Years ago, Web 1.0 was only about connecting information and getting on the net. As technology develops, there was Web 3.0, which was about connecting meanings and knowledge, and making our experience of the internet more relevant, useful, and pleasurable. However, the age of chatbots has arrived in recent years and will continue to grow in the near future. Chatbot is an automated system that communicates with users through text messages, and “a virtual companion that integrates into websites, applications or instant messengers”, which “helps entrepreneurs to get closer to customers” . It is expected that “over 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human” by 2020 . Yet, the prospects offered by chatbots go far beyond giving replies to customers’ questions. They are also implemented for other business tasks, including collecting data about users, streamlining HR processes, and performing better marketing strategies. For example, the Chinese WeChat bots are able to “set medical appointments, call a taxi, send money to friends”, and many more . In order to examine the importance of chatbots, this article will first explore the relationships between businesses and chatbots, and users and chatbots. It will then discuss how chatbots benefit businesses by collecting big data.
- Businesses + Chatbots
Chatbot integration with CRM helps to build and maintain customer relationships, which improves loyalty. A chatbot allows a business to provide 24-hour support, respond to customers’ questions and comments immediately, and send them follow-up emails with incentives. This kind of interactivity and engagement develops a strong connection between the company and its consumers. For instance, a chatbot may appear on an ecommerce website to assist a customer with finding a specific item, aiming to provide a positive customer service experience. As a consequence, if customers decide to give reviews, this can help attracting more businesses through customer referrals, optimizing business resources and potentially improving sales.
Chatbot integration with HRM helps to streamline and personalize HR processes, including recruitment, on boarding, employee training and more. For recruitment, a chatbot can assist in the screening process, as it can get prospective employees information and that it can also perform quick background checks. This is less time consuming because employees no longer need to go through potential employees information one at a time. Moreover, a chatbot makes on-boarding completely a self-serve process, having “the ability to talk to employees onsite and interact with workforce management software” . This increases efficiency and resolves a HR scale issue. Furthermore, a chatbot can be used for employee training as it involves more interactive participation by employees. Compare to watching old-fashioned training videos or a PowerPoint presentation, chatbot integration improves operational efficiency.
The implementation of chatbot offers an efficient, scalable, personal, and fast customer experience, which helps businesses to perform better marketing strategies. For instance, a chatbot can collect and store data of all consumers through interaction. It can answer customer service questions accurately and take the conversation one step further by suggesting personalized shop recommendations based on the customer’s purchase history and preferences. A chatbot does not only answer customers’ questions, it also offers the perfect chance to gather customers’ feedback by asking natural questions in their conversations. The chatbot can then evaluate the feedback collected, providing businesses more insight into what your customers really want. Consequently, companies can build a more inbound marketing approach in order to accomplish the needs of consumers as well as to increase sales.
- Users + Chatbots
Clients (External users)
The major benefit of chatbot for consumers is that there is no wait time. No matter what time it is during the day, customers simply do not like to wait for help because any wait time can lead to frustration and annoyance. However, it is not cost-effective to have an overflow of live agents waiting to reply to each incoming chat immediately. Traditionally, many customers send their inquiries through emails but this channel does not provide real time responses. Both staffs and customers have to wait around for each other. Hence, the use of chatbot is a smarter alternative way to guarantee that clients receive the instantaneous response that they demand. This indicates that chatbot helps resolve issues quicker, providing enhanced customer service.
Employees (Internal users)
Staffs, including frontend sales and management, do not have to spend their time trying to get in touch with other staff members when they have a question. They can start a conversation with the chatbot using text or speech directly through their mobile devices whenever they want to find out about something. With the enhancement of Natural Language Processing (NLP), chatbots can now come up with relevant answers spontaneously. Furthermore, chatbots integrated with HRM have access and can go through the data of a specific staff much faster than a human, which save time and improve accuracy. This highlights that the use of chatbot does not only benefit customers, but it also satisfies employees by enabling convenient internal communication, leading to a win-win situation.
- Chatbot as a platform
In order to prepare your business for success and to compete with others, it is vital to implement a chatbot as early as possible, as chatbots have a desire for data. Intelligent chatbots depend on data to become smarter and so it is essential to make sure that your chatbot has access to key data sets. For instance, when customers and staffs ask a question through chatbot, it will be able to collect and store these questions and answers. AI solutions must consistently source and organize infinite amounts of data derived from many systems, like previous customer interactions or frequently asked questions, to expand its knowledge. These big data will then give you an insight of the needs of each customer and staff. Hence, the smarter the chatbot becomes, the more your employees can work in pattern with the technology, leading to the process of automation and true artificial intelligence (AI). This reveals that chatbot acts as a platform between external and internal users, and systems like CRM and HRM, allowing big data collection and automation workflow.
Embracing digital transformation in the form of chatbots is crucial for businesses in contemporary society because it will benefit both internally and externally, elevating employee experience in the workplace as well as improving consumer experience. In particular, the implementation of chatbots will enhance operational efficiency for CRM, HRM, and marketing, leading to business optimization. Moreover, the most important idea is that chatbots act as a platform for big data collection and automation, improving AI solutions. Therefore, it is time for you to build a personalized chatbot that supports your human workforce, satisfies your consumers, and saves you time and money!