Look at these two seemingly unrelated facts from the mobile world.

  • Mobile-first has eventually become commonplace
  • 6 out of Top 10 mobile apps are messaging apps

Mobile-driven conversations are driving businesses, fostering an on-demand culture and doing everything else that was deemed impossible a decade ago.

There is another trend that is gaining in strength. Chatbot driven commerce. Mobile and chatbots form the perfect channel for businesses to reach their customers easily, quickly and cost-effectively.

Chatbots make it easy for users to find the right information quickly and easily, just like asking a friend.

As Mark Zuckerberg said in the Facebook Messenger Bot launch event, “You should message a business just the way you would message a friend.”

There are two primary forms of engagement that chatbots can drive for a business:

  • Task-oriented engagement
  • Data-driven or Predictive engagement

Task-oriented engagement Chatbots that get things done for users. In task-oriented engagement, the user gives the input to the bot which the bot reads (& understands). The bot does the task of connecting with the app or the data backend to fetch information and perform the task as requested by the user.

Data-driven or & Predictive engagement Data-driven & predictive engagement chatbots work similar to Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa. They constantly learn from the user inputs and detect patterns. Their intelligence has great application in eCommerce where customer requirements can be predicted to drive more conversions.

Why are chatbots essential for businesses?

Solving customer queries quickly should be the prime focus of all businesses. Especially in today’s digitally-connected world, a business that is quick to respond earns a positive brand image in the customer’s mind. While human customer service assistants are awesome at their work, there are inherent limitations which chatbots can eliminate.

Chatbots can unlock a business’ ability to provide interactive, personalized and proactive customer service that humans are yet to become capable of. And, they can be scaled at the drop of a hat unlike recruiting and setting up an entire customer support team.

Here are some more reasons why chatbots are essential for every business that want to serve its customers better:

#1. They raise business awareness

Your customers could interact with your business through diverse channels – website, mobile app or social media. A chatbot can deliver a consistent and personalized interaction through all these channels. Chatbots help present or make your product/service reach in front of prospective customers at the most opportune moment.

#2. They facilitate customer acquisition

Chatbots have a conversational interface. There is a place to give text input which they can understand using NLP (Natural Language Processing) capabilities. The conversational interface helps collect queries from customers and serve them better, instantly. For instance, a messenger bot can make a booking and confirm it with an email instantly without much ado.

#3. They simplify business transactions

Recurring transactions like account checks, balance confirmations, stock alerts, etc. can be automated by a chatbot. Their sturdy machine memory backend helps collect information quickly and deliver them to customers without the delay that is inherent to manual processes.

#4. They provide real-time support

Desperate calls to customer services often tend to get ugly when there is no immediate resolution. Sometimes all that the customer needs would be a simple confirmation or a quick answer on how to fix something. Chatbots can provide that information on a real-time basis, and with minimal steps without going about in rounds.

#5. They are easily scalable

Chatbots are fundamentally computer programs. They can be scaled quickly by expanding the software and hardware requirements. This makes chatbots a perfect ally for startups who are just growing and enterprises that are already millions of transactions.

#6. They help in customer data mining

All the input, the questions, the remarks, the frequency of questions – all the data that the chatbot receives from users can be collected and archived for analytics. This customer data mining helps in understanding the needs and aspirations of customers better.

What next?

In today’s hyper-connected mobile world, chatbots can be a welcome change for customer servicing. They can bring about a new range of speed, accuracy and intelligence in customer servicing that will eliminate all the shortcomings of a manual process.