Once your business is successfully off the ground, it won’t be long before you start looking into ways to scale it. This is one of the most challenging stages that requires significant investments — but you already know that.

There is however a smarter way to go about it. Before you start pouring cash flows into the growth, take a closer look at the chatbots. These intelligent, AI-powered assistants can support your scaling efforts and help you maximize the ROI by taking up a wide range of tasks — enhanced customer service, improved sales and productivity, and more. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions globally will be handled completely by AI.

Before we dive into the ways to leverage AI chatbots for your business, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of a chatbot concept so that you know what types to choose for your scaling strategy.

Two main types of chatbots

From the perspective of the underpinning technology, there are rule-based and AI-driven chatbots.

  • Rule-based chatbots, also known as decision-tree chatbots, rely on defined rules to map out a conversation and offer a solution. Limited by these rules, simple or complex, these bots cannot answer questions outside their scope.
  • AI chatbots are more sophisticated as they leverage machine learning and natural language processing to better understand a user’s intent and deliver a more efficient solution. For that, they analyze past conversations and user behavior to construct an accurate answer.

Now, let’s see how these AI chatbots can give you a helping hand in growing your business.

Benefits of AI-powered chatbots

Redefined customer experience

Never tired, never on a break — chatbots are available and ready to work 24/7 with no interruptions, significantly reducing wait time and improving customer service. Powered by AI, these intelligent chatbots can learn from previous interactions, analyze patterns and preferences to establish close connections with customers and practically become their personal assistants.

And this enhanced customer experience is easily scalable as chatbots can simultaneously serve hundreds and thousands of users. Augmented with these digital assistants, even a small customer support team can keep the conversation flow running smoothly.

AI chatbot pro tip #1: While AI chatbots can effectively solve a number of tasks without any involvement, some scenarios like claims handling require human assistance. Make sure your AI chatbot is trained to seamlessly transfer action to a human representative when needed.

Improved sales

Besides a safety net for uninterrupted customer service, chatbots can supercharge your marketing funnel and become a lead generation machine.

The old-fashioned lead capture forms can sometimes be overwhelming (11 fields to fill in on the average) and perceived as the roadblock on a smooth customer journey. What’s more, fearing of the tons of emails that come after submitting an email to one of those forms, customers often have separate email addresses to shield themselves.

By replacing these forms with engaging conversations, companies can take a more customer-centric approach and reduce churn rate. Chatbots that underpin conversational marketing strategy can have your leads answer a few qualifying questions and give them the opportunity to schedule a meeting with your sales reps, significantly accelerating your sales pipeline.

Improved sales

Source: Chatbots Life

Intelligent chatbots can help you manage the entire customer journey — from helping with product discovery to personalized interactions to post-purchase support and feedback collection.

How we can help

Wondering how to make a chatbot that would effectively support your business growth strategy? With solid expertise in machine learning and AI, we help brands and startups build tailored virtual assistants to streamline internal processes and reach customers at scale with personalized experiences.

Tell us more about your artificial intelligence needs.

Reinforced brand awareness

When it comes to growing your brand awareness, chatbots can serve as virtual brand ambassadors that can reach potential customers at scale not feasible for a human advocate. Whether integrated with your website, external resources, or social media channels, chatbots can easily promote your products and services to your audience.

Fun to interact with, chatbots can also make meeting your brand an exciting experience. Look at Disney’s Judy Hopps bot that was launched on Facebook to promote its new Zootopia movie. The chatbot was available for only 16 days but it harnessed massive attention from fans with millions of messages exchanged.

Zootopia bot

Zootopia bot
Source: Topbots

AI chatbot pro tip #2: If your bot’s goal is to spread brand awareness, make sure it creates a strong first impression and has just the right personality that matches your company’s positioning and appeals to your target audience.

Enhanced workforce productivity

Sustainable business growth cannot be achieved without scalable and cost-effective back office. Chatbots can help with that, too. By automating manual, repetitive tasks that can stretch resources and eat up your budget, ML-based chatbots reduce employee frustration and free up more time for more complex and creative work.

Starting from recruitment, chatbots can lend a helping hand by streamlining communication with potential candidates and updating on their application status. Moving to the onboarding process, chatbots can easily guide new hires through the setup procedure, relevant paperwork, company policies, and more. AI chatbots can also relieve the strain from the IT help desk and HR department through answering FAQs and providing contextual information on demand.

Depending on your business specifics, more advanced chatbots can track orders and packages, streamline payment processing, help with returns, and more, reducing the work for your customer-facing teams.

AI chatbot pro tip #3: To make the most of your performance support bot, make it voice-enabled. This way, your employees and field workers can get the necessary assistance much quicker while benefiting from maximum mobility and hands-free communication.

Summing up

AI chatbots can go a long way towards helping a business scale without hurting the bottom line. From streamlining customer service to empowering sales reps to reducing churn — intelligent chatbots lend themselves well to automating processes front to back.