Over the past year, the world has witnessed a significant leap in the capabilities of AI-powered chatbots. With the introduction of Chat GPT, businesses have found a revolutionary solution to streamline their communication processes. In this post, we’re looking at some of the reasons that AI is a great option for business while at the same time looking at it from a small-medium sized business perspective (our ideal clients) where we’re pretty sure it’s not going to replace your workforce any time soon.
1. Enhanced Customer Service
AI-powered chatbots offer businesses the opportunity to provide round-the-clock customer support. With AI’s ability to comprehend and respond to customer queries in a human-like manner, businesses can ensure prompt and accurate responses, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction.
However, you will have to be mindful that as AI doesn’t think, it will only ever be as good as the information that’s available to it. If your chatbot is powered by a website which doesn’t have the answers to a question, or the question your customer asks isn’t something you hear often it will struggle.
I recently found myself in need of a new car windscreen and as it’s the first time I replaced it I wasn’t sure whether I needed to tell the insurance company before I booked a company to replace it. I spent two days trying to engage with an AI-bot (from a large insurance company who don’t do phones now!) and it couldn’t figure out the dozens of ways I tried to ask the same thing. Eventually, a human at the company who fixed the windscreen advised that they could do it in one phone call.
2. Increased Efficiency and Productivity
By automating repetitive tasks, AI chatbots free up valuable time for employees to focus on more complex and strategic activities. With AI handling routine customer enquiries, chasing up invoices or sending out essential information for example, employees can direct their efforts towards high-value tasks, leading to increased efficiency and productivity within the organisation.
Can you replace your assistant with it completely? I would say a definite no. AI can’t think for itself at the level most small to medium-sized businesses (our ideal clients) want to use it. It may help your team get more done in a working day but I think we’ll be supervising it very closely for quite a while yet. And with the time we do save, we’ll finally get those jobs lingering on the to-do list for too long to happen s so we’ll get to focus on growth instead.
3. Cost Savings
Implementing AI chatbots can significantly reduce operational costs for businesses. By automating customer support and reducing the need for manual intervention, businesses can save on labour costs and reallocate resources to other critical areas of the organisation.
However, as in the example I used above with the insurance company, if I was a new customer trying to make the bot say anything other than no could it have cost me a sale? You can’t go all-in on AI at the expense of humans as even where we believe we’ve trained a system we won’t think of everything.
4. Personalised User Experience
AI-powered chatbots can analyse user data and deliver personalised experiences. By understanding user preferences and past interactions, chatbots can tailor responses and recommendations, creating a highly personalised user experience that promotes customer loyalty and engagement.
This is one area that may be for the larger organisations but one we can all benefit from and have been for quite some time too. When we log onto Spotifty or Netflix and find a slew of recommendations, it’s not pot-luck that you happen to like them, it’s the AI.
5. Improved Lead Generation and Conversion
AI plays a vital role in lead generation and conversion by engaging potential customers in meaningful conversations. Through intelligent chatbot interactions, businesses can gather valuable insights about their customers, identify potential leads, and guide them through the sales funnel, resulting in improved conversion rates.
We’ve all known Messenger on META for quite some time and we’ve been able to add it to our websites to assist in dealing with queries when we’re not around. However, I for one removed it from my website as it didn’t allow for the fact that we don’t all work seven days a week – on a Monday I could find an enquiry that came in on Friday night but as more than 24 hours had lapsed that conversation was no longer available to me! And yes there are other tools but we’re mindful that our ideal clients generally don’t have budgets to explore tools that involve an ongoing fee.
6. Seamless Integration with Existing Systems
AI tools can seamlessly integrate with existing business systems, including CRM platforms, ticketing systems, and knowledge bases. This integration ensures that AI can have access to accurate and up-to-date information, allowing them to provide accurate responses and streamline internal processes for better collaboration across departments.
This is one I am strongly in favour of and for many businesses can be achieved without significant expense or work. The advances in AI have brought us thousands of new apps and increased competition. And because of all these changes, some of the tools we’ve used for years have had to up their game too, making themselves available to AI with the addition of AI text generators for example. Smart technology companies have been quick to accommodate AI because we all know it’s easier to keep an existing customer happy than to look for their replacement.
7. Multilingual Support
With global businesses expanding their reach, multilingual support has become more important than ever. AI chatbots equipped with language processing capabilities can easily communicate with customers in their preferred language, breaking down barriers and facilitating seamless interactions on a global scale.
This is a particularly welcome advance that many businesses will be happy to use because it opens doors to potential customers and helps to keep existing customers happy too as it’s an enhancement that makes sense.
8. Scalability and 24/7 Availability
Unlike humans, AI chatbots are not constrained by time zones or limited availability. They can handle an infinite number of simultaneous conversations, ensuring that customers receive timely responses regardless of the time of day or night. This scalability allows businesses to cater to customers on a global scale without compromising quality.
And whilst we’re fully on board with the idea of this, again at this point the information your chatbot can work with will be determined by the quality of content you make available to it. If your website is the source for the chatbot and you haven’t told it there are 100 ways to use that widget you sell, AI won’t know it either – and your team will!
9. Data-driven Insights
AI chatbots generate a wealth of data through customer interactions. By analysing this data, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer preferences, pain points, and behaviour patterns. These insights can inform marketing strategies, product development, and overall business decisions, leading to better outcomes and improved customer satisfaction.
Even if we don’t realise it we’ve benefited from AI exploring data for a very long time and where it helps us to drive our business forward, it can only be a good thing?
10. Continuous Learning and Improvement
One of the most remarkable features of AI chatbots is their ability to learn from every interaction. As more conversations take place, the chatbot’s understanding and response accuracy improve over time. This continuous learning ensures that businesses can provide increasingly sophisticated and effective support to their customers.
This said, AI will keep improving but it won’t remember the conversation you had with the client on the phone yesterday, or the chat you had at a networking event, it’s only ever going to be as good as the data input.
What Can AI Not Do So Well?
Human interaction – building relationships, empathy, figuring out an actual situation beyond an algorithm, understanding that everything isn’t as it seems in a prompt.
The last year has witnessed tremendous progress in the field of AI chatbots, with Chat GPT revolutionising business communication. From enhanced customer service to cost savings and personalised user experiences, AI offers numerous benefits for businesses. By embracing AI technology, businesses can optimise productivity, increase efficiency, and build stronger relationships with their customers while staying ahead in today’s world.
However, even though I’ve tried many different AI tools I’m not overly worried about it replacing all of our jobs just yet, I prefer to consider it as a very effective assistant that allows me to take on different challenges or helps me explore new ideas. And I am a long way off trusting it for content that can be copied and pasted, apart from the fact I’ve really to find an AI tool that creates content that sounds exactly like me, there are clues almost every time.
If getting started with AI for marketing is something that you’d like to explore, get in touch or arrange a discovery call here as I can work with you across various tools such as Canva or Chat GPT so that you can take advantage of the areas that will make a difference.
Debbie Ringwood is a Marketing Specialist with over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C Marketing. She is a Graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Digital Marketing Institute. She is a Linkedin Certified Marketing Insider, META Certified Community Manager, and Canva Champion.
Debbie supports, coaches, and trains businesses in Marketing, Social Media, Canva & WordPress along with her team, working with businesses at different stages of their journey.