Spotlight On Small Business
5 Practical Reasons For Small Businesses To Embrace Automated And Live Chat.
For many small businesses, this past year has been one to forget. Consumer behavior has shifted at warp speed; SMBs have been left trying to catch up. In a lot of cases, this is unfamiliar territory. Meeting the increasing expectations of customers means communicating on the channels they’re already on and responding in real time. Massively makes being available everywhere and at all times possible for all businesses, large or small, including those with no technical knowledge or limited resources.
We’ve put together a few practical reasons for businesses of any size to add automated and live chat functionality.
It’s what your customers want and where they want you to be. Messaging is the #1 application on mobile which makes chat and messaging platforms the new gateway to the consumer. There are 20 BILLION messages per year exchanged between businesses and customers on Facebook Messenger alone. Why? Because it’s convenient, fast and personal. 9 out of 10 customers want to message a business rather than call (Source: Statista) and 79% of consumers get frustrated when they can’t contact a business on their preferred medium or platform (Source: Kustomer). That’s why chat is so central to modern day businesses. Relevant channels include Facebook Messenger, Instagram, SMS, Twitter, WhatsApp…everywhere conversations happen. In the past year, social messaging as a channel for customers to reach a business has grown by 110% (Source: Zendesk CX Trends for 2021).
You will make more money. Simply put, by failing to adopt new chat technologies, SMBs are leaving money on the table. Digitally mature businesses are 62% more likely to enjoy high sales growth and 52% more likely to see an increase in profits. SMBs significantly lag behind larger firms in foundational technologies like chat and conversational marketing. Over the next 18 months, AI Chatbot use among businesses is projected to grow by 136% (Salesforce). SMBs are at risk of being left behind. Only 1.7% of small enterprises are making any use of AI compared to 17% of large enterprises. So what is that worth? Engaging customers through chat increases conversions by 20% (or more) vs email, and customers who use chat are 3X more likely to make a purchase. On average, businesses that use live chat enjoy a 305% higher ROI vs businesses that use only email/contact forms (Source: AMA – American Marketing Association).
Be ready 24x7x365. Never miss another sale, lead, or issue. Making yourself available to customers with immediate, round-the-clock responses using automated chatbots drives loyalty, increases sales, and generates leads. That’s not to say chatbots alone are the answer – it’s equally important to keep a real person in the loop. Chatbots free up real people to handle complex and value added customer inquiries via live chat. Using both together lets SMBs provide immediate answers and support, 24/7.
You will learn something valuable. Listening to the needs, concerns, and wants of customers is NOT optional. Hearing about a customer’s experience with your business and learning about those experiences can make a real difference in how you operate successfully. Keeping your ear to the ground and “listening” to your customers is essential. After all, we are living in the age of the experience economy. When you talk with your customers (and let them talk with you), you gain valuable insights into your business and your customers. All that data can be used to improve your product or service, understand your customers or learn about your competition…and can also be used to create smarter chatbots!
You will save time (and money). Businesses spend over a trillion dollars on customer service each year. Chatbots can cut down on that spend by automating “high volume, low touch” tasks, including up to 80% of routine customer questions. Tasks like order tracking or booking appointments can easily be automated, freeing you up to focus on more complex issues. In other words, let your customers self-serve when it makes sense.
The world of business is rapidly moving in a new direction – but there’s no need to be intimidated by the change. Leveraging AI and chat functionality to better engage with your customers will help your business not only keep up with the new environment, but thrive in it.
Massively is a leader in chatbot and live chat solutions for small businesses. Book a demo and learn how Massively can help your business connect to customers on channels they prefer (and are already on).