2019 is the year of artificial intelligence and innovative marketing strategies. As people begin to rely more heavily on the internet and mobile sites for their shopping, services, and business inquiries, companies must find a way to meet the needs of those potential customers and reach as broad of an internet audience as possible. As the number of your readers, shoppers, and clients continues to grow, so too will the need for speedy service and effective communication. Chatbots make up a rapidly growing trend in digital marketing wherein AI is used for just such a reason. Businesses adopting chatbots and other forms AI can save costs and accelerate growth, customer engagement, and customer service ratings in their futures endeavors. Here’s how it works.

In the first place, let’s get a brief rundown of what chatbots are. Essentially, chatbots are a form of AI technology that interacts automatically with customers 24/7, day or night. They are generally used to interact with customers and site visitors to answer frequently asked questions and give general information without the need for live support from an actual employee. In this way, chatbots save the employer the cost of having to hire a customer support center to answer basic inquiries as well as the cost to keep employees during late-night shifts for calls or complaints. Chatbots can take questions and complaints, at all hours, as well as inform customers of the business hours. They are also able to direct any requests directly to a small support staff, should the concern require live support. Similarly, if a team of customer support representatives are all busy with calls, a chatbot could step in to answer additional queries and keep customers calm and satisfied with the service as their concerns are being heard. Because of their utility, chatbots can be used in a variety of ways within a variety of industries.

Chatbots have been especially helpful in the healthcare industry, ecommerce, retail, and the banking industry.  According to a 2017 study from Juniper Research “bots are suited to enquiries such as healthcare diagnosis, where users can select predefined answers allowing bots to assess health issues and provide a recommended course of action. However, as AI capabilities advance, bots will be able to aid in more sophisticated healthcare diagnostics, such as monitoring and analysis of mental health.” As improvements are made to AI, it is expected that “the success rate of bot interactions in the healthcare sector… will move from 12% currently, to over 75% in 2022. In the banking sector, Juniper expects this to reach over 90% in 2022.” This is largely because chatbots can provide automated responses to users quicker than human customer service agents can type a custom response. Additionally, there is little room for error with a chatbot as it is only able to provide information that it is programmed to provide, whereas customer support teams may have to check with other agents or higher-ups to provide the most accurate information or to keep with all recent policy changes. Utilizing AI chatbots allows businesses to keep up with large numbers of clients without the need to hire an equally large number of employees.

Because of the speed and interaction provided by chatbots, many site goers often express their preference to deal with chatbots rather than wait for a customer service representative. If a chatbot has previously interacted with a shopper or site visitor before, it can use that information and buying history to tailor a perfect response and service to the customer based on their last conversation. This is especially useful in tech support as customers may try one solution and come back to ask for another possible option. Further, chatbots never tire or grow frustrated or lose patience, making them an ideal solution for difficult customers. Chatbots also can send automated texts or emails to customers, reminding them of promotions and sales, as well as requesting customer feedback. This encourages customers to return and leave positive feedback, ratings, or testimonials that will benefit your company reputation.

Acting as the perfect personal assistant, chatbots can keep customers engaged and satisfied in your business’s customer service, which in turn with inspire continued use of services and positive outlook toward the company. Fitting your business model with quality AI will provide you with benefits and positive returns on investment. Chatbots are the 2019 marketing trend that you don’t want to miss out on.

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