Can chatbots help my business grow? Listen in as our CEO, Mike Kwal, breaks down Chatbots for our current and future clients.
What are chatbots?
Chatbots are applications; tools that respond to customer messages automatically. They can be programmed to respond consistently using AI, or they can be used to respond differently to messages containing specific keywords.
If your website visitor goes to your website and they’re on there and they’re learning something about what you offer – maybe it’s a product or service – you can use a chatbot and also programming through machine learning code, to respond to every situation.
If it’s a frequently asked question, the chatbot can actually respond to that frequently asked question with some answer that you’ve already pre-programmed into it.
Chatbots, in this case, receive and respond to messages, on mediums like an SMS text message or website chat window, or even social media messages. It saves people a lot of time. For a lot of these kinds of businesses, especially for local businesses that maybe are trying to go from offline to online, it’s a great way to get that in-between messaging, between customer service and sales, and help some people out, because most people don’t really want to call anymore.
They just want to use a chatbot, and maybe text someone. You don’t necessarily need a person behind it, you just need a way to collect the information and share information, or at least ask them what kind of information they’re looking for to collect other data, or give them some answers using a Frequently Asked Questions pool.
There are two billion messages that are sent between people and businesses monthly, using chatbox. 56% of the world would rather message than call a customer, and then 53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses that they can message using a chatbot.
What are the benefits of chatbots? [03:04]
A chatbot is a really quick way to answer, or to get answers to questions. It’s easy too and is one of the best ways to resolve a complaint or problem. The chatbot can help the director of sales and support your website. It’s an AI tool.
Whether it’s an actual person that works at your company or it’s an AI that responds to as many messages as possible before redirecting them to a sales rep, it’s a way for you to use it on your website to get a more detailed answer to a query.
If you put yourself in the position of your customer, if you have a website visitor that visits your e-commerce website, and let’s say they’re shopping and they’re looking for tea – their favorite green tea – and they just found your website for the first time. Well, they may want to use it or maybe get answers right away. Instead of calling the business or even going through the typical traditional way, they may just want an answer. People are looking for instant gratification, so they’re looking for a text message. In this way, they could reach out.
They can find out if your site has a chat tool where you can actually speak to a real human, or B, maybe just speak to a robot that can answer some Frequently Asked Questions, before moving to an actual human.
You’ve now saved the person a lot of time and they might be able to buy from you because now they’ve developed some level of trust. Everyone loves that really personalized experience when they actually get a person who can answer the question.
What if you did have a great query; you walked into your favorite department store and you’re shopping offline, you’re shopping in a brick-and-mortar store and someone just walked up to you and said, ‘Hey, how’s your day going? Can I help you find something?’
You say, ‘Hey, I’m looking for shoes.’ They say, ‘Sure, shoes are in the very back of the store. Let me take you down there.’ They show you, and they show you exactly where those shoes are. Well, the chatbot is that person who kind of greets you as you enter their store and it helps you answer really quick and easy questions that don’t involve a very complex answer.
How can I save time and money with chatbots? [06:08]
The simple answer is: automating conversations that would otherwise require an employee or someone who works there to answer. Organizations, businesses, and small businesses alike can save a lot of time and money that can then be allocated to other efforts because you have this AI tool.
The entire technology – doesn’t actually work right on your website. It works as part of a program that gets integrated with your website that operates in the Cloud somewhere else. That way you can save a lot of time and money with it, by coming up with FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that your business gets all the time, programming those questions and those answers.
That way the chatbot senses that there’s someone who has a question based on the keyword. For instance, ‘Hey, do you sell green tea?’ The keywords could be ‘sell green tea?’ The chatbot can say, ‘Yes, we sell green tea. Here’s the link to the page.’ So that way it’s a quick direction. It’s pretty simple.
Or the response could be, ‘Yes, we sell green tea. Which kind of green tea are you looking for? Green tea and bags? Loose-leaf tea? Are you looking for matcha tea?’ There are different kinds of green tea and the chatbot can be programmed to know all that. Because of that, there are a lot of these easy questions that the chatbot can answer, and that’s how you can save a lot of time and money because you now no longer need a person doing that. The chatbot can replace all that.
