How useful chat bots are for business and where their opportunities end: a small discussion with representatives of the digital industry
Chat bots are called software that is used to communicate with users. They can be designed to perform various options: inform, entertain, provide reference information. In addition, chat bots can encourage the user to make a purchase or accompany him in the shopping process.
Of course, this is not a new tool, however, discussions about the feasibility of its use are relevant to this day. In order to understand their modern functionality, suitable circumstances for implementation, as well as how chat bots help in conducting business, you need to turn to the digital community. We suggest quoting experts, and then draw conclusions.
Reducing the burden of marketing and technical support
Today, automation is of great importance for scaling up the business. It is also important for competitive success. Here the chat bot really helps, it saves human resources. But, as practice shows, they often overestimate their ability, so customers can react rather negatively. So, it is important to understand how successful such cases can be.
Let us turn to what says Konstantin Nefedov, who holds the position of managing partner of the “Next” information agency. If you look at this issue as a marketer, this is a significant long-term experiment that can end in different ways. You can take this as an additional channel for user calls, which eliminates the extra burden from the technical support sector. However, this experiment may have a “hook” effect for the entire web. Thus, if an increase in attention to content in the form of a chat will last for a long period, then why not use it and not provide an opportunity to search and consume content through this channel. The result can be even more successful when connecting instant messengers. Here the chat bot will open another application if you continue the Internet session.
Another advantage is the ability to solve one of the pressing problems for marketers when the user receives additional information at the consideration stage in the sales funnel.
Of course, one case of insufficiently successful implementation may affect the reputation of the tool as such. It is possible to hope that this topic will become more popular and expand the opportunity of modern specialists.
How chat bots help manage projects and communicate on mobile
There are several trends for which the use of this tool is becoming increasingly attractive. First of all, it is necessary to note an increase in mobile traffic, as well as an increase in the volume of complex and large information projects, the introduction of which requires a streamlined working algorithm and precision in all stages, both from the customer and from the developers.
Let’s take a look at what Alexey Shishkin, who is the general director of Redsoft, says about this. He believes that chat bots are the most effective method of introducing into a PC and a mobile user free of charge and without additional difficulties. It is often said that the problem of applications for smartphones is that in reality, users use only a dozen or a little more programs. If your service is not in the top ten, you can not hope for intensive communication with the client audience. However, everything changes when bots can be used in messengers. Leaving Votsap or Telegram is difficult with personal communication.
And to develop a chat bot is easier and costs less money compared to the creation of mobile applications. In addition, it is a versatile tool.
For example, you can use a bot in Telegram so that in a chat that is tied to a business project, notifications about significant changes are displayed. For example, there is a task, the user comments it, it ends, the project build is laid out for production. Chat bot can remind employees that it is required to enter data into the report on completed tasks, and to the manager that there are employees on this project who do not have reports. In this way, you can improve communication projects within the company, make the reaction to customer questions faster, and also make the work more transparent.
Another example of the use of this tool can be the sale of tickets for flights, when the buyer simply answers the questions that the bot offers. It looks like a conversation, which is more pleasant for the user, and it is quite inexpensive for companies compared to attracting employees who perform the duties of an operator.
In other words, with the help of bots you can solve many difficult problems using algorithms. We are talking about routine operations, reminders, etc.
It can be said that chat bots are successfully used in product sales, replacing the operators who produce consultations. However, this technology will flourish only after the introduction of artificial intelligence. Such bots will be able to work in the voice format, and not only when using instant messengers.
When bots really solve problems
In order not to “buy into” banal fashion trends when considering the problem of using bots in their projects, it is necessary to understand the real situation and understand exactly what issues can be solved in this way. We give a list of signs that will allow us to understand whether the implementation of this tool is really necessary. Commented on this problem, the head of Intaro projects – Dmitry Lavrov.
When can chat bots be relevant for business projects?
- In a situation where consultants or technical support specialists communicate a lot with users in telephone conversations, by mail or through applications. Moreover, when the load level is large, which necessitates the introduction of automation.
- When in the work process there are repeated simple steps, automating which can increase the productivity of the company’s employees.
