Unlocking the power of chatbots: Key benefits for businesses and customers


Chatbots can help your customers and potential clients find or input information quickly by instantly responding to requests that use audio input, text input or a combination of both, eliminating the need for human intervention or manual research.

Chatbots are everywhere, providing customer care support and assisting employees who use smart speakers at home, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack and numerous other applications.

The latest artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, also known as intelligent virtual assistants or virtual agents, not only understand natural conversations thanks to advanced language models but also proactively automate various tasks using conversational AI technology. Gone are the days of prompts like “Press 6 to connect to customer service.” The advantages of chatbots surround us.

Chatbot benefits for customers

Your customers enjoy numerous benefits, many of which also benefit your company in return. If you were to ask your customers what they notice and appreciate about chatbots, the following would likely top their list. Chatbots can:

Provide fast answers to customer inquiries

No one likes to wait for an answer. Most people dread hearing, “I’ll get right back to you.” With so many sources of information available to customers and so many buying options, your customers might not wait for answers. Chatbots answer those questions quickly, around the clock.

Give personalized services and suggestions

Chatbots not only respond quickly but also anticipate customer needs, deliver useful messages and recommend new products. AI analyzes customer interactions to provide recommendations and suggest next steps. Higher customer satisfaction can increase your customer value.

Interact when and where customers are

Conversational marketing can be deployed across a wide variety of platforms and tools to meet your customers where and how they prefer. You can engage with them through web pages, digital ads, mobile or messaging apps, telephone, in-store kiosks, social media or SMS. This omnichannel approach enables you to connect with customers where they are most active and comfortable.

Speak customers’ language

Your customers can contact your chatbot from almost any country globally. Instead of forcing the customer to communicate in your home language, enterprise-grade chatbots can support multiple languages and can even make an educated guess based on the initial input, whether it’s in chat, text or voice. Your potential market is worldwide.

Offer self-service options

Customers often prefer to complete simple tasks independently. Your chatbot can prompt them and provide more self-service options and resource directions, saving your customers time and reducing your staffing needs.

Operate 24×7

Platforms operate around the clock, helping to ensure that customers can access information and support outside regular business hours. Chatbots provide instant responses to inquiries, leading to faster query resolution and an improved customer journey.

Provide the details only once

Enterprise-grade chatbots can record customer conversations and all relevant details. When a chat is transferred to your customer service team, customers won’t need to answer the same time-consuming questions again. This results in reduced frustration and annoyance for your customers.

Benefits for your company

AI chatbots respond quickly, accurately process natural human language and automate personalized experiences, offering numerous benefits and new opportunities to your organization. Chatbots can:

Improve customer engagement and brand loyalty

Before chatbots, most customer queries, concerns or complaints required a human touch. However, chatbots can now automate workflows, liberating employees from repetitive tasks. They can eliminate prolonged wait times in phone-based customer support and email or live chat support. Chatbots are instantly accessible to multiple users, enhancing the customer experience by promptly addressing their interests and concerns.

Reduce operational costs and boost efficiency

Chatbots present the option to reduce 24×7 staffing expenses or even eliminate after-hours staffing costs, provided your chatbots can effectively handle most questions. You can optimize processes that previously relied on human interaction, benefiting your staff by improving their user experiences with customers and reducing employee turnover.

Increase customer service quality

Customer service staff can lose enthusiasm when they spend excessive time answering repetitive queries. By employing chatbots to handle routine questions and passing them over when more insight is needed, you can engage your staff when creativity and initiative are most valuable, making their efforts more rewarding.

Chatbots can serve as the initial support line, assist your support team during peak periods or alleviate the burden of monotonous and repetitive questions, enabling human agents to focus on more complex issues. While overseas enterprises offer outsourcing options for some of these functions, using them might have significant costs and risks, reducing your control over your brand’s customer interactions.

Boost sales

AI-powered chatbots generate leads, encourage conversions and cross-sell. Website visitors might inquire about features, attributes or plans. Chatbots efficiently speed up response times, guiding customers toward making a purchase. For complex purchases with a multi-step sales funnel, chatbots can ask qualification questions and connect customers directly with trained sales agents to lift your conversion rate.

