Artificial Intelligence has long been thought of as a means to create entities that can mimic human intelligence. And although the perspective toward AI has changed over the years, thanks to its immense integration in various aspects of our lives, the basic premise for why we gravitate towards it still remains the same.
Look at AI-powered chatbots, for instance. You can find them on most websites you visit. And if we look at the stats, 67% of the global consumer population uses chatbots for various interactive purposes.
Let us delve deeper into this subject and look at the benefits and applications of using chatbots on websites.
What are AI-powered Chatbots?
Chatbots can best be described as an application that interacts with users and responds to their requests. Supplying the power under their hood is conversational AI — a subset of AI that facilitates human-like communication by using technologies and methodologies to detect and ascertain human text and speech.
Further powering conversational AI are two core technologies — NLP (natural language processing) and ML (machine learning). While ML is associated with developing machines that can take in historical data and predict precise outcomes, NLP concerns itself with recognizing human language, particularly speech and text.
Chatbots are a significant addition to the customer service industry as they almost eliminate the need for an ever-present human on the other side of the screen. In fact, companies are relying on chatbots so much that by 2025, the global chatbot market is predicted to reach $1.25 billion.
15 Benefits AI-powered Chatbots Bring
The advantages of deploying AI-powered chatbots are many; here are the top 15:
1. Cost-effective in the long run
While the expenses incurred on deploying and maintaining a chatbot can look like an extravagance, in the long run, opting for a chatbot is much more effective financially than relying on human executives. Chatbots are ever-present, offer almost no waiting time to the consumers interacting with them, work in a standardized manner, and take less time and resource investment than their human counterparts.
Don't believe us? Well, Juniper Research says that chatbots will help businesses save $8 billion by 2022.
2. Improves customer experience
Customer experience is a crucial metric for all businesses. And chatbots can improve this by a considerable margin by offering customers reduced downtimes, almost negligible turn-around times, contextually relevant messages, and more.
3. Increases the scale of customer engagement
Another benefit that chatbots bring to a business is the ability to interact with multitudes of customers at once. In contrast, human agents can only cater to so many customers before they falter.
4. A more convenient means of connecting with businesses
Recall the times when you were facing issues with a product or a service but hesitated to contact customer service. Maybe it was because you knew explaining your problem would be too cumbersome. Or, maybe because you were simply anxious to talk to the executives. Now imagine just typing away your troubles and getting appropriate responses without facing a human agent.
This is the convenience that chatbots bring, and consumers want this as well. 79% of consumers favor live chat over other means. And of course, in 2022, this number has risen considerably. Learn how you can set up WhatsApp chatbots for your business
5. Prompt responses
Consumers adore how quick chatbots are in responding to their messages. And no one knows better than businesses how important speed is for customer experience. So, if you're planning to go for a chatbot, do keep this point in mind.
6. 24*7 availability
Chatbots never sleep (except for when they are under maintenance). So, you can count on them to cater to consumers even at the oddest hours with the same enthusiasm.
7. Discerns consumer behavior
Since chatbots are AI-based, they can readily identify customer pain points, highlight the most recurrent complaints, and offer data to improve product/service quality.
Quite a few chatbots also use feedback mechanisms such as conversation rating scales to record consumer behavior and transfer the data to the company for further enhancements.
8. Personalization is at its peak
With the data collected in the previous point, AI-powered chatbots can alter how they interact with customers by molding themselves more to their needs. For example, they can restate the customer's complaint ticket number, problem statement, or other previously recorded information to make things easy.
9. No more linguistic hindrances
Chatbots can be programmed to converse in multiple languages, making language barriers a thing of the past. Usually, these bots are either equipped with sophisticated NLP engines to decipher the users' multilingual inputs or designed to specialize in a region’s particular language. This attribute is beneficial for consumers with limited conversation skills in standard languages — which is English most of the time. Multilingual chatbots can also help businesses penetrate newer territories using their vernacular as the primary resource.
10. Significantly more patient than a human executive
You can converse with a chatbot for hours, and it will still reply with the same friendly demeanor, answering the same question a million times if need be. And this is a great trait for those customers who require more time to understand things or want specific details to be restated a few too many times.
11. Programmable functionality offers unobstructed flexibility
You can make a chatbot to do anything — answer questions, help book plane tickets, help guests with the check-in process, provide weather info, pay bills, etc. All you need is some tweaking with its code, and you're good to go.
12. Increases sales numbers
Thanks to their super-fast turn-around times, immense patience, and efforts to improve customer experience, chatbots can greatly help increase your sales numbers by as much as 67%. There are also chatbots specifically targetting lead generation that can further boost your marketing efforts.
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13. Scalability becomes less of a concern
As your business grows and customer footfall increases, AI-powered chatbots can accustom themselves to the new scale of operations with relative ease. You can alter their code to handle more complex tasks, add commands in their database, and more, all without spending much time and effort.
14. Recurring tasks are no more burdensome
AI is being hailed as the best answer to the problem of automating complex tasks. And thus, it is only expected that AI-powered chatbots automate recurring tasks and reduce the associated burden on human agents.
Chatbots take over tasks such as asking for clients’ personal details, welcoming customers with the same enthusiasm, answering recurring questions from the consumers’ end, displaying product or service information, etc.
15. Paints a more human picture of a brand
Chatbots are replacing human agents on many fronts, even acting as the first POC at times. And with advancements in technology, the responses chatbots generate are also quite close to their human counterparts.
Thus, in a way, chatbots are doing the work of human executives, carrying names and avatars, and offering human experiences while maintaining their speed and efficiency. And if this is not a big plus for your business, we don't know what else is.
The Bottom Line
Chatbots are not new to the tech scene. Their very first iteration dates back to the 60s when Joseph Weizenbaum created ELIZA in 1966. Since then, chatbots have come a long way, even incorporating AI in their purpose. Today, we have the likes of Alexa, which can do much more than just converse like a human.
During all these years, chatbots have found various uses in several industries due to their immense benefits, some of which are listed above.
So, if you are someone looking to build/commission an AI-powered chatbot for your business website but are still contemplating its pros, this list should help you out quite a bit.