The Best Chatbots and How to Use Them

Chatbots are on the rise, and for good reason. They’re an intuitive way to offer customer support and help your customers complete certain tasks without having to pick up the phone, send an email or submit a support ticket. In fact, a report by Grand View Research in 2022 predicts that the size of the global chatbot market will reach $3.99 billion by 2030. 

Chatbot technology provides customer engagement while also reducing labour costs. According to helpdesk support software Support.cc, implementing a chatbot can reduce customer service operational costs by more than 30%.

As developers recognise the growing popularity of this technology, various chatbot applications are becoming available that are optimised for different purposes. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, this article will give you some insights into your options, what they’re best suited for, and how to make the most of them so you can enhance your digital strategy, increase sales, and create memorable customer experiences.

What is a Chatbot?

Chatbots are a type of software that can have conversations with humans using Artificial Intelligence algorithms. They provide an automated service that can communicate with customers on a real-time basis. Chatbots run off of rules-based algorithms, meaning that they follow a certain set of instructions to make decisions. They also used Natural Language Processing (NLP), an Artificial Intelligence method that allows computers to analyse and understand text or speech in order to mimic the way humans communicate. 

Why Are Chatbots Important for Businesses?

There’s nothing more annoying than trying to get in touch with customer service representatives over the phone. Long waiting times, being put on hold and dealing with interactive voice response (IVR) systems are all frustrating affairs. In many cases, humans cannot handle the amount of volume that high-traffic companies may need, which is why many have turned to chatbots as a solution. 

Chatbots are particularly useful in customer service as they can respond to customers 24/7 and don’t require breaks as human employees do. This increases customer satisfaction, reduces operating costs, and improves your company’s reputation for providing quick and convenient service.

Overall, chatbots are good for business because they can: 

  • Improve user satisfaction: If your customers can reach you any time of day or night, you’ll have reduced complaints and negative ratings, improving the company’s reputation and potentially leading to an increase in sales.  
  • Reduce the cost of services: The fewer people you employ, the less labour costs you have to pay, ultimately improving your bottom line. 
  • Increase customer loyalty: When customers have to wait for long periods to reach a real person, they can become frustrated and abandon the call, with the intention of doing business with a competitor in future. When you employ chatbots, you can speed up the service process significantly without sacrificing quality.  
  • Reduce human error: Chatbots don’t forget important information about products or services. Not only does this ensure that customers are provided with accurate information, but they will also get that information much quicker since the computer doesn’t need to spend time thinking about the answer or looking through service manuals. 
  • Help you expand into global markets: Many chatbots have translation capabilities and can communicate with customers in their own language, giving a personalised and convenient experience.  

Company Communication Chatbots

Customer service isn’t the only reason to use chatbots. With the rise of remote working and many companies hiring employees in other countries or in other parts of the country, communication has become more challenging. 

Using a chatbot to communicate with employees and clients can help solve this issue. For example, they can act as virtual receptionists, providing employees with information and assistance, helping to facilitate training, simplifying issue reporting, and much more. This is a great tool for companies that don’t have a centralised office or are hiring people in different locations.

What Are the Best Chatbots?

The best chatbots for your business will depend on your type of business and your customers’ preferences, but there are a few general guidelines you can follow to find the right one: 

  • Customer Satisfaction: When it comes to which chatbot is best for your business, customer satisfaction is key. Choose a chatbot that will make your customers happy, and they’ll be more likely to return.  
  • Customer Service Needs: Some chatbots are more robust than others. You’ll want to choose a chatbot that meets your customer service needs as well as any regulatory requirements you have, such as HIPAA compliance.  
  • Business Goals: The main objective for some businesses is to reduce operating costs while others prioritise increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Choose a chatbot that meets your business goals and ideally, one that has the flexibility to meet new objectives in the future.

Below is a list of established chatbots that are on the market.