Now, there are some things that the chatbot cannot do and these are complex questions. For instance, ‘Well, how much does it cost?’ Now, that may not seem like a very complex question on an e-commerce website, but if you sell a service and maybe you’re an agency, or maybe you sell a blogging service, well, you could tell the customer exactly what they’re looking for. Or this might be a good time to ask really specific questions and respond with, ‘Hey, let me connect you to a sales rep.’ That way you can now direct that conversation to a person-to-person conversation because the pricing game gets a bit more intimate, especially if you’re delivering a service.
Or maybe you’re selling a sales tool or software that costs $2,000. People may not exactly want to know the price, or maybe they do want to know the price right away, but they’re just comparing.
This is where a salesperson will get involved. A chatbot will collect information about that person – maybe their first name, last name, phone number, email – and then redirect them to a salesperson, who will then chime in and replace the chatbot directly in the chat and start talking to that person. At the very least, they’ve already collected some information, so they can follow up by email or by phone call and make it even more personalized. Because if you’re looking for something that large, if it’s that expensive, then you definitely want to be able to qualify that lead and then find out what they are looking for. Are they just looking for comparative pricing, or are they looking to take action immediately, depending on what it is?
How can I generate leads? [10:26]
Chatbots use direct messages to gather information, to provide support. As I said, a chatbot is kind of in-between the director of sales and support. They need to be both sales and also very supportive. So, for example, the chatbot asks users why they are visiting your page and that’s one question that’s likely to get some engagement.
So, for instance, if someone is visiting this e-commerce website that sells tea – we don’t know which bucket of website visitors they fall into. Bucket one: they might be a cold visitor that has no idea what green tea is, white tea or any kind of tea is. Bucket number two: they might know about tea, but they’ve never been to your website. Bucket number three: they might know a lot about tea, they might know your website they’ve already purchased from you, or maybe another competitor, but they know very much about you. A chatbot wants to find out, well, which bucket does this person fall into?
The way you can generate leads through a chatbot is by engaging the actual website visitor, asking why they’re there, and what they can do for them. So, if you’re in bucket number one and you’re a cold audience member who has no idea, you don’t know the tea world all that much.
You might be browsing the website, looking around, and actually trying to learn more about green teas, white teas, black teas, and different kinds of teas. You’re looking for more information. You may not be there to buy anything, you’re just looking for service or looking for support. The way a chatbot can get involved is by asking really good questions like, ‘Hey, how can I help you today?’ Or, ‘Hey, how’s your day going?’ The website visitor can respond, saying, ‘Hey, it’s going great, I’m looking for green tea,’ and the chatbox then answers and shows an example of where their RSS page is, or their top-level page of all green teas.
The chatbot can do all that and really support people with great service without ever involving another person.
It’s a nice quick win. For example, Drift.com is a type of website chatbot that qualifies prospects and gathers their email addresses, so that a sales rep can follow up. Intercom is another one of these tools. It’s a chatbot that helps pre-qualify visitors for sales or customer service inquiries. You can use these tools on your website to act as your sales and support people, and by using pre-qualifying questions, they can determine the category bucket, one, two, or three.
Once we know, then we can involve an actual sales rep or maybe a customer service rep to help you with that next step.
If you’re having, let’s say, technical difficulties on the checkout page, a chatbot is right there, instead of having to pick up the phone and call someone saying, ‘Hey, I’m trying to check out here and I can’t because it won’t accept my credit card information.’ You can use a chatbot to go in there and help you with those next steps, and someone can visit you on that page and find out what’s going on.
Whether it’s maybe a promotion code you’re trying to put in that has expired or something else, a chatbot can get involved with you right there and help you complete that check-out in that five-minute span that you’re speaking to it. You could then make a purchase worth hundreds or thousands of dollars that will help the website check out. In the meantime, all it took was having a customer service rep there respond using that chatbot tool and actually personalize your experience while you’re on the website.
