Your Complete Guide to Using AI Chatbots for Your Business

AI chatbots are quickly taking the business world by storm. Their lightning-fast responses and high rate of effectiveness make them a viable way to save your business time and money while improving your overall customer experience. Here are all the need-to-know facts about using AI chatbots for your business.

What is an AI chatbot?

An AI chatbot is a type of software application that converses with humans via typing. The chatbot has been programmed to consider a customer’s response and reply accordingly, and it continues to learn with each interaction. Chatbots can also collect customer data and generate reports. 

How does an AI chatbot work?

An AI chatbot uses something called Natural Language Processing (NLP), which helps it understand language and respond appropriately to human remarks. Through machine learning, the chatbot improves its language comprehension skills with each interaction, allowing it to continually navigate new, more complicated situations. 

How can chatbots be used in business?

As a business, you can use AI chatbots to improve customer service and engagement. Chatbots make for a more interactive, personalized customer experience while saving you time and money, not to mention serving customers around the clock. 

Many companies include a chatbot feature on their website or mobile app as a customer self-service option, and chatbots are most frequently used to quickly answer simple questions. Support chatbots can also be used internally to respond to HR queries, create IT tickets, submit documentation, and more.

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What are the benefits of using chatbots in your business?

The main business benefits of using AI chatbots include:

  • Availability

Imagine your customer has a pressing question but can’t get hold of anyone at your company. Or say they go on a midnight shopping spree and need some help with their order, but your customer service team is off for the night. An AI chatbot ensures there will always be someone there to interact with your customers, no matter the time of day or night, and no matter how busy your call center is.

  • Personalization

A command-based chatbot can only answer simple questions in a generic way, but an AI chatbot can add a personal touch like the customer’s name. This helps your customer feel valued and improves their experience with your brand, leading to greater engagement and retention.

  • Efficiency

AI chatbots save your business time and money. Because they free up your call center staff and can interact with an infinite number of customers simultaneously, they also increase your sales and revenue generation. In fact, AI chatbots typically sell much more successfully than inexperienced employees. 

Which companies use AI chatbots?

According to Salesforce, at least 23% of customer service companies currently use AI chatbots, with 31% planning to start using them soon. While chatbots are used in a variety of ways across different industries, they’re most common in online retail. Some companies that use chatbots include Starbucks, Lyft, Amazon, Spotify, Mastercard, and Whole Foods.

Do AI chatbots have any limitations?

Most of the time, AI chatbots are capable of handling an entire conversation with a customer from beginning to end. But there are exceptions. While they will be able to handle more complex issues as they interact with more customers, particularly complicated questions may simply be beyond their capacity. Additionally, while it seems clear that most customers don’t mind interacting with a chatbot, there are some who prefer human contact. 

How much does an AI chatbot cost?

AI chatbots can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the money you will likely save and generate from using a chatbot generally makes the investment worth it—and there’s a lot of different variables affecting pricing. Many AI chatbots can be paid for on a subscription basis, and some AI chatbots are included for free when you purchase a larger AI solution.

Alternatively, developing a custom chatbot is also a viable option, and tends to cost less than purchasing a complete, ready-made AI solution. Developing your own chatbot will also allow you to customize it for your brand and the specific things you need it to do. And you’ll be able to integrate it with your company’s data functionalities so you can collect information on your customers.

Are AI chatbots right for your business?

In the end, only you can decide if you think AI chatbots will pay off for your company. But if you offer online retail or have a steady stream of questions flooding your help desk around the clock, it’s a pretty safe bet that an AI chatbot will help carry your business into a future filled with greater innovation and more opportunities for revenue.

Need help building a chatbot or developing an AI strategy for your business? Give us a call!

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