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Bot or Not? The World of Chatbots

Chatbots are the latest and greatest trend. It seems everyone is talking about them and every business wants to figure out how to use them.

Chatbots are the latest and greatest trend.

It seems everyone is talking about them and every business wants to figure out how to use them.

But, as with all trends, there are many questions left to answer:

  • What exactly are chatbots?
  • What types of chatbots are there?
  • What is their purpose?
  • How “smart” are they?
  • Should you invest in chatbots for your business?

What is a Chatbot?
Chatbots are tiny programs that help simulate interactions with customers automatically based on a set of predefined conditions, triggers or events. The advantages to chatbots include:

  • They can be proactive or reactive.
  • They provide consistent responses every time.
  • They can immediately respond to customers.
  • They collect important data.
  • They can learn from the data collected.

Sounds pretty great right? And I bet you’re thinking what a useful innovation. We’re happy to tell you they are a great innovation … but that they have been around since the 1960’s. Despite this, they’ve only recently begun to catch on to help businesses grow.

The Facts
Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70% of white collar workers will engage with chatbots daily and Jupiter Research believes that chatbots will save businesses an aggregate of $8 billion per year by 2022.

Driven by the promise of smart round-the-clock digital support, many companies are preferring them to engage with customers. In fact,
Chatbots saw a 92% use increase since 2019, making it the brand communication channel with the largest growth (Drift).

In the workplace, businesses use chatbots to improve productivity and efficiency in a many ways. Relay reports that 58% of B2B companies use chatbots on their website, as compared to 42% on Business to Consumer websites.

These stats show the how quickly chatbots are growing, but are they effective when it comes to delivering customer service support?

The Benefits

Operational Efficiencies
A huge benefit of chatbots is that they can easily perform basic support tasks. For example, when a customer asks a common help desk question, a chatbot can easily understand the context and provide the answer.

If a customer is asking how they can talk to a human, the chatbot can easily escalate the request to a member of your support team. These types of trivial questions can take a significant amount of time for your help desk to answer, even though the answers are standardized.

By allowing a simple bot to take over these easy questions, you can significantly reduce the number of resources needed to satisfy customers.

Lead Automation
Automating the initial engagement with new or returning customers is highly scalable and can help qualify interested users easily. Plus, chatbots can be used to automatically lead potential customers to find what they’re looking for.

Educating & Onboarding Customers
Have you ever gone to a site and not been able to find what you’re looking? You’re not alone.

This is where chatbots can help. They are built to ask questions, collect answers, and automatically direct customers, so simply asking a customer what they’re looking for can be a huge benefit.

By asking a series of qualifying questions, you can direct customers to the best place for them to find the information they want. Plus, your chatbot can be designed to intelligently analyze what a customer has or hasn’t completed in order to push them along the conversion funnel.

By personalizing the questions a chatbot asks, you can direct customers to the best way to buy and create a better user experience along the way.


The Future of Chatbots
In our instant gratification society, customers expect to be able to find the information they’re looking for in the click of a button. When they don’t, they can become frustrated and leave your site. So, to keep them happy you need to deliver speed, accuracy and accessibility.

To do this, we recommend crafting a chatbot that helps you addresses the following wishes.

  • Delivers a quick answer to questions.
  • Provides a resolution to a complaint or problem.
  • Gives a more detailed answer to a question.

Once you do, you’ll be well on your way to improving positive customer interactions and productivity.

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