Why small businesses need chatbots too

Odds are, you’ve used a chatbot before. Maybe you were trying to fix an internet connection or find an account number. Maybe you were just trying to see if the bot knew its name.

According to Invesp – a customer service bot builder – 67% of worldwide consumers used a bot for customer support in the past 12 months. Mobile Marketer found that 40% of millennials admitted they chat with bots daily.

Odds are even higher that your favourite customer service bot was on a large enterprises’ website. Rogers, Telus, H&M, all are huge, successful businesses, and all have AI-powered chatbots.

But bots aren’t only a big-business game.

Affordable, easy-to-use bot builders are changing the chatbot industry. You no longer have to code to create simple – or even complex – virtual assistants. Non-coders with UX/UI design experience can easily build a functioning bot. This means that smaller businesses, medium-sized enterprises, and even bootstrapping startups can afford a chatbot, and should absolutely get one. Here’s why.

Bots Provide 24/7 customer service

Smaller companies have an advantage that large enterprises spend millions trying to emulate: their ability to connect with their client-base in a personal way. But small businesses can’t work round-the-clock.

A chatbot is a tireless, 24/7 employee who can answer simple FAQs, book appointments, administer surveys, and collect customer info. According to a 2019 Forbes article, many small businesses suffer from issues that a bot could quickly solve, for example, trouble answering prospective customers’ questions and inadequate online booking features. Relying on third-party technology for this often means you’re losing a cut of the profits. A simple chatbot is an easy, affordable solution.

Lead generation with a push of a button

While many companies see bots as an easy way to answer questions, bots as lead generators and qualifiers are becoming increasingly prevalent. Many bot builders have an entire section in their dashboards designated to lead generation. This is where you can see all the names, phone numbers, emails, and other customer info users provided.

The beauty of bots as lead generators is that you’re not limited to simple forms. Bots can talk to prospective clients about what they’re looking for, collect their contact info, and automatically email everything to you. Simply put, a bot can add a personalized touch to an automated process, making customers more likely to share their emails.

And most importantly, bots as lead generators work.

According to Ometrics, which focuses on conversion rate optimization, a survey found that companies who used chatbots for lead generation saw three times more conversions than email lead generation campaigns.

Get inside knowledge on customer behaviour thanks to bot-human conversations

There’s also a hidden benefit to using a bot. Most bot builders come equipped with an analytics section. Here, you can see how many conversations the bot hosted, along with interesting customer behaviour info. How many questions did each client ask? What kinds of questions? How many were willing to give their contact info – all this can help small businesses better understand their clients, which improves customer experience.

Bottom line

Building a bot can seem daunting. The technology is new and is associated with scary, obscure terms like artificial intelligence, UX/UI, and conversational design. Big companies pay big bucks for intricate, complicated bots. But user-friendly, affordable bot builders have infiltrated the up and coming industry, allowing even the smallest start-up to hire a robot 24/7.