While the technology of films like “I, Robot” and “Blade Runner” is far from becoming commonplace, some of their modern conveniences are quickly gaining traction. A study conducted by Juniper Research indicates that, by 2020, 80% of businesses will be using chatbots, AI programs designed to help customers with common problems online. This automation will save them $8 billion annually by 2022. In the face of data like this, most entrepreneurs should be asking themselves “Would a chatbot be beneficial to my business?” To answer that, there are two things you need to consider.

Current Bandwidth of Your Customer Service Agents

If your business doesn’t handle many requests, it’s probably better to wait and revisit chatbots once your business grows. Dish Network found that their chatbots can handle four million calls per year, which is 40% of their inquiries. If you’re not receiving this volume, then using service agents would probably a more efficient way to answer customer questions.

Can You Effectively Work Them Into Your Systems

These programs work best when they can determine customers’ intent by looking into the customer’s order history, previous inquiries, etc. If your systems are not interconnected, then your chatbot will have very little data to work with and will likely offer very little to customers. Knowing how effective a potential chatbot will be can help you avoid spending money on a system that can’t do much.

If you’re still unsure whether or not a chatbot is right for you, reach out to your local entrepreneurial community. If you’re an AFEUSA member, be sure to use our discussion boards! There is an assortment of seasoned entrepreneurs who can help guide you.  

Article by Charles Jackson, President of AFEUSA

Charles Jackson AFE Board