June 8, 2018
How ubiquitous are chatbots? A recent collaboration between Drift, SurveyMonkey, Salesforce and myclever aimed to measure the true impact of chatbot technology today. The team surveyed 1,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 64. The study found that nearly 8 out of 10 B2C companies now cite chatbots as part of their customer experience strategy. They already deploy chatbots on their websites or plan to by 2020. In the last 12 months, 15% of consumers reported to have interacted with a chatbot.
Despite recent growth in chatbot use, a PointSource study shows that 54% of consumers still prefer interacting with a real person for customer service than a bot. This stems from slight public distrust in artificial intelligence. However, as the technology improves and people become more accustomed to high performing bots, this perception will likely shift.
When to Implement Chatbots
If your business doesn’t already utilize chatbots, then it may be time to consider implementation. A recent Forbes article highlights several key indicators that your business may immediately benefit from a customer-facing chatbot.
Most companies conduct business online in some capacity. When customers can access your products or services on the internet, chances are they visit your website outside of normal business hours. While staggering customer support hours can help with service these customers, chatbots can backfill off hours to provide true 24/7 support. Doing so will help save costs in overhead while closing more sales as customers can access support at all hours.
Your customers may ask a lot of questions. This is especially true of your products are durable goods such as a car or represent a significant purchase such as a computer. Customers also frequently ask the same or similar questions. Chatbots can help field these repeat questions and in turn save your sales team time.
Customers may also ask questions more earnestly when interacting with a bot versus a person. Once the customer progresses further in the sales pipeline, the sales person can obtain more transparent insight on the true needs of that customer and close more easily.