We have all seen how COVID has affected people and industries alike. Since the lockdown in 2020 there has been a stronger propensity for people to do things remotely, this was no different in the manufacturing space specifically for their employees and workers. In some cases, it led to a decline in production output and from a sales perspective, it led some companies to shift from B2B to B2C. In either case B2B or B2C, companies require a strong online presence and solutions to help them with their customer interactions. We will be discussing how deploying chatbots can help them when deployed with other online solutions. We will look into how chatbots can assist with increasing sales, increase customer satisfaction, and lower support costs.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, there might be a few that ask: “what is a chatbot?” A Chatbot is a software solution that mimics a conversation between a user and the interface which can be done by text or voice. Chatbot technology has been around for quite some time and the first of its kind was developed in the 1960s. Throughout time popularity of these applications has risen with more investments and greater advancements. We will not look into how to develop a solution or how it works but rather its application to today’s business, more specifically, B2B commerce within manufacturing.
From a sales application, companies can use chatbots in different ways. Ordering suggestions is one of the possible applications that you can deploy the solution. Bots can help customers by suggesting products that might be best suited for them based on algorithms and questions they ask the users. In addition, in the event that some items are not in stock, the bot can be programmed to recommend alternative products. The bots can even help generate leads when a customer lands on a company’s website. It can instantly ask for customer information and offer the customer a chance to be contacted back at their convenience if that’s what they desire. Lastly, they can help abandonment rate by keeping your customer engaged when they log on by providing additional information that they might be looking for.
Customer satisfaction is just as important as generating sales because it is a strong indicator of customer retention. If you have global operations then chatbots can help offer 24/7 support for your customers. Chatbots don’t sleep and can answer your customer’s questions at all times around the clock even on holidays. Instead of a page with static FAQs, a chatbot can help answer questions without customers having to look around for their answers. Thus increasing customer satisfaction! Like the order suggestions the bot can be programmed to share product information to your clients so they can get advice on what products might be best for their needs. In addition, the bot can also provide details on how to best use your product and how to troubleshoot problems customers may run into. Once things get too complicated you can offer them the ability to receive a callback or offloaded a real person online.
Researchers surveying over 1000+ adults found that over 41% of users engaging in online chat are executives
Lower Support Costs
Using the example of the 24/7 support earlier we can easily extrapolate how we can use bots to lower support costs. Instead of hiring an extensive team to help customers around the clock and if well programmed the bot can help answer common questions. Bots can interact with a large percentage of customers that have common questions then have them offload to your team once it goes beyond the comprehension level of the bot, this allows you to reduce team size but gives the team more value-added tasks. This means that you not only can reduce the cost to support your customers but give your staff the ability to deal with more complex problems providing them a more rewarding role.
To reiterate, chatbots when deployed correctly within the manufacturing industry can help generate sales with their B2B/B2C commerce solution, increase customer net promoter scores, and reduce their cost of operations.
While some of you may be skeptical on how many decision-makers actually interact online, one research surveying over 1000+ adults found that over 41% of users engaging in online chat are executives. There is definitely a growing acceptance for online engagement and chatbots along with your other online services (eg. websites, self-service solutions) can improve the user experiences that you may be looking for. Now is a pivotal time to start investigating and implementing these types of solutions so you can incorporate them into your overall customer journey. As always, connect with our team at Veriday if you have questions and need more information.