Increase audience engagement capacity

Chatbots operate without the time and energy restrictions of humans, enabling them to answer questions from customers worldwide at any time. They can serve an extensive customer base at once, eliminating the need for expanding your human workforce. Enterprise-grade chatbots offer fast scalability, handling multiple conversations simultaneously. As your customer base grows, chatbot implementation can accommodate increased interactions without incurring corresponding rising costs or staffing needs.

Capture customer data directly

The first customer interaction with your chatbots allows them to request customer information, providing lead generation for your marketing team. These questions can also prequalify customers before transferring them to your sales team, enabling salespeople to promptly determine their goals and the appropriate strategy to use.

Gather new insights without cookies

Machine-learning chatbots can collect data and new insights about your target audience. They gather valuable customer relationship management (CRM) data, including customer feedback, preferences and interaction behavior, email addresses and phone numbers. They can also discover key customer interests and behaviors, enabling the refinement of marketing campaigns, personalization of messages and improvement of product or service offerings, all without using cookies.

Drive lead nurturing

Chatbots can drive your lead nurturing processes by actively sending follow-up messages and drip campaigns, helping potential customers navigate through the sales funnel.

Offer personalized services

Chatbots can be programmed to communicate with customers upon their arrival, fostering distinctive and personalized interactions. By using a customer’s interaction history, a chatbot can provide genuinely useful suggestions and make offers.

Run fast messaging tests

You can conduct A/B tests on your chatbots to identify the most effective messaging. Customers can interact with different instruction and suggestion variations until you select the most compelling wording. Afterwards, you can rate the chatbot’s performance, considering factors like their understanding of requests, response time and successful customer self-service completion.

Improve HR operations

In organizations, human resources (HR) departments might struggle to efficiently manage routine tasks, which can lead to a waste of time as they repeatedly address employees’ frequently asked questions (FAQs). This drains HR personnel of time and energy, diverting their attention from more valuable activities such as recruitment, retention and motivation, leadership development and shaping corporate culture. Chatbots can effectively alleviate a significant portion of this workload.

Maintain consistent communication

Chatbots provide consistent information and messaging, helping to ensure that every customer receives the same level of service. This consistency, derived from the knowledge base, helps to maintain brand integrity and accuracy in customer communications. Without it, various agents might mistakenly give different directions or information to multiple customers, potentially leading to misunderstandings and customer dissatisfaction.

Maintain composure

Anyone can have a bad day, which might cause customer service agents to react in ways they might later regret. Also, customer service calls often begin with customers venting their frustrations from a prior experience. This enables the composed customer service chatbot to absorb most of the frustration. As a result, when a live agent takes over, much of the anger has already dissipated, preventing potential rudeness or abuse.

Industry benefits

Chatbots can benefit from any industry but there are a few standout use cases.

Banking and financial services

In a transactional industry, AI-powered chatbots can deliver fast and accurate answers, eliminate waiting times, streamline web searches for information and facilitate meaningful customer interactions.

E-commerce and online marketing

You can empower customers to self-serve, accurately route queries to human agents and deliver highly personalized and contextually relevant shopping experiences.

Government

Empower citizens to access basic information on paying bills and upcoming events by using chatbots. They provide efficient, accurate responses, elevating user experiences while saving costs and delivering a rapid return on investment.

Healthcare

Empower patients and streamline their experiences with intelligent automation. Chatbots can efficiently assist skilled medical professionals while enabling patients to quickly handle simple inquiries, including booking appointments, refilling prescriptions and receiving medication notifications for when to take their medications.

HR

A natural language processing and machine learning (ML) HR chatbot can understand, communicate and automate various tasks to support candidates and employees, including onboarding, addressing FAQs, handling time-off requests and checking remaining leave balances.

Insurance

Your customers seek real-time, personalized and accurate responses whether they’re requesting quotes, filing an insurance claim or making payments. Providing fast and accurate answers helps build long-term customer relationships.

Real estate

Chatbots swiftly gather requirements to create profiles, answer property availability questions and schedule appointments. They also inquire about clients’ property preferences during profile creation to foster deeper relationships.

Delivering the benefits of chatbots

To enjoy these benefits, you need IBM watsonx™ Assistant, an enterprise-grade AI-powered chatbot platform. It eliminates traditional support obstacles, delivers exceptional experiences and enables seamless integration with your current business tools for AI-powered voice agents and chatbots.

Explore IBM watsonx™ Assistant



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