Chatbots will have a positive influence on enterprise more than any other business.
Why? Because I believe enterprise size companies have the chance to see chatbots improve every aspect of their operation.
To support my theory, I thought I would write a 360° overview on the benefits a chatbot for enterprise can bring. In this article, I will look at both consumer-facing benefits (the first 180°) as well as the company-facing benefits (the second 180°).
Though I may forget a few, I will try to cover every benefit I can think of.
Ready? Let's start with consumers because, you know, the consumer always comes first.
The consumer-facing benefits of a chatbot for enterprise
In this section, we will see how a chatbot can enhance your customers' experience of dealing with your company or using your products.
On-demand help, 24/7
This is something we have talked about a lot recently.
In the recent research we carried out in the UK, over a third of consumers (39%) said 'being able to contact them at a time that suits me' is the most important aspect of contacting a business.
Enterprise businesses can benefit greatly from a chatbot automating a big chunk of customer interactions.
We have all experienced contacting a company through their 'email@example.com' address, only to receive an automated reply stating they would try to get back to us within 48 hours.
No one likes this.
A chatbot will enhance the experience of your brand by providing a 24/7 helpline. Your customers will get their most basic questions answered in seconds by talking to a know-it-all robot, instead of waiting for a staff member to copy/paste an answer.
The kicker for your company? Thanks to the chatbot taking over with that enquiry, your staff member just freed up some time to focus on someone who actually needs human help, providing them better service.
Deep linking and in-depth product help
For some reason, when I think of 'enterprise businesses', I think of Salesforce.
Have you looked a Salesforce's offering lately? It's massive!
Imagine being told to 'get Salesforce' by your boss and then landing on this product page:
And this is just their products. I'm not even talking about their solutions or services pages.
In this situation, you would most likely be staring at all the options and wonder 'what the fudge do I need?'
This is a common issue for enterprise-grade customers. There are so many options, it becomes harder to figure out which one would work best. This often results in a generic enquiry or a phone call, both of which are time-consuming for you and your team.
But let's keep our focus on the consumer.
What your consumer needs is someone (or something) to talk to. Deploying a product chatbot can help them do just that.
We have deployed chatbot solutions for enterprise clients just to help their customers find out what they need. The conversational interface gives them an easy, non-technical way to ask their questions and get answers without any hassle.
The chatbot's goal is simply to understand its user's needs, diagnose their problem, and deep-link to a solution on their website.
This type of solution can be deployed across all industries, from financial services to massive SaaS products.
A new brand experience
As consumers, we are confronted by brands all the time. Some of these brands have personas.
Think of Tony the Tiger.
Think of Compare the Market's meerkats.
Think of Nespresso's George Clooney.
There are a lot more of these and they are everywhere. Over years and years of being subject to personas, they become part of our lives.
Thanks to artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces, consumers can now engage with these personas. I recently wrote an article on branding and how chatbots affect this very complex part of a company's identity.
From a consumers point of view, chatbots offer a brand new way of experiencing the, well, brand.
Instead of passively internalising the brand's persona and messaging, your consumers can now experience it by actually engaging with it. George Clooney is out of the Nespresso shop and into our phone, responding to our messages, charming our wives (hmmm, need to keep an eye on that).
When we turned PG tips' Monkey persona into a chatbot, their consumers simply loved it. They asked it questions about its life, its friends, its family - everything they had passively experienced through commercials over the many years.
Chatbots bring a new and exciting dimension to the brand personas we love.
An approachable interface to complex products
I will sneak this one in here.
As I said earlier, most enterprise businesses have complex offerings. You may have an entire suite of different products, each with its specifics and variants.
We have already seen how complicated this might be to navigate for consumers, but what about actually using the product?
Using an enterprise product can be even more complex, especially for a new user.
Remember the first time you used Google Analytics? So many options, filters, segments, reports, dashboards, secondary dimensions, conversion points (*deep breath*), audiences, custom properties, events, flows... you get the idea.
Instead of navigating the interface and taking six months to learn how to use all of these, a chatbot could be there to help - in plain English.
