Speed Up Your Business Recovery With Automation and Chatbots

Speed Up Your Business Recovery With Automation and Chatbots

When things start to get better for business, there is going to a huge volume of interest as customers and clients try to get meet their own needs. Plenty of companies were investigating automation technologies before the Coronavirus, but they are likely to become a business essential during the recovery to cope with demand and speed up processes.

Many companies have gone into hibernation mode to get through the current Covid-19 crisis, while, unfortunately, many more will have failed to make it. But as soon as doors, websites and phone lines open for business, the survivors will be flooded with sales and queries as other businesses and consumers look to get going.

At that time, and preferably before, offices will be well-placed to look at automation to help cover the gaps left by redundancies, retirements and those still off ill with automation tools. For example, robotic process automation (RPA) helps speed up many common business tasks, helping move paper to digital processes, and working between older applications to help make content and data more accessible, and to provide better insights for the business.

Actual robots are also appearing in more businesses, with many developers scaling down the industrial robots we are used to seeing to a more manageable size for companies that have repetitive tasks that can be done 24/7 by a machine.

The other major trend is the arrival of AI and chatbots, all of which received a major profile boost during the Covid-19 outbreak as they helped businesses deal with huge amounts of queries for banks, airlines and other organisations with large customer bases, while helping governments and health agencies spread practical advice and information to millions of worried people.

Bots on Facebook Messenger, news sites, chat apps and other locations are fast becoming a vital tool for many people and companies of all sizes.

Whatever the route to automation or AI you plan to take, getting teams and colleagues to understand the technology and its benefits is a key part of winning the adoption battle, especially among more conservative or traditional businesses.

Benefits of bots and automation

Speed up and shorten the sales cycle

Getting sales growing will be key to business recovery, but if your company is down on staff or sales resources, using chatbots will help give customers a quicker journey through the sales process, providing answers to common questions and avoiding them waiting in queues, helping speed up the sales cycle and drive faster conversions.

Engage with high-quality sales leads

Again, those phones might be ringing, but you may not have the resources to answer every call or engage with each prospect as you used to. Using a chatbot on your website or sales app can help start conversations with prospects and clients. Make use of advanced targeting, sales funnels and analytics to highlight the leads you will need to talk to and let the bot handle the rest.

A chatbot is also a better way to engage, rapidly replacing web forms as they can go deeper into the conversation and find our more about what a prospect wants. People react better to a Q&A process rather than blankly filling in a form and the value of an immediate response is far greater to that of hanging around waiting for someone in the business to call them.

Cost-efficient customer service

Rehiring, hiring new staff or looking for call centres that haven’t bumped up their prices will be a lengthy process to rebuild customer support. Instead, you can invest a small amount in a support chatbot, have it operating in hours or days, and it is there to stay, and grow with the rest of your business! A custom support bot can be added to and updated with new information or batter answers, and also help lead to sales or upselling through related offerings.

These bots free up your other staff for more value-additive tasks, and dealing with those few customers who really need the personal touch. Whatever your bot’s purpose it is always a good feature to have another contact point for people who can’t find what they are looking for in the bot, or if it doesn’t provide a satisfactory answer. 

Bots booking appointments

For people you do have to meet, your office calendar is already on your phone, so why not have a chatbot that makes appointments for you automatically, finding and filling in a suitable slot to save the usual awkward conversation. Many bots use APIs to link into other apps and services, and they provide around-the-clock availability, so people – especially the many of us working extra or odd hours to catch up can make an appointment at any time.

Bots are your future, today

Whatever your business needs, automation through tools and bots is here to stay, and they can help a recovering company save a lot of time and money to help through that process. Getting used to bots now will help your understanding as all companies move toward automation, while giving a cutting-edge appearance to your website, app or social media presence.

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Chris Knight

Chris Knight writes about where technology will take us next, from the power of neural networks, artificial intelligence and chatbots, to the endless worlds promised by augmented and virtual reality. From the latest in gadgets and hardware to how digital businesses can use technology to grow, Chris makes the future clear and understandable to all.
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