Technology moves fast, and that’s a lesson we have learnt particularly well in the last three decades. As we moved from dial-up internet to 4G smartphones, every advance brought better consumer experiences and improved profits for businesses that leveraged them. However, with new technological advances, it has been a challenge getting decision makers and stakeholders onboard early. Some advancements – such as faster internet – make the benefits obvious, but for a chatbot developer, making a convincing argument of how an enterprise chatbot may benefit the business is not always easy.
There are several challenges to overcome when you want to explain the ROI of implementing chatbots. Resistance comes from a lack of understanding of both what an enterprise chatbot is capable of, and how it goes about it. The key to persuading leadership of the case for implementing chatbots then, centers around these issues.
What can a Chatbot Do?
The idea of an enterprise chatbot is one of the latest trends across the technology industry, and many people believe that they will revolutionize customer experiences moving forward. However, for those with broader responsibilities, understanding how a chatbot can help the business is often a vague area of knowledge. One of the issues is that since these enterprise chatbots are so versatile, their straightforward descriptions are really difficult to explain. Besides, with their wide range of existing and possible uses, we are channelized into talking about chatbots in terms of a relevant application.
However, for those who are unfamiliar with chatbots as a concept, it can be a good idea to give an example of something they will already know. Siri, Alexa or Google Home are examples of latest technology in action, and chances are that every person in the conversation has used at least one of them. That the technology can be integrated into business systems, negating the need for human agents in various customer service applications, also brings ROI through savings in operational costs. Discussing specific applications could include:
- Taking control of customer functions such as order status queries, providing return instructions, issuing tracking numbers and order cancellations.
- Providing an automated customer support responses for specific situations.
- Aiding employees in the completion of their regular tasks.
There are many more of course, and as a chatbot developer aiming to discuss ROI, relevant examples make most sense. By first explaining what it can do, we can then move on to how it does it, which is the source of chatbot ROI.
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How an Enterprise Chatbot Functions?
The key to chatbot ROI is how it achieves the assigned tasks. For any business process that involves direct customer interaction, such as taking orders, providing a support service via webchat, or dealing with customer complaints, much of the cost involved is of the employees who provide that service.
A chatbot developer uses a variety of artificial intelligence algorithms to enable the software to interact with consumers in an effective way, within their relatively narrow remit. Powered by natural language processing, known as NLP, an enterprise chatbot can hold a conversation with a human to a surprisingly sophisticated level. With integrated semantic search and voice recognition, a well-developed chatbot can operate live chat support and many other applications for any business.
The key area when improved ROI will be obvious then, is the reduced manpower needed to operate essential customer support solutions. By explaining how the system works, it naturally highlights how an enterprise chatbot can significantly reduce the staffing requirements, and with that, the savings on offer. However, that is not the only way businesses can benefit.
How Does it Improve Brand Reputation?
We live in a fast-paced world where consumers expect everything available at their convenience. If it is 4 o’clock in the morning and your customer needs help – maybe they are on the other side of the world and needing something simple such as a software activation code – they expect a way to get that help without waiting.
Obviously, it is impractical for some businesses to have 24/7 support in place, and it is expensive for those that can have it. But, a chatbot is another way to implement effective support without such a large investment, making it practical for a much broader range of organizations.
For consumers, it is a positive for any brand, and can set any business apart from competitors who have no such provision. This then, enhances customer retention, has a positive effect on brand image and word-of-mouth advertising, contributing to the increased ROI from the chatbot development. In addition, a quality chatbot developer can produce a solution that will improve customer service, by offering a faster and more effective service that customers like.
When discussing chatbot ROI, it is important to ensure that the leadership fully understands what the chatbot does and how it does it. In this way, the cost savings become very clear, while the performance benefits (that deliver improved customer satisfaction) and enhanced brand image, become the additional benefits from the development process. This approach provides clarity for the leadership, giving them a better understanding of the value of chatbots to the business.