Can Chatbots Boost Purchase Orders for Your Small Business?

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

Chatbots can boost purchase orders for your small business by offering personalized help for common questions and concerns that customers have – and delivering the information customers need to make a buying decision.

Building a chatbot into your small business blog or website helps ramp up productivity and sales without increasing working hours or bringing on more workers. With their artificial intelligence, chatbots become more effective over time as they continuously absorb information to apply to future conversations with customers.

How Chatbots Work

Chatbots act like online robots that communicate back and forth with customers via messages. Your website features a button or pop-up box where the customer can activate the chatbot, when a message appears on their screen asking if they need assistance. From there, the customer types the question or problem they’re having, and the chatbot draws on its store of artificial intelligence to offer help.

This technology has been around in rudimentary form for several decades, but the chatbots of old were only capable of responding from a list of scripted dialog. Modern chatbots are programmed to process information and pick up on linguistic cues from the customer, making the conversation feel more like talking to an actual person and letting the chatbot provide a level of assistance on par with a human customer service representative.

How Chatbots Increase Purchase Orders

If you run an online retail business, then you’re probably familiar with terms such as “bounce rate,” which measures the number of visitors who access your website and leave without taking any action. It is difficult to recover these customers – you have no idea who they are or why they couldn’t find what they were looking for on your website.

In a physical store, you can intercept customers as they’re leaving and ask if there’s any further help you can offer. Chatbots allow for a similar tactic for online retailers. You can set a chatbot to pop up with a helpful message when a customer hits the back button or leaves out of your website without buying anything. For example, if the customer thought the prices were too high, the chatbot could steer them to a discount code that gives them 20% off.

How Chatbots Enhance Customer Service and Build Relationships

Too often, it seems, online retailers must choose between saving money and offering sparse customer service – or drastically increasing expenses to staff their customer service department with live help around the clock. Chatbots offer the best of both worlds.

A chatbot offers personalized help and faster responses than a FAQ section or email-based customer service while being much more cost-efficient than hiring a team of live workers to field calls and chat with customers online. Over time, with improving AI capabilities, the chatbot can learn to provide adequate responses to most customers’ questions and concerns, with only the most esoteric problems remaining unsolved. For small businesses, chatbots provide the perfect happy medium between a complete lack of customer service and a full-fledged support staff.

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