Convenience and automation have increasingly become daily necessities for businesses looking to streamline their marketing and customer service -- but these luxuries aren’t and shouldn’t be limited to enterprise companies.
Both large and small organizations ultimately share the same goals; increasing profits, maximizing productivity, increasing brand awareness, etc.
Chatbots have become a fantastic avenue to tackle these goals, especially since many are so readily available.
Aside from helping internally, chatbots are also an amazing way to communicate with your customers without having to put a human at the forefront of each contact.
This helps automate some of the more basic interactions so your team can focus on the more complex inquiries.
If you’re someone who believes your customers don’t want to interact with a bot, I can assure you that’s probably not the case.
In fact, 48% of consumers would rather connect with a company via live chat than any other mean of contact.
As a small business owner, however, you may be asking, “what are some examples of bots currently at my disposal, and how will they really help me?”
In this article, I’ll walk you through several bots you can integrate on your website, SMS, or Facebook messenger and how they can help automate tedious tasks and increase overall productivity for your internal needs.
Managing all your KPIs and metrics across multiple platforms can be a real hassle. Jumping into each individually and trying to log everything in a spreadsheet weekly can become a real time suck pretty quickly.
Statsbot for Slack enables you to connect your preferred analytics platforms (Google Analytics, Stripe, SQL, etc) into the product to aggregate all your data in one place.
Then, you can integrate Statsbot with slack so your team can ask it questions about revenue numbers, sales, traffic, etc, without the need for other team members to get involved.
You can also enable Statsbot to send you Smart Alerts for metrics that need to be monitored, or when anomalies occur. If you’re someone who needs weekly numbers, you can also program the bot to send you a report.
If you don’t mind limits on report messages and users, you can get the product is free, but an enterprise plan does exist for those who need more flexibility.
With so much on our minds, it can be incredibly difficult to manage all the tasks we need to do in a day. I mean, not all of us can remember when our spouses birthdays are (although for some of us, I hope you do)!
That’s where Jarvis comes in.
Once this high-tech Facebook Messenger bot discovers your timezone, it works with you to set reminders for the things you need to do throughout your days.
You can interact with Jarvis by asking simple things like “remind me to call my sister tonight at 7:00 pm,” or “remind me about lunch with Dan at 12:00 pm.”
Jarvis will then ask you to confirm his interpretation of the command. Once you’ve done so, it will be stored in your list of other reminders.
Jarvis is currently free to integrate with Facebook Messenger and can serve as an awesome way to remember those important meetings and tasks.
Many of us are a part of companies with team members who are always traveling or have who consistently participate in meetings with meals involved.
If you have a team that fits into these categories, I'm sure you know how time-consuming it can be to find cheap flights, book hotels, and above all, make sure these expenditures are actually being logged.
Tradeshift Go helps seal these cracks in travel.
The bot's virtual assistant enables users to book flights, hotels, ground transportation, and even dining locations all within the platform.
You can even save travel preferences (window seats only, preferred airline, etc) so you know what you get is what you want.
One of the most interesting capabilities Go features is virtual one-use credit cards to track employee expenses. This helps reduce fraud because you don’t need to give employees physical company cards to use (or lose).
This also gives you full transparency into how much your employees are spending and reduces the likelihood of unknown expenses.
To use it, you need to reach out to TradeShift to schedule a demo, and from their, they can work with you to organize a plan that works best for you.
Chymebot has a variety of bots to choose from, but to avoid overwhelming you guys, I’m going to focus on their customer service bot.
Customer service agents can easily become overwhelmed with mundane questions and tasks from callers.
I’m sure at one point in time, you’ve been the person calling about store hours or the status of an order knowing your question(s) didn't require the use of an actual person.
Chyme’s customer service bot helps manage those requests for you.
Its machine learning algorithm allows it to answer anything from the simplest questions to helping open tickets and send notifications to the customer service team when more advanced issues are submitted.
The bot will also rank the priority of issues and notify the customer services reps of those that list higher.
Chyme has a variety of messaging platforms it integrates with based on your needs, and once you add it, you gain access to all their bots, with the ability to disable the ones you don't need.
If you happen to be using Facebook Messenger for your bot, I’m sure you’ve recognized the variety of interactions you can have with people, but with most of these interactions, you really want to drive these people to certain pages on their site to answer their questions.
If you didn't already know, you can load your web pages inside Messenger and serve up pages based on their inquiries.
If you are looking to take this a step further, you can even implement the option for your bot to accept payments.
Imagine someone conversing with your bot and asking what products you have. Serving them up everything within that messenger, rather than just pointing them to a few URLs makes the experience feel so much more unified.
While implementing any of these features is free, there is a bit of coding knowledge involved to for some of these steps.
I’d recommend hiring a developer to help talk though and create what you're looking for unless you have someone internally who can build it.
Those who are tasked with managing the bookkeeping for a company understand how incredibly challenging it is to aggregate data from the variety of sources your tracking. It’s can even be more stressful to make sure everything is consistently up to date.
This is where Botkeeper can help. Backed by a team of skilled accountants, the bot automats data entry from a variety of financial and non-financial platforms into its reporting tool to create beautiful all-in-one data dashboards for your convenience.
Botkeeper can even categorize expenses, pay bills, invoice customers, and enter data into your accounting software(s). Your team of accountants behind Botkeeper help makes sure the aggregated data is accurate and the bot performs as you expect it to, while also answering any questions you have.
Currently, the cheapest option sits at $285 a month (up to 50 revenue & expense transactions) which increases as your expense and revenue transactions do.
About Christine Austin
As the front-end web designer/developer for IMPACT, Christine uses her knowledge to help create dynamic visual and interactive solutions. Her attention to detail, innovative skills, and passion for anything UX drives her to constantly learn and improve. In her off time, Christine enjoys doing anything involving yoga, watching cat videos on youtube, or dabbling in fine art.