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As you will soon learn, chatbots won’t be able to replace human interaction for businesses just yet, but they definitely offer a great alternative for some use cases.

The usage of chatbots for business communication is a quarter of the number of people who use telephones and emails.

15% of consumers have used chatbots to communicate with businesses in 2017, according to the State of Chatbots Report by Drift – a number that businesses shouldn’t overlook.

Use cases for chatbots

Visitors cite getting answers to questions and resolving problems as the main reasons to interact with a chatbot. 37% expect quick answers to simple questions, while 35% would like chatbots to resolve complaints, problems and answer detailed questions.

This lines up with the most popular pain points for consumers. People find many websites hard to navigate.

Chatbots shouldn’t be treated as a permanent fix to underlying website issues but when executed properly, they are superior to even the top-notch website content and navigation.

With that being said, the fourth most common reason to use a chatbot shows that people aren’t ready to trust them yet.

34% of customers say they would only use a chatbot to contact a human assistant.

Consumer pain points

This is in line with the major chatbot pain point for consumers – 43% prefer to deal with a real-life assistant. Almost a third of respondents said they’re worried about chatbot making a mistake.

A chart of chatbot pain points showing that 43% of people prefer to deal with real-life assistant, 30% worry about chatbot making a mistake, 27% don't want to access chatbots only through Facebook, 26% prefer to use a nromal website, 24% are afraid if they could "chat" in a friendly manner and 15% would use chatbots without any concerns.

It’s clear that chatbots won’t become the be-all and end-all of business communication soon but if used right, they can become a great asset for your company and a convenient way for your customers to get quick, instant and 24-hour service.

Benefits of chatbots

64% said they like the fact chatbots offer a 24-hour service. The instant response came second, tied with answers to simple questions (55%).

Chart with benefits of chatbots. 64% of respondents cite 24-hour service, 55% like getting an instant response and answers to simple questions, 51% enjoy the ease of communications, 43% want their complaints to be resolved quickly, 43% claim it's a good customer experience, 37% would like detailed answers to complex questions, 32% require the chatbot to be friendly and approachable.

Shortening the communication process benefits both sides, saving time and resources. However, it’s important to keep the pain points in mind.

Use chatbots to complement your customer service

Your business will benefit from smart usage of chatbots but can take a hit in conversions if you expect them to cover the entire customer service. It’s crucial to make it clear what your chatbot can help with. Otherwise, instead of making communication easier, the effect will be the opposite, causing frustration for your visitors.

Offer your visitors a way to switch the communication channel directly from the chatbot window. Ensure your chatbot can guide customers to the contact channel that suits their needs. 

Don’t treat chatbots as a replacement for your current contact options. Combine them with traditional business communication channels. You will streamline your customer service process and improve your response times. If you notice an improvement (or a negative change!), let me know.

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Originally published Feb 21, 2019 9:38:42 AM, updated June 1 2023.

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