Facebook Messenger Chatbot

Facebook Messenger chatbots are robust and easy to set up. They can help you to track sales, send coupons and discount codes, and answer general inquiries. You can create a Facebook Messenger chatbot by creating a Facebook page and adding a Messenger tab to it. Then, install the Bot Framework app to create and connect your bot.

Google Assistant Chatbot

The Google Assistant is Google’s virtual digital assistant that can do everything from responding to questions to controlling smart home technology. It’s also compatible with Android apps. To create a Google Assistant chatbot, first create a Google My Business account and install the Google Assistant app. Then, connect your bot to your account to start using it. Use your Google Assistant chatbot to answer common questions, track sales, send basic marketing messages. 

HubSpot Chatbot Builder

This free chatbot builder allows you to create chatbot windows that stay consistent with the visual design and branding of your website or product. Using the data pulled directly from your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, you can personalise messages and generate natural chatbot sequences. It even books meetings for you, and can automatically trigger email sequences after the user closes the chatbot window.

Intercom

If you’re looking for customisation and smart lead qualification, then Intercom’s Resolution Bot allows you to have your own logos, custom email templates, dynamic audience targeting and integrations. It’s suitable for businesses of all sizes who require a high degree of customisation for their chatbots.

Dialogflow

Owned by Google, Dialogflow is a natural language understanding platform. It allows you to design and integrate a chatbot into your website, mobile apps, and other services. Dialogflow offers two packages: the Enterprise edition comes at a cost, while the Standard package is free. This option is most suitable for organisations and businesses that already have access to someone experienced in chatbot setup and administration. 

Salesforce Einstein

This chatbot is designed to help you get the most out of Salesforce. With Salesforce Einstein, a chatbot can find information about leads and customers through your CRM. It also allows you to make customised recommendations and leverage the power of predictive insights. Companies of all sizes that use the Salesforce platform and need a chatbot to help them get the most out of their CRM can benefit from this service.

WordPress Chatbot

A free, simple-to-install chatbot that helps you engage with your website visitors using their own Facebook Messenger. The WordPress chatbot lets you easily create chatbots without needing any prior experience, and the conversation history stays in a user’s Facebook inbox, reducing the need for a separate CRM.

Genesys DX

This chatbot is well-known for its strong Natural Language Processing capabilities, making it best suited to organisations who need a chatbot that’s capable of truly understanding language and providing responses. They offer different solutions for small, medium and enterprise businesses and claim to create a 400% increase in digital sales.

How to Get the Most from Chatbot Technology

There are several points to keep in mind in order to make the most of your chatbot solution: 

  • Create a plan: Before you start using chatbots, you’ll need to create a plan. You may want to consider factors such as which services you offer lead to the most inquiries, or where you receive the most inquiries. This will help to determine how your chatbot is built and on which channels to start implementing it first.  
  • Manage expectations: Customers might not understand when they’re interacting with a chatbot. Make sure they know they can get help from a human agent if they want it by including a “help” button. 
  • Be open to new technology: As more businesses use chatbots and improve them, they will become more powerful, so keep an eye on new technology to see if it would be a better fit for your business. 
  • Measure your success: Keep track of the effectiveness of your chatbots (in terms of customer satisfaction and cost savings) and how often they’re used. This will help you understand the preference and habits of your customer base and how you can improve your chatbot solution.  
  • Analytics: Make the most of any analytics functionality your chatbot offers, as the comprehensive data that chatbots can provide give you a strong basis for any marketing decisions.

Conclusion

Chatbots have become an essential part of customer service. They provide a convenient way to offer support and help your customers complete certain tasks without having to pick up the phone. When you select the right chatbot, you can increase customer satisfaction, reduce cost of services, and improve your company’s reputation. 

There are a wide range of chatbots available so it’s important to shortlist those that are most relevant to your company and do further research into what they’re capable of and how well they can meet your needs. A well thought out approach will ensure you provide the most value to the customer and that you meet your objectives. 

If you need any assistance with your digital strategy, please feel free to get in touch – my team and I will be delighted to help.

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