Your small business website is where customers come to get answers about your business. Today, chatbots are making sites more useful to customers than ever before. Because they can be used in so many ways, though, it can be hard to see how to implement them.
What Chatbots Are Being Used For
We are in an exciting age for chatbots. Some of the popular A.I. chats are being successfully used for some basic tasks, like answering FAQs and welcoming visitors.
Small businesses are also having success using chatbots for generating leads, offering discounts, and conversation routing. These technologies can be applied to a local doctor’s website, a major online retailer, or a family-owned restaurant. Imagine a little chat pops up when someone is about to leave and offers the customer a discount code. These technologies are now accessible even to the smallest businesses.
8 Benefits of Using Chatbots on Your Small Business Website
Keep in mind that the way to use chatbots for a retail website may be different than for a doctor’s office. The retail website may love using chats for product recommendations, and the doctor benefits from appointment scheduling. Both businesses get ahead by using chats, but they work with their website designers to customize options for their needs.
1. Capture More Leads
When a customer contacts a chatbot, they may be asked for their contact information. The chat may also ask questions about the customer’s needs. For example, the customer may reveal that they have a question about how a product could potentially work. Alternatively, they ask more detailed shipping questions that tell you the customer wants something by Wednesday.
Now you know this customer’s email address and how far along they are in your marketing funnel. A customer service agent can begin chatting with that lead where the customer is at and move them along accordingly. This is more seamless for the customer and requires less time from humans to nurture the lead. Appropriate and personalized emails can be sent at a later time to continue warming up the customer relationship.
2. 24/7 Accessibility
Business hours are sometimes an obstacle for your customers. They have to remember to contact your business with their question when you’re open. This may mean they wait a day, a week, or forget about you altogether.
Chatbots are available to customers at all times, helping small businesses overcome this obstacle. If it’s the middle of the night, they can ask about a product or how to schedule an appointment. A chatbot should be able to tell them the next steps. Depending on the question, this may start the process or completely solve their issue.
3. Lower Costs
Paying an employee to pay attention to every single customer question is expensive. You want customers to get answers about business hours, product information, and other frequently asked questions. A great website design makes it easier for customers to find a lot of this on their own. However, there are definitely still times when a customer wants to just ask directly.
An A.I. chatbot costs significantly less than what you’ll pay an employee per hour. A chat can handle basic questions from beginning to end. It can also cut out the beginning of a chat with an employee, giving them upfront information a lot faster. This saves the company a lot of costs in customer service hours.
4. Higher Customer Satisfaction
To the surprise of many small businesses, customers like talking to chatbots. When this technology first came out, many companies were wary of irritating their customers with the tech. Wouldn’t customers prefer talking to a human?
Studies have been done on this and customers are already used to how these chats work. One survey found that if customers had to wait 15 minutes to talk to an agent, they preferred a chatbot. Instant answers led to higher rates of customer satisfaction.
5. Lower Your Bounce Rate
At Next Level Media Crew, we care a lot about improving the functionality and effectiveness of small business websites. Your bounce rate is the number of people who immediately leave your website without doing anything while there. A high bounce rate indicates that visitors are turned off by something they’re seeing. This may be the website design, slow loading webpages, or they aren’t finding what they wanted.
A great A.I. Chat can solve this last problem. If a customer isn’t immediately seeing what they want, they can stop to ask the chat. The chat can also be set to pop up right when a customer is about to leave. It can then offer them a discount or offer to help them find what they need.
As much as possible, you want to be giving your customers consistent information. For example, you want your website and your social media to give the same business hours. You want the same information given every time when someone asks about a product. Human employees are trained for brand consistency, the same way A.I. chats are now.
You can train your A.I. chat and know that it will answer the same question the same way repeatedly. This avoids a lot of customer confusion and provides business owners with peace of mind. The level of consistency can improve the customer experience and reinforce your branding.
Some businesses see huge spikes in their business during holidays, events, or major promotions. Some of these can be planned for and some are unexpected. When you can plan for it, you can try to bring on temporary employees and work longer hours. For the most part, businesses just have to do their best to work through these periods where they get behind.
If you already have an A.I. chat set up, it can be a strong backbone of customer support. Chatbots don’t care if there is suddenly an unexpected rise in traffic. They can talk to multiple customers at once without trouble. As the needs of your business shift, your chatbot is ready to handle what comes.
Customers don’t want irrelevant information. They want to be told things that are personalized to their interests. This makes for a better customer experience and one that leads to higher conversions. With a chatbot, this can look like natural answers to questions or personalized product recommendations.
A chat may remember someone from a past visit and give them information based on that. Or, say a customer has just added one product to their cart. The chat can pop up and ask if they’re interested in an accessory. This makes for a personalized customer service experience that effectively saves them time making purchasing decisions. The more personalized their shopping experience, the better your reviews.
At the end of the day, the real benefit of chatbots is that they make your website work for you. This is the goal of implementing any new technology to your website. When we partner with small businesses, we consider what will improve conversions and set them up for a strong future. Contact Next Level Media to schedule a strategy call for your business website today.