Today businesses of all sizes are using AI technology to improve daily operations, connect with customers and increase sales. Heavy hitters like Satya Nadella and Mark Zuckerberg have openly touted the immeasurable value of having a chatbot platform. With Facebook's launch of Messenger, Google's investment in Allo, early success of Operator and Telegram and Windows' rollout of Cortana, one thing is quite sensible to assume that Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots are going to become even more common in the coming days.

*What Is A Chatbot? *

A Chatbot is a computer-based program that is designed to interact with human beings over the internet. Primarily there are two types of chatbots, AI-based chatbots, and command based chatbots. Small, medium and large business organizations are using chatbots to give their customer service processes that extra edge.
These bots make conversations with humans in a chat interface, they can understand written and spoken text, and can also interpret its meaning. Bots can efficiently look up for all relevant information and deliver it to the customer in just no time.

*Why Chatbots? *

We have come a long way from the time when customers had just one option to reach the business. Today, they can call, email or simply chat. Chatting with the customers over messaging applications has proved out to be very beneficial for the businesses, but how does one make sure each and every query on the chat is immediately addressed and at any time of the day?
This is exactly where chatbots fit in. The most considerable numbers that would convince you to get a chatbot platform for your business is:
• 63% of the participants in the survey said that they message more with businesses than they did two years ago. (Source)

• 67% of the participants expect to message more with businesses in the next two years. (Source)

• 80% of the brands plan on using chatbots for customer service within the next four years (Source)

To make it simpler, let’s list down the top reasons to why your business needs a chatbot platform.

1. Scale Up Operations

Chatbots do not have constraints like human agents. Live agents can handle a limited number of conversations at a time, on the other hand, chatbots do not have an upper limit. Basically, the convenience bots can bring in is immense, it can work 24/7/365, it’s easily accessible and it doesn’t call in a bad or sick day.

2. Reduce Load From The Customer Support Team

Chatbots can be a lot of help for businesses who receive lots of queries, as they can take the load off the customer support team by acting as the first point of contact. Chatbots can easily screen the customer calls and redirect them to human agents only when needed.

3. Driving Online Or In-Store Sales

Bots can send shoppable looks that are based on what photos and products your customers have been liking or previously purchased. They can send product recommendations and even deliver coupons for in-store purchases which can drive sales for the business.

4. Save Money

Automating inquiries is the low hanging fruit chatbots are effortlessly capable of picking up right now. It is believed that 80% of the business inquiries are repetitive and demand same answers. Chatbots can conveniently pick up such questions and answer them robotically, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Chatbots help organisations save money by automating repetitive tasks.

5. Enhance Customer Service

One of the prime reasons businesses are opting in for a chatbot platform is to enhance their customer service. Bots can solve basic problems in just no time, which means happy customers who can avoid making phone calls, waiting time and forceful sales people.

6. Better Assistance

Customers often get confused in selecting the right product from a business that sells products/services which are too identical or when they are investing in something that is too expensive (like smartphones or cameras). Customers might need help in making their buying decision, chatbots can assist such customers by providing them adequate info on the products so that customers can take more informed decisions.

Concluding Thoughts

Every brand will soon have a chatbot platform of their own. In fact, chatbots are expected to become really common in the future just like phone numbers, but to say with increasingly intelligent AI-powered chatbots, human assistance for customers will vanish, that is something we will have to wait and watch .