Reason #1 - Get Mobile
SMS and chatbots are innately mobile-friendly. When consumers spend up to 5 hours per day on their phones, it's important to be where your customers are. SMS is always present; chatbots are becoming more and more ubiquitous; and messaging apps are some of the highest-used apps today.
Reason #2 - Bots for Everyone
Gone are the days when automated bots are used purely for transactional purposes. Recently, more and more informational and utility bots are going live, from delivering curated news to managing your kitchen for you.
Reason #3 - Higher Effectivity
Conversational channels like SMS and messaging have higher open rates than traditional email. Email only has a 15%-20% open rate, while 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt. Chatbots, on the other hand, have a 70%-80% open rate themselves.
Reason #4 - Availability
It's important to be available and responsible to your customers, whether you're in retail or service industries. It's good to know that 53% of buyers are also more likely to buy from a business that they can communicate with through messaging. Otherwise, they may opt to purchase from other businesses who have channels available to them.
Reason #5 - Recover Lost Opportunities
It's also easier to recover abandoned carts with chatbots or SMS. The best practices surrounding recoveries encourage an attempt to reach your customer within an hour of cart abandonment; if they're not reading their email, what's the point? A well-timed SMS or chatbot message can help; what's more, a friendly message just before they leave your site might help if they only need a little more information to complete their purchase.
Reason #6 - Online All the Time
When 60% of online purchases happen during the evenings or weekends, it might be a challenge to maintain a support team to handle the influx of questions and order management that inevitably happens during these off hours. Instead of paying overtime fees and having support staff work long hours, an automated chatbot that can handle common queries can help both with support questions and sales.
Reason #7 - Automation
Automation can help businesses immensely when it comes to cost efficiency and maintaining a quality level for all interactions. While one cannot do away with human agents, 20% of all conversations between businesses and customers can be fully automated; and for 50% of messages, humans agents come into the conversation only when needed. This results in more time for your human agents to address more complex issues.
Reason #8 - Preference Trends
Millenials can be highly self-service-oriented. In fact, 65% prefer to go online to get support rather than speak to staff in store or talk on a phone. In addition to saving time and resources by allowing them to find their own answers through conversing with an AI-powered bot, you help address their issues in the method they prefer, which results in higher approval ratings and better customer experience.
Reason #9 - Aftersales and Support Improvements
Many people may be worried about chatbots "taking over" their jobs, when it comes to customer support and sales agents. However, this isn't the case: AI-powered solutions and human agents are best deployed to complement each other's tasks. Implemented correctly, the use of chatbots can free up time for beleaguered support staff to allow them to work on more complex issues and provide a better, more satisfactory experience to cases that need it the most.
Reason #10 - Brand Building
Bots are more personal than social media or email. Done well, bots can encourage a good relationship between your business and your customer. After all, humans can end up projecting human characteristics on chatbots and positive feelings can go a long way toward solidifying brand loyalty.