 90% of cases.
According to SalesForce, 69% of users prefer chatting with bots because they can get responses from the brand at their own pace. It is not difficult for a robot to answer 100 users simultaneously, but the manager will have to wait. The chatbot creates the feeling that the business is constantly in touch with you. And if the robot solves all the user's problems, the presence of a person is not needed. If bots are so profitable, why haven't most businesses implemented them? Brands lack examples of the use of chatbots. They worry about the privacy of users and the fact that the bot will give inaccurate answers.
How much does it cost to make a chatbot?
It is difficult to estimate the budget for the development of a chatbot. The price depends on who is developing (you or the agency), for what purposes, how complex the functionality will be. We consulted with an expert and gave a very conditional price fork. 0 $ - the price of the most straightforward bot in a ready-made constructor of the Pipe.bot type. 3000-5000 $ - the price of complex bots with the involvement of developers.
A business that has in-house developers can develop an in-house chatbot. Most likely, the IT department already has automation for internal needs. These practices need to be carried over to chatbots for the company's target audience. For a business that outsources IT tasks, it is better to hire a freelancer or agency. The price for a web studio is around $ 1500 per chatbot. There are even special agencies that are only engaged in the development of chatbots. Their price starts at $ 500.
Business chatbots: How, Why, and Who needs them most?
Are you promoting your business online and still haven't got a chatbot? A chatbot is far from a useless virtual consultant. With its help, you can reduce the cost of call center employees. According to statistics from Imperva Incapsula, a website performance company, bots took over 50% of internet traffic last year. At the moment, more than 33,000 bots have "settled" on Facebook Messenger. On the Telegram network, this figure reaches 15 thousand.
Why your business needs chatbots?
A chatbot is a virtual interlocutor that plays the role of an assistant consultant. It uses text or voice messages to connect the business with your prospective clients. In essence, it mimics the behavior of a live person in a chat. The idea of creating chatbots is not really an original novelty. The first attempts to communicate with a computer robot copying a person's speech were carried out in the middle of the last century. In 1966, the Eliza chatbot was created, which parodied dialogue with a psychotherapist. The main advantage of such virtual interlocutors is saving you time and money. The chatbot allows you to take some of the responsibilities off your shoulders. He can replace a company manager, administrator, or support employee and save the company's budget from unnecessary expenses.
There are two types of bots:
- Simple - they can execute a strictly limited set of commands and respond to touching the display. The user will receive several options for products, etc.
- Bots of a new kind are more complex bots that “understand” your customers and can communicate not only according to a strictly specified template. They recognize text and voice commands and accept many different user requests.
How do chatbots work?
Without a break for lunch and a cup of coffee. These virtual interlocutors can stay in touch 24 hours a day and even remind themselves if they have forgotten about their dialogue. Today they are capable of replacing several different services and support services. For example, if you want to serve in the army and achieve a high rank: you call the military registration and enlistment office. You are offered to press the asterisk - *. Well, or you called the police to report the offender, and then press the hash - #. It would seem that everything that chatbots are can be solved in other ways without resorting to these funny robots. But, according to a study by ComScore, which measures user behavior in the digital world, people are no longer so willing to install new applications. Therefore, to not lose your audience and go to meet it, it is easier to "build" the bot into an existing system.
Who needs chatbots?
Your business can definitely use chatbots if you work in the following areas:
- Insurance: Filing an insurance claim, the service request can be simplified by having a virtual assistant.
- Utility bills: The bot is useful for notifying about problems, accidents, tariff changes, etc.
- Medicine: Calling a doctor at home, an initial consultation, making an appointment with a specialist, the cost of treatment, and drug availability in pharmacies - all these functions can be transferred to the chatbot.
- Beauty Industry: Latest fashion trends, color identification assistance, clothing catalogs, and assistance with clothing selection can also become the responsibility of a virtual assistant.
- Restaurants: The bot can help you choose a dish, place an order, book a table, and more.
- Big Business: You are a prominent business owner, and you have a vast client base worldwide. To keep in touch with your customers without any problems, you cannot do without a chatbot despite the difference in time zones.
- Repeat purchases: To ensure repeat purchases and not bombard your customers' inbox with endless mailings, invite them to add the bot as a friend in messenger. Thanks to this, it will be more convenient for customers to track the status of the order and receive information about your new products, discounts, or promotions.
- The business will grow: The same rules apply here as in the first point: to retain old customers and attract new customers, you need an assistant.
- Clients need more information: If your potential customers constantly bombard you with questions about company opening times, shipping, payment, etc. - let the bot do it.
- The client does not understand your product or service: If you offer a wide range of products, your customers may need detailed advice. It can also be entrusted to a bot.
- New Generation People: Modern audiences prefer text messaging to live communication. Such people do not like to wait, and therefore their choice is a virtual consultation.
- Retention of interest: Chatbots are an indispensable solution for those who want to make their business more interactive and not miss out on a potential customer.
- New Horizons: Maybe you are testing the waters to find new ways to interact with your audience. In this case, bots are a much more convenient tool than applications. They do not need to be installed. Additionally, they are active and willingly share information.
- Market Monopolization: A virtual consultant will help with even greater user engagement by educating them about your products or services.
Chatbots are actively used in various areas of business. They can be found on the websites of private clinics, pet stores, travel agencies. The chatbot allows you to answer simple questions, as well as contact a company specialist. It is convenient from the user's point of view. There is no need to call the company and wait for the operator's answer: the lines are overloaded, and you cannot get through on the first attempt. Also, not everyone likes to communicate by voice; it is much easier to write your question in chat and wait for an answer.
Chatbots can save businesses time and money. Operators need to pay and also need to monitor the quality of the conversation: whether the operator was polite and attentive, whether he answered all the questions. Chatbots are easier to use. They answer the simplest questions they've been taught to respond to. More complex queries are directed to specialists. Chatbots reduce the workload of company specialists.