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I have a confession to make. I’m a digital marketing nerd. I’m not talking about a Ryan-Gosling-wearing-glasses nerd, but a full-on-Steve-Urkel nerd. And now is a very exciting time for digital marketing nerds!

What has me so excited? Chatbots and artificial intelligence. They’re a total game changer.
Total. Game. Changer.

So what has this got to do with you? Your customers are currently struggling to get what they want in an effective, convenient manner. Your immediate reaction is probably denial, but consider that 51% of customers expect companies and brands to be accessible 24/7. Do you have someone available every hour of the day to assist your customers? I didn’t think so…

Chatbots and artificial intelligence can assist your team by communicating with your customers when they’re not available, when they’re overworked or when their time is better spent dealing with complex issues.

But what’s the difference between a chatbot and artificial intelligence?

In concept, there isn’t much of a difference between a chatbot and artificial intelligence. They both perform a very similar function within a business – to automate the interaction between customers and your brand online (and possibly via telephone when Google releases its new Assistant AI).

The difference is the technology behind them. A chatbot interacts with customers using predetermined responses and the customer needs to be lead down a very clear path in order to receive effective service.

Artificial intelligence on the other hand, uses natural language processing and has the ability to learn from its environment and can continuously improve the quality of its interaction with customers.

So which is best for you? Well, that all depends on your objective (isn’t that always the way!). Chatbots are incredibly effective (and affordable) when used for simple, specific actions like checking your bank balance or obtaining a tracking number for a delivery. For more complicated interactions such as booking a flight or recommending products, you’re far better off choosing artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence can also be used across a range of platforms, including Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Skype, WeChat, email, SMS, and Live chat.

If you’re looking for a quick solution for a relatively simple task, you are far better off choosing a survey style chatbot because it is quick and easy to implement. Artificial intelligence is a more long-term solution and requires a significant amount of training to interact with customers effectively. Of course, once your artificial intelligence is up to speed, the benefits are exponential.

How can chatbots and artificial intelligence help your customer experience?

The uses are limited only by your imagination (or ours if you’d like some assistance), but here are some options to inspire you:

  • Order processing

A great opportunity for both hospitality and retail. Just imagine guests or customers being able to place an order directly from their preferred channel. Picture this, someone is inspired by your tweet and want to make a booking or purchase your product, they can do it then and there. There’s no need to go to your website, find what they’re looking for and go through the sales process.

  • Customer support

Ask any call centre agent and they’ll tell you that a significant portion of their time is taken up by simple queries that could have been answered swiftly elsewhere. A chatbot can filter out (and resolve) simple queries while passing on the more complex issues on to customer services. This will satisfy customers with simple queries, while allowing customer services use their time to effectively resolve the more complex issues. Alternatively, a chatbot could help to identify the type of enquiry and direct it to the relevant person, saving the customer the time and frustration that comes from having to be transferred from one person to another telephonically.

  • Data driven marketing

What marketer doesn’t love collecting data about their customers? If that’s you, then a chatbot and artificial intelligence are your new best friends. With machine-learning capabilities, artificial intelligence can collect masses of data that can be used to improve customer interaction, communication and experience. Add to this market research, customer sentiment and consumer trends, and you can give your marketing strategy an edge over your competitors.

Introducing Torque’s chatbot

This feels like the perfect opportunity to introduce you to our very own chatbot that’s just dying to talk to you. Chat to our bot here.