chatbot in eCommerce online retails

Why use a chatbot and which one should you choose for your online store

Automation – that is a key component to success. The more you can automate, the better your systems are, the happier your customers will be.

I recently had two experiences with customer services after two products I bought from two different online retailers. One went well…the other….not so much.

In the first instance, I had to call the company to ask for status progress on my purchase. The first person I spoke with could not help. They could see my order, but not why it wasn’t shipped. I was transferred to a second person who repeated the same thing the first person said. I was then put on hold for 15 min until she told me that it was indeed shipped and read out a tracking number.  Total time: 23min.

The second experience was when I opened up the retailer’s site looking for the phone number, but then a Chatbot popped up. I entered into the Chatbot “checking on my order” to which it replied instantly asking me for some info to confirm my identity. It then replied with a message saying it was indeed shipped and offered to email me my tracking info. Total time: 2 min.

Chatbots are a new experience that online retailers are starting to embrace.

What are Chatbots?

According to Wikipedia: “A chatbot is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.”

Essentially its a program that can respond to questions and provide information based on those questions.

For example: If you were to ask a chatbot “what is your company address”, the chatbot would recognize that question, look up the address and automatically reply to you with “Our address is XYZ”.

Chatbot started out to be very complex systems that took months to train, have now evolved into a really useful customer service tool virtually as soon as you install it allowing the bot to do what they do best: work in customer service.

We all have software in our business and we rely on optimization to help our business figure out how to create a production schedule or automatically send an invoice after the order is placed. There was great resistance to those systems at first, but now we can’t live without them. Chatbots, it works the same way; it optimizes your customer service interaction.

Which chatbot should I try?

If you are dipping your toes into the ChatBot pool, here are three of the most popular bot platforms which are relatively easy to set up for everyone without requiring programming skills.

Facebook Messenger: Shopify uses Facebook Messenger to give customers the opportunity to browse through the catalog and get recommendations for products they might like.

Furthermore, it is possible to make customer service requests or queries, pay for items in the cart, and receive an order with the shipping confirmation.

Chatfuel: The platform claims that everyone, even without coding experience, can build a full-featured chatbot in just 7 minutes!

You can set up conversational rules and templates that are required to perform different tasks. The platform is made for bots within Facebook and Telegram messengers and can be easily integrated into a Shopify store.

Octane AI: This bot wants to end shopping cart abandonment. For those who are not familiar with the term, its when people add items to their cart, but something makes them change their mind and they don’t purchase.

It also works with Facebook Messenger and is very easy to set up within minutes. This bot also integrates social media and it will provide you with real-time analytics, which is especially useful for understanding your customer’s behaviors.

So in Summary:

Analysts believe that in 2020 around 85 percent of the customer related communication will be handled by bots. It is only a matter of time before customer demand this kind of self-service. Most queries to your business will be repetitive and “mundane” which could be handled by a bot. This frees up your Customer Support Staff to really only deal with those who require very specific attention or their issue is unique to them.

Chatbots are not as scary as they sound, and once a business starts to think along a Chatbot line, it not only forces the business to have a more streamlined system, but it also makes for very happy customers!

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