The chatbot is there to collect information until a point and then we can redirect it to another person where human beings can handle a more complex nature, like how to help you check out faster, or why your credit card is not working, or maybe help you with a promotion code – something that a chatbot is not pre-programmed to learn.
That’s how you can generate inbound leads. People who are visiting your website – the more you can engage with them the better, and make them feel like, hey, there’s someone there on the website with them willing to help them out. Whether it is to learn about the product or learn about the service or maybe help them out if they’re having difficulties, it just adds to your customer service support, and actually adds your sales to your top line and your bottom line, because you now have this complimentary service called the chatbot on your website.
So how can I engage existing users? [16:45]
Let’s say you want to operate your business from core hours 08:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m., and you are a traditional business. Let’s say you have your small e-commerce business doing $80,000 a month, or even less, $5,000 a month. You’re a team of one or two. You’re primarily in the business.
How do you engage with existing users? As a business operator, you may not have a lot of time left. You’re already doing all the sales, all the marketing. You’re learning. You’re doing all the accounting and all the financing. You’re doing all the order fulfillment. I mean, the list goes on. You’re finding out if you can drop-ship your products. You’re calling new wholesalers. You’re finding out how you can get those products cheaper. Your margins can improve. There are a lot of things you need to worry about.
You can find a way to engage existing users who are already landing on your page after they saw your Facebook ad or Tik Tok ad, or if they saw something on Snapchat, Pinterest, whatever, wherever. They found your ad and they’re on your website now. So they’re getting the online experience. If you can find a way to engage existing users, maybe through the use of a chatbot, then you can provide After Hours support, and you can provide a series of FAQs.
You can provide the best possible solutions to the questions. That kind of engagement will lead to a sale. Maybe not at first and maybe not directly, but as I said before, there’s an elusive balance between a customer service chatbot and a sales chatbot.
When website visitors land on your website, we don’t know if they’re looking for service or if they’re looking for sales. If you deliver top-notch service, it can lead to top-notch sales or even more sales. Let’s say you operate from 08:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. You don’t operate at night time, and you know that sometimes people browse your tea e-commerce website at [02:00] in the morning, but you’re fast asleep because you’re part of the 05:00 a.m. club. Well, that’s awesome. Well, look who can be up at that time.
Maybe you could hire someone in the Philippines or India who’s on the other side of the planet who might be up at that time, and that might be something you could start off with. Or you can find a chatbot that can answer Frequently Asked Questions for the users. On top of all that, if there are any complex questions that the chatbot cannot answer during this time, the user who’s on the website can be engaged at least. They can feel like their questions have been answered to a point. But because their questions are so complex, the chatbot now knows: Hey. I need to collect this person’s name, email, and phone number, so that I can redirect this to the next available rep. Whether it’s a sales rep or a customer service rep who gets in tomorrow morning at [08:00] in the morning and they’ll be able to contact that person, or at least find out what’s the best time to contact them and hopefully not lose the sale.
So, if a person is patient enough, and if they’re doing more than just browsing, if they’re leaving their information with you, they’re engaged, they want to shop with you, they want their answer – this could be both for small e-commerce or larger e-commerce products, for virtual products, it could be for courses – you can provide the same kind of After Hours support. Whether you are a team of one or you’re a team of ten or a team of 100, you can use chatbots to do this very same thing where you can help people as much as you can, keep them engaged, and keep them excited.
This kind of engagement helps them make a decision whether they want to do business with you or not. It helps them either get the service they need because maybe they have already shopped with you, they’ve already bought from you, or maybe they want to know the product, they want to know how the product can help them, or maybe their product isn’t working properly or they don’t know how to work it.
Rather than calling someone and spending time on the phone, they’d rather just have a chatbot do the work for them; texting from their phone or texting from their laptop, they can get all the answers they need. People have a very short tension span. They may not necessarily want to go and look for this information. They just want to go to a chatbot that can provide all information to them within two minutes or less.
It’s instant gratification. That’s why using a chatbot can help your business out.