Taking conversation to next level: How AI helps businesses with customer communications
Using AI and chatbots, conversational commerce is on a track to bridge the gap between customers and businesses through real-time personalised support.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots are at the forefront of the current digital-first business environment. In the post-pandemic times, businesses that don’t adopt automated solutions risk losing out.
With more consumers gravitating toward fast and simple interactions, AI-based chatbots (as specialised computer programs/technologies) help companies to transform their customer interactions. They facilitate communication by allowing users to chat with natural dialogue via a conversational interface. Humans can directly interact as if the communication is with real people. Chatbots also enable customers to access vast information and get answers to all their queries without any particular device or location hindrances.
Other than embracing the business sphere, AI-powered chatbots have also become integral to our everyday lives, whether people use them at home, in cars, or at offices. For businesses, the one-to-one interaction opportunity with buyers in a scalable manner makes chatbots a strategic medium for customer interactions. As a result, more companies (like ecommerce and D2C brands) are incorporating conversational AI into their core operations to make the customer journey more intelligent, informed, and convenient.
In essence, chatbots significantly improve businesses’ ability on multiple other fronts.
AI helps improve sales, unlock revenue potential
Several business leaders reported that AI-driven chatbots improve sales by an average of 67%. They also found that around 69% of consumers today prefer conversational AI as their preferred customer service channel. Interestingly, 86% of customers wish to pay 13-18% more to enjoy a premium customer experience.
Here’s more about how chatbots increase sales and revenue of businesses.:
Allow 24x7 customer engagement: With chatbots, businesses can ensure 24x7 customer engagement and achieve customer satisfaction. They can effectively communicate with customers across the globe, sell products and services, and complete their entire sales journey without human interaction.
Enable multilingual experience: Today’s chatbots efficiently conduct sales conversations in multiple languages, thereby reaching more customers and solving their queries. Such an opportunity helps brands expand their horizons into new regional markets and build exceptional brand awareness in those spaces.
Facilitates omnichannel communication: Chatbots enable communication on multiple digital platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, SMS, online portals, etc.
Chatbots reduce costs: As chatbots connect with millions of customers instantly, they reduce the need for human intervention and minimise time to solve customer queries and sell products. This way, chatbots help save operational costs and office space.
AI-driven customer retention and satisfaction: Bots are capable of improving customer retention rate and satisfaction in several ways.
Personalised engagement and recommendations: Chatbots collect and analyse data throughout the customer journey. Such data is critical to broadly understanding customer personas and their needs to ensure customer retention, especially those customers on the verge of ending their relationship with businesses.
Respond to customer queries: Brands can answer customers’ frequently-asked questions via the chatbot. This saves significant time for both the customers and the business. Customers are satisfied when their queries are answered instantly, irrespective of the time zone.
Asking customers for feedback: Chatbots help gather feedback whenever customers complete an online interaction. Questions like ‘Are you happy with our services?’ help businesses understand if customers are satisfied with the interaction. This feedback helps amplify their service and assure customer retention.
Upselling and higher conversion rate potential
Upselling refers to the additional purchases customers make for any related products or services that they have already purchased or are planning to buy. Chatbots in ecommerce facilitate upselling opportunities. Chatbots recommend a high-end version of items customers are interested in and persuade them to buy those products.
Moreover, chatbots solve the age-old problem of failing to convert consumers into paying customers. A WhatsApp chatbot automates the entire task of responding to customer queries, ensuring a high conversion rate. It also helps lower costs and improves the productivity of the customer service staff.
Conversational AI helps D2C ecommerce brands flourish
Conversational commerce is the one-stop solution for addressing the marketing woes of D2C businesses. It is a marketing tool that offers key benefits, including superior convenience, increased engagement, and a phenomenal post-purchase customer experience.
Channels like WhatsApp, Instagram Direct, SMS, etc have become essential channels for conversational commerce. WhatsApp and Instagram chatbot help drive 24x7 engagement with users at the right time. They also allow brands to generate leads, support customers at scale and gain powerful analytics about how customers interact with them. Besides, SMS chatbots aid in automating customer engagement at scale to drive high customer satisfaction.
AI aids in proactive messaging
With the support of proactive messaging, brands can send personalised notifications to their customers and drive engagement at the right time. Proactive messaging is highly targeted and hyper-personalised, which helps brands gain a competitive advantage through contextual communication. Businesses can leverage proactive messaging to initiate notifications on leading messaging channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, and SMS to influence buying decisions, develop customer recall, and create an overall sales roadmap.
The future of commerce is undoubtedly conversational. The conversational commerce market is expected to grow from $4.8 billion in 2020 to $13.9 billion by 2025.
Edited by Kanishk Singh
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)