The Local Marketing Stack
Zone 6 • Difficulty: • Sugg. D.I.Y. Monthly Budget: $50+
Chatbots are digital robots that use artificial intelligence to have conversations with humans. You can think of Siri as a kind of chatbot, albeit one who communicates with you through voice as opposed to a messaging app.
The ultimate time-saver?
The idea behind chatbots is great — to automate responses to common customer service questions, freeing you up to focus on other less mundane areas of your business, and potentially to provide the customer with a little faster response than they might get in talking to a human being.
Conversations are valuable, though
But as a small business, one of your biggest differentiators is your customer service. If your customers want a robot, they’ll probably just talk to Google or Amazon. And if you’re not present in the conversation, you miss the opportunity to make the personal connection to them that breeds loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.
Relatively low consumer adoption
Besides that, many customers don’t even know about chatbots, let alone use them. A number of larger brands have already released them on Facebook Messenger, with limited success.
Maybe not the best use of your time or energy
So if you decide to give chatbots a go, just know that they’re a largely unproven technology with a pretty small audience, and probably not the highest and best use of your time or energy as a small business owner.