By Andrés Pazos, Contributing Writer
Bots have polarized discussions in the tech industry for years now, and for good reason. Studies confirm that most customers already accept or even prefer chatbots.
For an in-depth understanding as to how chatbots and AI can revolutionize your business I highly recommend you read Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook For Business Leaders.
According to the 2016 Aspect Consumer Experience Index, 61% of consumers feel that having chatbots in customer service is the way of the future and 70% of millennials report positive experiences with chatbots. Many favor chatbots for the convenience and immediate gratification they allow.
Now that you know your customers prefer bots, what’s in it for your business?
Saves time and cost
A new study released by UK-based Juniper Research estimates that chatbots will help businesses save more than $8 billion per year by 2022. Bots have the ability to improve the efficacy and productivity of workers in businesses by providing quick answers and solutions to customers with simple queries. As a result, they reduce operational and labor costs.
While a paid staff can only competently handle one customer at a time, chatbots can handle an almost unlimited amount of interactions simultaneously. This gives businesses an opportunity to have a conversation with customers without the need for additional staff. Hence, not only saving time but reducing costs, especially if you factor in the time and money it takes to train and hire staff.
Finance giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. launched COIN, a bot capable of analyzing complex legal contracts faster and more efficiently than human lawyers can. The bot has helped complete what JPMorgan staff spends over 360,000 hours a year doing in just a matter of seconds.
Bots never get tired, call in sick or have bad days that can rub off onto customers and tarnish brand image. On top of that, they are not susceptible to human error that can cost your business revenue and loyal customers. Various experts have also concluded that chatbots are cheaper to develop than mobile apps, especially since brands can host their bots on platforms like Facebook Messenger. Therefore, if wired correctly, this intelligent software can be the answer to a lot of the problems your business is facing.
According to Juniper Research, industries that manage large volumes of human interaction can benefit the most from bots. The study predicts that the success rate of bot interactions in the healthcare sector will increase from 12% in 2017 to over 75% by 2022, while it will climb for the banking sector to 90%.
If that was not convincing enough, bots not only ease the load for you on the backend of things, but it also puts a smile on your customer’s face. No one likes waiting in a queue or hearing the dreaded messages of “All of our agents are currently busy. Please leave a message with your name and phone number after the beep.”
According to the 2018 State of Chatbots Report, 64% of respondents deemed “24-hour service” as the most expected benefit of chatbots, while the second most expected was “getting an instant response,” revealed by 55% of the participants.
Chatbots can operate non-stop, engaging with customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with immediate and impeccable service. Having good customer service around-the-clock has a positive impact on your customer satisfaction and retention. Deloitte reported that 62% of companies view customer experience delivered by a brand as a competitive differentiator.
Besides enabling a brand experience that is simpler and more seamless for customers, bots also reduce a significant amount of cost and resources for your company. It is important for businesses to harness the benefits of deploying chatbots as tools to improve efficiency and customer experience both on the inside and out.