How Do Chatbots Work?
To understand how chatbots work, we first have to understand what they are. Think about a time where you visited a website. Did something pop-up in the corner of your screen, saying, “Hello, do you have any questions?” If so, then you have seen a chatbot. It is an artificial intelligence software used to simulate a conversation with a real person, without the requirement of a real person available.
Chatbots utilize natural language processing technology in their code. Many code developers have automated chatbot building templates. Most of these processes have simple codes and formulas for people to use. Simple chatbots can be built in less than five minutes. These bots may only be able to respond to a few different commands or responses before they need to be directed to a real person.
A sophisticated chatbot can be more challenging to develop. They respond to more complex questions with more elaborate responses. Complex bots can have very detailed databases. These databases can contain thousands of words, questions, and sentences. This is why sophisticated bots take longer to develop and use.
A simple bot may be programmed with just a few responses, but a smart bot needs artificial learning abilities. Bots use different algorithms to solve various problems. Their efficiency increases, the more they interact with humans.
Chatbot vs. Live Chat
Do you remember the last time you were on a live chat? Did you get an immediate response, or did you leave your email address? Waiting for a response can be frustrating, especially if your question has a simple answer. When your customers have to wait too long for a response, they may end up feeling disappointed.
This can lead them to move on to other brands that respond to them faster than you did. Sophisticated chatbots, on the other hand, can have very detailed and prompt responses based on frequently asked questions. However, they are limited in how they respond based on what you input into the template. That is why it is important to weigh the benefits of a live chat or a chatbot for your business.
Here are some differences between the two:
Characteristics of a Live Chat
- The interaction is carried out by a human, who can gauge how the customer is feeling and reply with a more human response.
- If a live chat agent cannot track customer information, it becomes challenging to deliver a personalized service.
- Complex customer questions can be handled, especially those that are more specific.
- Live chat agents cannot efficiently handle multiple clients at once, since one person can only handle so many people at one time.
Characteristics of an Automated Chatbot
- The interaction is carried out by a chatbot that can process customer questions and swiftly respond.
- Most chatbots cannot respond to complex customer queries.
- An automated chatbot can support several chats at once without any issues.
- Chatbots are more convenient for simple and repetitive customer queries.
Should every eCommerce Business Have a Chatbot?
Chatbots are convenient in sending and receiving messages on behalf of eCommerce merchants. This is possible through the use of natural language processing, which can turn structured sentences to data. The most impressive factor is that the functions of chatbots are not limited to processing text.
They can be used in other services such as identifying the items in an online shopping cart, sending invoices, and processing images in image galleries. Below are some more reasons why every eCommerce business should have a chatbot.
1. Available 24/7
People usually spend 12 minutes waiting before they are assigned to an available agent. Expecting your clients to wait for this long is unfair and translates to poor customer service. This is where chatbots can help your business.
Chatbots can reply to chats, emails, and phone calls. The best part is, they can work around the clock, non-stop. Unlike humans, chatbots don’t require breaks, which means they are always available to respond to your clients’ queries. They also do not require human monitoring to be able to operate.
2. An Affordable Investment
Most eCommerce businesses hire customer service staff to tend to their customers’ needs. Depending on what level of customer service you are looking for help in, hiring people can be more expensive than a chatbot. You have to pay an hourly wage or salary, benefits, and maybe even overtime. Chatbots do not need an hourly pay or salary; you just need to develop them and get them going!
3. Automation of Repetitive Tasks
Chatbots learn more as they interact with customers. Humans hate routine, monotonous tasks and are likely to cause errors when subjected to such work. Chatbots can automate tasks that are carried out frequently. For example, they can customize a “thank you” reply and send it to customers whenever they make a purchase giving them a more personal feel.
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Benefits of a Chatbot for Customer Service
There are many benefits of having a chatbot in your business. Here are some of them:
According to research, chatbots are among the most popular methods for customers to interact with a service provider. They offer convenient flexibility, reply faster to simple questions, and you don’t have to listen to annoying music while on hold.
2. Fast Response
With chatbots, customers do not have to wait for a response. They respond instantly, which can help you retain your customers who don’t like to be kept waiting. Your services will be more efficient than before. Fast responses lead to excellent customer satisfaction.
3. Higher Volume of Self-Service Resolutions
Some customers don’t bother to look through the FAQs on a business’s website. Instead, they rush their questions to the customer service agents and expect immediate answers. Some of them have simple, basic questions, while others may have more complex and challenging questions. Both of these categories of customers can be handled using automated bots. The chatbots provide answers to quick and common questions. This allows customer service agents to focus solely on the people who have more complex issues.
4. Allow Staff to Focus on Higher-Value Projects.
Staff time is valuable, especially for functions where they cannot be replaced by technology. Chatbots can be your virtual help desk staff while your human team is hands-on, dedicating their time to complex tasks. Chatbots take the pressure off your staff, helping them offer better customer service to the clients they can handle.
Chatbots are helpful to any business that is customer service heavy. They can be your front line for any questions that your customers have. Letting them handle the more fundamental questions allows your team to focus more on the people who have complex questions. In turn, this can help make your business much more efficient.
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