By now, even if you haven’t engaged with live webchat yourself, you most likely know what it is and have seen it on a majority of the sites you visit. Live webchat is powered by chatbots, which come in a variety of easily recognizable formats. Most often, an emoticon or pop-up will appear at the bottom corner of your screen, ready and willing to answer any questions you have.

These AI-powered chatbots are built to seamlessly mimic human interactions. AI webchat is a valuable and popular tool for many businesses. In fact, 79 percent of people have reported using chat regularly because it provides such quick, accurate and easy customer service, creates personal connections, and draws key consumer insights. Here are some reasons more businesses are using chatbots.

Faster is better

We live in a fast-paced world. That means we want equally fast-paced results. Before live webchat, in-person interactions, phone calls and emails were the only real options for customer service. Calls generally relied on prompts that left callers on hold for long periods of time, sometimes only to direct them to a support email address in the end. Emails could then take hours or days to get a response, which may or may not even answer the original question.

Chatbots speed things up

Enter: AI-based chatbots. Conversational marketing platform, Drift conducted a study on response times in more than 400 sales teams that showed potential leads decreased by a factor of 10 when a customer didn’t receive a response in the first 5 minutes. When response time was more than 15 minutes, almost 100 percent of potential leads were lost.

Chatbots offer the instant gratification consumers crave and answer questions at the click of a button, decreasing response time and increasing leads. In fact, according to a Usabilla report, 54 percent of respondents said they would choose a customer service chatbot over a human if it would save them time.

The customer is most important

AI webchat puts the customers’ needs first. No matter when or where a customer is looking for information, chat services are available. Chatbots can provide service 24/7 to answer questions quickly at any time and provide a personalized experience to each user. 

Chatbots build personal connections

AI chatbots have the unique ability to provide a customized experience in real-time. They can use real names and respond directly to specific queries, eliminating the need for a customer to comb through the generalized information of an FAQ page or an automated email response.

Chatbots also have the ability to engage with customers about what they’re interested in at specific moments. For example, if you’re on a shoe store’s website looking for a new pair of sneakers, a chatbot can pop up and anticipate questions you may have about which shoes are best for running, training or walking.

In creating a personal connection early, you instill an automatic bias in customers toward your company.

AI data collection boosts efficiency

AI give chatbots the ability to create custom conversational responses that don’t rely on a script or template to talk to customers. They can also provide answers to consumer queries, handle time-consuming, mundane tasks and draw important data insights.

Chat saves time and draws important data

Chatbots have the ability to speed up or entirely take over administrative tasks like scheduling, reminders and payments. They can integrate with platforms built for any size business, ranging from individual and small business-focused programs like HubSpot, to those aimed at managing global or enterprise-level organizations, like Oracle Applications. These platforms free up time for personnel to focus their energy on more important tasks that directly benefit the business.

Throughout the chatbot experience, AI-backed chatbots ask for information that clarifies the customer’s profile. They can learn about customer demographics, past experiences, preferences and buying patterns. This data can then be used by humans to extract actionable insights on how to create better products and inform future marketing efforts, ensuring information gets in front of the most receptive audiences.

Digital marketing has entered an age of instant gratification, high-efficiency and personalization. Through the use of AI-backed webchat, organizations are able to connect with customers quicker and more effectively than ever.

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Amanda Peterson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital and software engineer from New York City. When she’s not trying to find the best record store in the city, you can find her curling up to watch some Netflix with her Puggle, Hendrix.