As technology continues to evolve at break-neck speed, small business owners have many options for marketing their bands and improving customer experience. This year’s fastest-rising star is undeniably the chatbot.
Although chatbots have been around for decades, brands have only recently learned how to effectively deploy them for business purposes. In essence, a chatbot is a simple computer program designed to mimic conversation with the aid of artificial intelligence. Multinational companies are already using chatbots to sort out customer queries, simplify the sales process and produce new sales leads.
But the truth is, you don’t have to be a huge corporation in order to benefit from using chatbots. To help you get started, here are six ways you could be deploying the technology in order to boost your overall small business strategy.
Creative Example of Using a Chatbot for Business
1. Create a Consumer Resource
Chatbots might seem simple, but they’re actually pretty smart. Better yet, they remember what users tell them. For example, the Weather Channel’s chatbot is designed to remember a user’s ZIP code so that they can ask the bot an extremely broad question and still receive information relevant to their specific location. Not only does the passing on of this sort of information assist users in getting the answers they’re after, but it also provides brands with crucial research data concerning the geographical spread of their target consumer base.
2. Streamline Sales
Chatbots aren’t simply about passing on or gathering information. They can also directly influence sales. Earlier this year, fast-food chain Taco Bell unleashed a bot of its own designed to automate the sales process. Unsurprisingly dubbed the TacoBot, it allows users to make very real restaurant orders by firing off a quick message via messaging platform Slack.
3. Influence Buying Decisions
Most small business owners don’t have the time or the staff to give every customer the undivided attention and professional sales advice they deserve. Chatbots provide a dynamic solution to that problem — and the bot at clothing retailer H&M is a prime example. It starts by quizzing users about their style, asking them to choose between various looks. Then, the chatbot goes on to recommend particular outfits and items based upon those answers.