How AI chatbots can improve customer support and boost sales

How AI chatbots can improve customer support and boost sales
Aug 23

David Jenkin

One of the most immediate ways Artificial Intelligence is changing the world of business is in the field of customer service. Chatbots aren’t new, but now they are “smart”, and that has powerful benefits for both businesses and consumers. With a smart chatbot built into your website or app, you could take customer service to a whole new level.

What is a smart chatbot?

In the past, chatbots would follow a script of pre-written responses. Ask a question and it would respond with an answer, but the algorithms were very simple and the range of responses very limited. But recent advances in Natural Language Processing (NPL), machine learning, and deep learning algorithms have changed all that. Now chatbots can interpret the context, intent and sentiment behind a user’s message, enabling them to provide far more accurate and relevant responses through conversational interactions.

These chatbots can be trained on a company’s own knowledge base – such as information about company policy, product and service offerings, technical details – essentially whatever you want it to know. That means they can be used to support sales enablement, troubleshoot problems, answer frequently asked questions, and deliver a more personalised customer experience.

Cost-effective 24/7 support

Running a customer support call centre is expensive and tends to be beyond the budget of a small business. Round-the-clock assistance with traditional customer service channels is especially costly. Operators need to be properly trained, and customers might need to wait on hold for a long time during busy periods if there aren’t enough of them. But with an AI-powered chatbot, you can offer immediate, uninterrupted assistance to customers across different time zones at minimal cost. Chatbots can also handle many conversations simultaneously, ensuring consistent quality that can scale up as required.

Human operators may still be required to handle more complex issues, but an AI chatbot can reduce their workload by handling routine queries and augmenting their expertise.

Personalised interactions and recommendations

With access to customer data such as purchase history, AI-powered chatbots can offer customers personalised recommendations and tailored solutions. They’re also designed to learn from previous interactions and analyse customer behaviour to enhance the customer experience, thereby fostering loyalty and helping customers to feel valued and understood.

A good example of a chatbot used for this purpose can be seen on the website of the cosmetic company Kiehl’s. This chatbot offers personalised recommendations of skincare products based on your age and skin type.

Spotify’s DJ is another – a chatbot that uses the same language model that runs ChatGPT to learn about your music tastes and recommend songs accordingly. It constantly refreshes the recommended lineup based on your feedback, and it can answer questions about what you’re listening to.

A tool to empower a modern business

From troubleshooting technical issues to supporting a sales team with sales enablement, an AI chatbot is a powerful tool when deployed to deal with specific pain points (rather than just for the sake of it). And businesses don’t need to build their own from scratch, rather, they can leverage the groundbreaking achievements of others.

OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, offers an API for its GPT-4 LLM that an organisation can utilise and train on its own knowledge base. This affords businesses a customised LLM (or Large Language Model, a type of AI algorithm), which they can deploy with relative ease as a customer service chatbot, possessing all the extraordinarily human-like language skills that have made ChatGPT a household name of late.

With the web development expertise of a specialist digital agency, your business can also realise the tremendous potential of such a tool. We can help you maximise its value and deploy it effectively, embedding it wherever you require it. Come and learn more about our web development capabilities.

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