Big-box brands have the luxury of leveraging various resources. They can afford to interact with customers on a less personal level, prioritizing volume over individual quality. Most notably, they are in a position to adopt the latest advanced marketing technology, especially those driven by AI and Artificial Intelligence, setting them apart in the digital landscape.
One of the latest–and most valuable–innovations is AI chat.
AI chat allows customers to get the answers they need when they visit your website by interacting with an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. Responses typically come from either a pre-programmed script or machine-learning algorithms, which allow the chatbot to learn from each conversation, store that data, and figure out appropriate responses without having to be pre-programmed with the answer.
With this type of communication, customers get immediate, relevant responses to questions—day or night—while giving business owners a glimpse into what the customer is looking for before engagement.
Large businesses have been quick to adopt this new technology, but they should not be the only ones. Small and mid-sized businesses can also have the latest and greatest in AI innovation.
Nurturing Your Customers Right off the Bat
Many customers choose local brands because they want to support their communities and prefer the intimate interactions small businesses can provide. That intimacy starts with communication.
Communication is so important to customers that 90% of respondents polled in a Hubspot survey said that “immediate responses are essential when they have a customer service question.”
With AI chat, your customers can get immediate responses without you having to monitor your sites 24/7.
The Advancement of AI Chat
Early on, chatbots felt very impersonal and unhelpful. As a result, according to that same Hubspot survey, 45% of respondents said they prefer human interaction over anything else.
However, AI chat technology has advanced significantly and is now able to provide more natural and in-depth answers. While AI chat might not replace a conversation between two humans, it can help website visitors get the information and introduction they need to take the next step.
Once a chat conversation has been started, it’s important for a human representative to follow up. Using AI chat to start the conversation is generally acceptable (and can be extremely helpful!), but people expect human interaction once they’re more invested in your product or service.
Types of AI Chat: Which Is Right for You?
There are different types of AI chatbots available for businesses—some more advanced than others. So, how do you choose which is best for your company?
Here’s a simple breakdown:
- AI Chat: This is one of the most popular choices, and for good reason. AI chatbots use machine learning to generate their own answers by analyzing the user’s intent and the goal of the conversation. Think of it as a replacement for employees for customers who have common queries. Sweet Media Digital Agency’s AI Chat is an example of this type of technology.
- Rule-Based Chatbot: Think of this as a tool you can use if you’ve created pre-determined conversations, such as setting an appointment or asking about business hours. Rule-based chatbots are less helpful because they cannot adjust on the fly with unexpected questions from the customer.
- Hybrid Chatbots: Hybrid chatbots take the ability of AI to learn from user interactions and the set direction of rule-based chatbots and combine both abilities. This type of chatbot can often be found on medical sites.
How to Choose for Your Business
You don’t need to be a big-box brand to have the same opportunities that a big-box budget can provide. Whether you want to start with a basic rule-based chatbot or a more advanced system, it’s easy for small business owners to take advantage of the latest technology. You just need to narrow down how you want it to work for your company.
To start off, pinpoint what you would want AI chat to be used for. Consider the questions potential customers usually ask. Are they simple inquiries or more in-depth? Then, consider whether you want a third party to run the software or keep it in-house. If so, do you want to have a dedicated chatbot built for your needs or utilize software already out there? For example, Sweet Media Digital Agency’s AI Chat is available to use with certain marketing packages. Decide now what you want out of your AI chat usage before investing in a service.
Communication plays a major role in how customers view your brand. It’s one of the ways you can set yourself apart from the bigger companies, in a good way!
To learn more about Sweet Media Digital Agency’s AI Chat and marketing services, visit us here.