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Why your small business needs a chatbot

· small business,tech,trends,growth,chatbot

By Leslie Youngblood

Chatbots. Maybe you’ve heard of them? Or, perhaps you’ve even interacted with one without even realizing it. If you’ve ever visited a website where an instant message box pops up asking if you need help with anything, yes friend, you’ve encountered a chatbot.

Specifically, a chatbot is a computer program or an Artificial Intelligence (AI) which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. A chatbot’s goal is to solve for various tasks by imitating human conversations. While not as commonplace as other tactics like remarketing or even cookies, the prevalence and use of chatbots and other AI will surely continue to rise along with other advanced technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

Before anyone gets too nervous and worries that robots really will take over the world, rest assured that it’s not so simple to create an automatic interactive bot that users will really trust. It's pretty safe to say that there will always be a space and need for real human interactions when it comes to important roles like doctors, therapists, teachers, etc.

thinking about a chatbot for a small business

The key to any chatbot is that it needs to be easy to use, efficient, and get the job done for users to consistently engage with it. No one has the time nor the attention span for most things anyways and humans are adept at sniffing out inauthenticity. However, if you can utilize an effective chatbot for your business, you’ll find that it frees up time and provides you with essential customer information.

Here are three areas you can start utilizing chatbots for your business:

1. Up Your Customer Support: Gartner, a large research and advisory firm providing information technology-related insight for IT and other business leaders, predicts that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human. That is a truly incredible fact. Utilizing a chatbot for your customer service will save you time and also enables you to collect data on what type of help or inquiries most are searching for.

2. Enjoy A Social Boost: According to a Medium article from January 2018, about 90% of questions sent from Facebook business pages remain unanswered. A chatbot can guarantee a reply to each and any customer that shoots a line your way, building your brand relationship and even converting visitors into buyers.

3. Get Some Personal Assistance: Some chatbots can also help keep you on time and on task. Jarvis is a chatbot scheduling assistant that detects your time zone and sets reminders accordingly. For example, if you need to order supplies tomorrow or meet a new client for lunch.

You can expect to see chatbots being employed in more and more applications as people get more familiar with the technology and it continues to take off. In the meantime, try exploring some of the current options and see if one could be a good fit for your business. And let’s also plan to circle back around in 2020, okay?

Leslie Youngblood is the Creative Director for Excelerate America, the ultimate resource for entrepreneurs. She'd love to hear your thoughts on the rising popularity of chatbots, or even if your business is using one. Email Leslie at


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