Ask it, 'show me all the visitors who purchased a product under $10 in the last 30 days and did not visit the support section afterwards'.
Done. No navigating, no filtering, no switching back and forth between different reports. It's there, in front of you - everything you need.
This is how chatbots will gradually replace interfaces.
The company-facing benefits of a chatbot for enterprise
Time to talk about company-facing benefits.
In this section, we are going to look at the benefits of using a chatbot internally, between teams and departments.
There are many ways chatbots can help a company from the inside. Let's list a few of them.
Streamlining processes for all departments
You know what? Let's encompass all of these into one.
Chatbots have the power to streamline the internal processes of all departments in your business. I touched on the topic (although I did put a stronger focus on e-commerce businesses) in a recent article.
The idea is simple. Anything a business repeatedly does, AI can pretty much do.
Let's see a quick example for each of the typical departments in enterprise businesses; marketing, sales, and customer support.
Your marketing team spends a lot of time researching SEO keywords, drafting, proofreading and distributing content. You can automate lots of this process with a chatbot.
For instance, say I need to write a blog post around the keyword 'jacuzzi safe bubble bath' (who said I need a spa break?), I could fling the task of finding me related keywords, article titles, bubble bath brand reviews, etc. to a chatbot.
Your sales team spends a lot of time chasing up clients via email, calling people who are not there, and setting up meetings. You can already automate a lot of this through an adequate CRM, but a chatbot can take it a step further.
For instance, say I need to organise a Skype call with all my prospects this week. I could tell my personal sales chatbot assistant to scrape through my deals in our CRM, send a short but personalised email to each of them asking for availability, and secure meeting times by automatically syncing with my calendar.
Your customer support team spends a lot of time copy-pasting the same responses over and over again. This is the easiest no-brainer chatbot use for enterprise.
Find all the typical questions your customers ask. Get 5-10 variants of each (linguistic differences, different wording, different sentences), and instantly automate all the answers you typically copy-paste for each.
Human resources becomes machine-driven
Enterprise companies usually have immense teams. This means a lot of people to take care of, track, and satisfy in terms of HR.
According to research by TotalJobs, the HR team's 3 top tasks require 10X more time than the low priority tasks. Reducing time spent on the low priority tasks means freeing up time for the stuff that really matters.
Internally, a lot of the HR department's time is spent finding the information a particular employee needs (about holidays, paycheques, insurance policies, etc.) by trawling through massive databases.
A chatbot can help.
An internal HR chatbot allows employees to ask all their questions and get instant answers. Think about it. All the answers to the questions employees typically ask the HR department are stored somewhere.
A chatbot can connect to that 'somewhere' and deliver the answer.
Manipulating internal big data for better insight
Enterprise-size companies tend to have a lot going on. Lots of people, lots clients, lots of processes and lots of data.
Navigating this amount of data for insightful tidbits of information about your business can be extremely challenging.
Much like we have previously seen in the consumer-facing aspect of a chatbot for enterprise, you could use a chatbot to dig through all the data and find things out for you.
Prompt your chatbot for automated insights on your teams and their impact on your business.
Ask it, 'Which marketing campaign has produced the most leads this week?'
Ask it, 'How many employees have been on sick leave in the last 6 months?'
Ask it, 'What are the implications of having only 6 sales people making calls instead of 10 for a week?'
Your chatbot can not only connect to databases full of rich insights, it can also draw conclusions based on limited amount of information.
For instance, your chatbot could compute the impact of adding a sales person to your team by connecting to HR (finding out salaries, time spent training, desk space) and sales (finding out the number of available leads). Then, compute the impact on your business' bottom line, and the expected value of that hire.
Conclusion: the many benefits of a chatbot for enterprises
As you can see, there is a lot you can do with a chatbot at an enterprise level. The key lies in better customer experiences and greater employee efficiency.
For this article, I wanted to focus on the top-level benefits your company and your customers can get from deploying a chatbot. I did not cover every single benefit out there, but hopefully I have given you a good enough overview of what is possible which will spark your excitement.