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Using Chatbots in Small Business
‘How Can I Help You?’ How to Incorporate Chatbots Into Your Business People have long been curious about what robots could do for humans. Historians have even traced robotic inventions all the way back to 400 B.C.! Since then, the field of robotics has come a long way and brought modern society inventions that change how people live, learn, and even run their businesses. One such robotic innovation that has increased in popularity in recent years is the chatbot. According to Entrepreneur.com, Facebook found that over 2 billion conversations were held between customers and the 100,000 chatbots on its messenger platform in 2017. But though chatbots have only become mainstream in the last few years, they’ve been around for decades. Chatbots go all the way back to 1966, when Joseph Weizenbaum’s ELIZA terrified and mystified the masses. ELIZA was the first chatbot to master short, human-like conversations until various improvements were made in the following decades, including ALICE in 1995. ALICE’s capabilities were so profound that she paved the way for today’s widely used artificial intelligence inventions. Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, IBM’s Watson, and the Google Home are all forms of AI chatbots that utilize human-like linguistics, but according to Murray Newlands, CEO of chatbot company Chatty People, bots can also take on scripted forms. These bots are ideal for answering common, simple questions from customers. Today, implementing a chatbot for your
business is more convenient than ever. According to Newlands, you can even create your own bot on Facebook Messenger without having to design a code. To dip your toes into the chatbot world, start by establishing a part-time bot during a busy season, or use one to ease the number of common and simple questions your employees have to answer. This delegation of inquiries will allow your employees to focus on more pressing tasks. Additionally, your chatbots can bridge language barriers and assist clients who struggle with verbal communication. While chatbot technology has various benefits, it also has various limits. Before you dive right in, make sure you’re aware of how much your chatbot can do for your customer before a human customer service representative has to step in. Many inquiries require human interaction, so monitor your chatbot’s responses, program your chatbot to direct customers to you or your team, and let customers know your bots are only designed for certain tasks. Your bot has to be easy to understand, or no one will use it. A lot has changed since 400 B.C. Technology is advancing fast, and when businesses don’t keep up with the times, they fail. If you use it effectively, chatbot customer service is a phenomenon that will surely keep your business a bot above the rest.
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