- If the services of the company are used around the clock, properly configured channel helps reduce the cost of staff consultants and operators. Standard problems will be solved with the help of a bot, and difficult cases by means of living employees.
- When the work of the company is focused on the audience at a young age. If you have clients in the age group of thirty-five plus, you may not need to spend time on the use of such a tool. We can recommend to wait when using bots and applications to send messages will become more familiar to this category.
- In a situation where the company sells technically complex products, which must be selected with the help of consultants.
- When operators are consistently faced with repetitive operations.
- In a situation where the range is easily divided into groups, so you can offer related products.
You can give a real example of the use of such a tool in an online store of a large retail company.
To begin with, they develop a chat bot that functions through the Yandex voice assistant.
Initial bot resources:
- Find a point of sale by proximity. The user calls his own location. The information is transmitted to the system, which returns data with addresses of several nearest points of sale.
- Clarify the status of the order.
- Make a purchase. Chat bot is able to arrange purchases of profile products. Manual design scenarios are spelled out by analysts.
At the first stage, the developer, analyst and project manager work.
The main problem that needs to be addressed in the future is the sale of non-core products. The difficulties here are in a large assortment, various characteristics of products and a variety of branches in the groups of the catalog. Development of suitable dialogue scenarios will be held in conjunction with the staff of the contact center of the client company. Their experience in communicating with clients helps to do this effectively. In addition, you can work on the pre-sale of related products, etc.
Why the complete replacement of operators with chat bots is not needed?
In fact, this tool can function exclusively with well-defined scripts. Thus, there is a large area of communication that can only be conducted by employees. Machines do not trust them. However, you can combine two products together.
We propose to consider the comment of Alexei Volkov, who is the general director of Digital.Tools. He argues that chat bots can be used in situations where you need to perform standard operations. For example, various enterprises in the b2c sphere have habitual requests like “sign up for eyelash extensions”, “change recording time”, “ask a question”, etc.
In this situation, using the bot can reduce the burden on real employees, since most of the questions fall into the standard category, which is repeated regularly.
But if we are talking about a complex service in the b2b segment, the implementation of the bot will be difficult. This is due to the fact that in unusual situations the buyer may formulate his request in different ways, so it may be non-standard. But even here you can find a way out; it is important that there is an opportunity to switch to consultants and provide answers to clients.
If this possibility is absent, for example, at night, it is advisable to turn off the machines. However, robotic chat rooms can be used to get leads and customers leave contact information for further communication with a consultant when it is available.
Creating a bot is not difficult, but …
If you already have certain theoretical knowledge, we suggest that you consider the comment by Ivan Mikheev, who briefly outlined the procedure for creating bots. He works as a deputy head of development at AGIMA.
His comment is as follows. While developing chat bots, there are certainly specific moments, but this process is mostly similar to creating an API for a smartphone or integrating with third-party services, based on which we can conclude – this is not as difficult as it may seem. Bots are a common type of client that uses the API of a standard application. You can test it by analogy, but there is also its own specificity.
If to describe the procedure, then it includes writing a script of the functioning of the bot, a description of potential cases. If necessary, for critical zones, you can write unit tests. Then connect testing, working on this information.
In reality, the subject of the use of chat bots has become extremely popular. However, it cannot be said that this method of product sales can completely replace the usual ways of interacting with customers in online stores. This is an additional tool for communication. In particular, this is true for those who do not have the desire to understand the new interface of the business project application.
Thus, after analyzing the comments of the representatives of the community, we can say the following about chat bots at the present stage:
- This is an entertaining process that involves finding common points between the interests of your business and the relevance of products to customers.
- You can reduce the use of human resources (relevant, as a rule, for marketers and technical support).
- Suitable primarily for companies in the field of b2c, the situation with the b2b segment is more complicated.
- Wonderful way out when there are often repetitive processes.
- One of the most productive tools for communicating with users using smartphones.
- You can make the work of company employees more efficient.
- Focus on the introduction of the age group up to forty years.
This is not a universal method. Until they develop better technologies, it is imperative to combine bots and customer communication with live employees. In addition, you will need to constantly monitor performance, and for development you will have to spend up to six months (depending on what tasks your business faces).