Chatbots for Small- to Medium-sized Businesses
Customer service has never been more important to your business’s competitive advantage. Use every tool in your toolbox.
High-quality customer service is essential to a successful business. No matter where you go, 96 percent of consumers say customer service is important to whether they will be loyal to a brand.[i] 52 percent of consumers have made an additional purchase from a brand after being satisfied with the quality of customer service they received.[ii] Best of all, even a 5 percent uplift in customer retention has been shown to produce a 25 percent increase in profits.[iii]
It can sometimes be difficult, however, for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) or agencies to improve service delivery. But chatbots can help. Chatbots are programs within websites and apps that can simulate real conversation and carry out functions like answering customer questions or helping visitors navigate websites. They can help you stretch finite resources to improve customer experience (CX). Here’s everything you need to know about deploying this technology.
Chatbots to the Rescue
If your business operates online, then you can likely employ a chatbot. Whether you have a website or social media presence, it isn’t exceptionally challenging to install one of these programs and begin offering your customers 24/7 support.
Start with Your Strategy
Don’t put the cart before the horse. Start with your strategy; ask yourself why you need a chatbot in the first place. There is certainly no shortage of use cases for chatbots within the insurance industry, such as:
- Educate customers on the process
- Cultivate and organize leads
- Improve CX
- Reduce employee workload
Next, determine your priorities for your future chatbot. Think about previous experiences. Chances are, you’ve interacted with chatbots in the past. What worked? What didn’t? What did you like? Dislike? Write these down to help inform your search.
Plan Your Approach and Execute
You must decide how you will develop your bot. Should you build from scratch? Use a plugin? Deploy a software service? Let’s look closer at each option:
- Building from scratch is time-intensive and requires significant in-house knowledge. However, it gives you total control and flexibility.
- You can use a chatbot plugin with your content management system (CMS). Each of the leading CMS platforms have respective plugins and installation instructions, including WordPress, Drupal or Wix. Widgets are functional blocks that, upon installation, provide your website with additional functionality. These blocks are also often customizable, free and easy to install.
- Finally, there are now low-code and no-code applications capable of creating chatbots; but you’ll want to be sure to read independent reviews before purchasing!
Following installation, you cannot just assume your bot will operate seamlessly. Don’t forget to do a trial run and test its basic functions before it goes live.
The Rise of the Robots
We’ve long heard how artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually make human labor obsolete. While that has not come to pass, AI is increasingly working alongside humans to drive greater efficiencies, productivity and profitability. Chatbots are one of the latest examples of this trend. And when approached strategically, they can help small agencies deliver world-class customer experiences.
[i] Daniela Puzzo, Fonolo, 4 January 2022, 150+ Customer Service Statistics for 2022 | Fonolo