A chatbot is basically a robot which replaces the role of a person communicating via voice or text. While predominantly used for customer support, chatbots are also used for marketing, payment processing, surveys and many other purposes.
You might be thinking this is coming in a few more years or applies only for tech companies - but that’s far from reality!
They can be found everywhere now, from websites to mobile apps to Facebook, Whatsapp, Slack, or even on regular phone calls.
67% of consumers worldwide have interacted with a chatbot for customer support within the past year (Invesp), 80% of businesses plan to utilise chatbots by 2020 (Oracle), and there’s over 300,000 active chatbots on Facebook Messenger since 2018.
For businesses, chatbots are expected to save $8 billion per year by 2022 and they are expected to replace 70% of consumer visits to brick and mortar retail shops or banks by 2022. (Capgemini)
Chatbots now are more than simple bots that allow you to choose certain options to get pre-scripted answers, or even rule-based bots that answer based on certain conditions ranging from keywords, origin of the user, page they are on.
While advanced AI-powered chatbots that can completely mimic human behaviour are not yet in the market, chatbots powered by machine learning can be trained to answer complex questions without preset answers by reading the user intent and business’ service guidelines.
Of course, some businesses may still have ‘live’ chat bots powered by human operators to take on completely unexpected situations but increasingly this is becoming a stand-by / back-up option which is gradually decreasing in usage.
There are too many specific reasons but here are six widely applicable benefits:
Marketers often get conversion rates of less than 1% despite spending so much and having high visibility of even click rates. This is due to online consumers often dropping off due to the lack of personalised attention and quick answers to their queries compared to physical retail.
However, chatbots are now able to solve this issue being instantly available to provide 24/7 personalised assistance and answers to consumers, engaging them, boosting conversion and increasing revenues for businesses across the board.
For more stringent sales, chatbots also serve to filter out unqualified leads by running potential leads through the data collection and qualification process.
By automating this tedious process of data collection, it not only provides more accurate data without human errors, it is also often cheaper and faster!
Best of all, chatbots are not restricted like humans to serve one person at a time but can serve tens if not hundreds and thousands of people at once! Now your customers don't need to be put on hold for ages anymore, which we all know how frustrating that waiting experience is...
Check out these top 5 chatbots platforms and developers to reap all these benefits for your businesses:
Founded in 2014, KeyReply builds specialised AI-powered chatbots for businesses to automate conversations for customer support, marketing and internal HR. KeyReplyis a market leader in Asia, supporting multiple Asian languages for regional operations.
They have served multiple industries including government, healthcare, insurance, education, retail and logistics sectors.
Key Clients: AIA, Parkway Hospitals, Roadbull
Botbot.AI is a chatbot solution that maximizes human potential through automating text conversations. They pride themselves on how much more productive they have made their clients partnering 24 organisations to automate more than 18599 conversations.
A division of 2359 Media, they are also now providing a voice-based chatbot solution under Articulo digitalising call centres.
Started in late 2015 as a conversational commerce company providing digital concierge services, AiChat evolved from a simple chatbot platform to a sophisticated AI-powered conversational experience solution.
Today, they are a leading AI-powered conversational experience solution provider, empowering many Fortune 2000 brands to build success stories across Asia.
Beyond supporting automated responses to FAQs, AiChat was built to add real value and create a brand experience that wins new customers and retains existing clients.
Key Clients: Tesco, Marina Bay Sands, Mitsubishi Motors, Philips Lighting
Pand.ai is an artificial intelligence startup that specialises in deep natural language processing. Made up of a team of domain experts across financial service and tech industries, they develop the underlying algorithm that powers AI chatbots making conversations more "human-like".
Specialised in the insurance and banking sector, they are currently serving Global Fortune 500 companies across Asia.
Key Clients: UBS, AIA, CIMB, Great Eastern
Zumata is a technology company providing enterprise-grade solutions that simplify the complex.
They build Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chatbots, that enable businesses to enhance customer interaction while reducing the costs. Their AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) powered chatbots provide contextually relevant questions and answers in nearly 40 languages.
Key Clients: MSIG, NTUC Income, Philip Securities, Regent Hotel
While these specialised chatbot platforms and developers are top in the market, you may not require them to get started with chatbots.
Facebook itself allows you to set up simple rule-based chatbots for free and there are hundreds of free chatbot plugins on Wordpress that you can easily integrate with your website.
This is no longer a niche area which you need to find specialists for, but instead you can easily get in through free publicly available chatbots with little effort or specialised knowledge.
However, if you are looking for more powerful AI chatbots, it is still best to consult the experts!
With ready-built templates, drag-and-drop builders or even platforms where everything is already pre-built for you, it’s never been easier to set up your eCommerce site.