We'll come right out and say it: humans expect a lot from conversational AI platforms like chatbots and voice assistants. We expect them to understand every question and command. We expect them to crack jokes and make small talk with us.
In other words, we hold machines and algorithms to a human standard of communication. Ironically, we don't even hold ourselves to such a high standard most of the time. When a coworker makes a typo in an email, we gloss over it. When they stammer or ask us to repeat our question, we're understanding.
Sure, conversational AI might not be perfect, but it's getting closer every day. Even now, it's advanced enough to get the job, whatever it might be, done. Whether it's answering questions, scheduling appointments, or even sending emails, conversational AI is revolutionizing work.
Without further ado, let's dig into 10 reasons why your small business needs conversational AI to work smarter and more efficiently. Although we'll mostly focus on conversational chatbots in this post, digital voice assistants like Alexa get an honorable mention, too.
1. Give your customers a personalized, one-on-one experience.
Conversational AI makes each customer feel like the only person in the (chat) room. Intelligent chatbots answer each question instantly and effortlessly. The personal touch doesn't stop when the chat ends, either. Marketers can access the chat log and customer data housed in the CRM to continue delivering personalized experiences that drive conversions and revenue.
2. Save time managing live chat.
Live chat has redesigned customer expectations and experiences. Your customers want round-the-clock access to businesses, even their local mom-and-pop shops. Conversational AI delivers just that. Plus, it means you don't have to hire an 24/7 in-house team of customer service agents.
What happens if they need to speak to someone at your business? Conversational AI can alert you of the conversation so you can jump right in if needed. If you're out-of-office, it can also assure the user that someone will be with them as soon as your business opens.
3. Schedule more appointments with ease.
With conversational AI, your customers can schedule appointments and consultations even outside of business hours. Whether you're working in the HVAC or medical industry, users can select their preferred technician or doctor.
4. Capture (more) leads automatically.
Speaking of appointments, one of the big advantages of conversational AI is automatic lead capture. Chatbots are considerably more efficient and effective at capturing leads than forms. Why? Because your customers don't have time to fill out a long form full of sensitive personal info just to connect with your business. Webchat only asks for the important information, starting with a name and email address. And if you've got integrations set up with your CRM, that lead is automatically logged.
5. Generate more phone calls.
Even with all the high-tech software out there, some folks will always prefer a good old-fashioned phone call. Conversational AI includes click-to-call options, providing easy access to every platform your customers use to contact your business.
6. Simplify reputation management.
Every business wants more reviews, and conversational AI can help you get them. Few people will take the time to create an account and leave a review on sites like the Better Business Bureau and HomeAdvisor. Conversational AI lets users leave a review in just a few clicks, right from the webchat window. Plus, it diverts negative reviews straight into your dashboard so you can address them privately.
7. Give a small boost to your SEO.
Live chat isn't a cure-all for SEO, but it can provide a small, indirect boost. Increasing the time users spend on your site, decreasing bounce rate, and providing rich customer data are ways conversational AI can help improve your rank.
8. Generate rich customer data that you can repurpose into valuable content.
Where does your content marketing team go when they need to brainstorm ideas? Perhaps they use blog post idea generators or host intensive brainstorming sessions. There's a new, easier way: combing through the chat logs.
Conversational AI processes your customers' questions day in and day out. With URL tracking, you can easily see which queries drive visitors to your site, helping you identify high-volume keywords. Repurpose chat data into valuable content, like blog posts, social media content, and landing pages to enhance the customer experience.
9. Streamline processes in your workplace.
Voice assistants like Alexa might not be commonplace in business yet, but this technology is well on its way to becoming an in-house employee. Ordering supplies, organizing meetings, creating tasks from emails — this is just a small sample of the capabilities of voice assistants for business. Developers of corporate AI assistants are still working out the security kinks, but the future looks bright.
10. View vast amounts of marketing data in context to your goals.
Integrations are the most compelling reason why local businesses need conversational AI. Sure, your marketing team could dedicate a day to analyzing chat data and comparing it to reports from the million other tools you use. Or you could use integrations to simplify the process and save yourself time during performance reviews. Your conversational AI software should plug into your Google Analytics, Facebook Messenger, CRM, and other third-party apps so you can analyze your data in context.
Why your business needs conversational AI: wrapping up
We've said it before and we'll say it again: webchat is non-negotiable, even for local SMBs. Your customers expect immediate access to your business 24/7. Conversational AI gives them just that and makes life easier for you by guiding customers through the decision-making process.
Soon enough, even the personal automated assistants we use every day will find their way into the workplace. Conversational AI is making work easier for businesses of all sizes within all sectors.
But do you really need website chat for local business? Read our blog post to find out.