Small Business Trends

Chatbots and Conversational Interfaces Save Time for Your Team

Published by in Small Business Trends

In part one of our Small Business Week series, find out how one business is using chatbots to their advantage.

chatbots and conversational interfaces

Welcome to Small Business Week. Today we’re going to talk about … talking!

More specifically, we’re going to discuss chatbots (or conversational user interfaces) and whether your small business should adopt this increasingly sophisticated technology.

According to a survey conducted by Capterra in 2018 of more than 700 small- and midsize-business owners, chatbots that mimic a conversation with a real human are already being used by 27.9% of respondents. Another 16% are planning on using the technology in the next 24 months.

Conversational User Interface: Current and Future Use

Many businesses use chatbots to funnel customer service requests to the right information or to individuals who can help. Some even use chatbots with sophisticated AI to automatically answer the most common questions.

But what if you could streamline your leads qualification process and automatically answer demo and pricing requests with a chatbot?

Read on to learn more about chatbots and how to assess if this technology is a good fit for your business.

Chatbot and conversational interface use in real life

“On our website, we use a chat widget and a pop-up balloon,” says Smartloop’s Vassil Petev.

“Our data shows that nearly 8% of new website visitors click on the chat widget and interact with the bot. Once the users are in, the interactive chatbot manages to capture the data of 25% of the chatbot users (or 2% of all site visitors), i.e., their name, email, and the reason why they want to contact us,” Petev says.

The information captured during this process is priceless for growing small businesses. You can use email addresses for new nurture campaigns and analyze why people are most often reaching out to you. This data can also help you determine the fit of the person engaging with the chatbot as a potential customer.

“In the process, the lead is also ‘qualified’ as a potential customer, and if so, the bot provides that user with a link to schedule a demo with us. We also see that nearly three times more people go through the chatbot flow versus the old ‘contact us’ form,” Petev says.

Here’s the real value-add that chatbots can have for a small business: enabling sales teams to handle more leads, faster.

Petev reports, “All the user data is saved in our CRM, which continues the onboarding process automatically, with zero effort from our sales team. Since the chatbot has been live, we’ve witnessed a significant drop in emails with questions from potential leads, which were previously handled manually by our sales managers.”

“Today, the sales managers actually have more time to focus on better-qualified leads, which is having an impact on our bottom line,” Petev adds.

Should you use a chatbot?

Obviously, it’s not as simple as, “Turn chatbot on, automatically make sales team’s job easier.”

When you’re determining if a chatbot is right for your business, remember that integrating a chatbot will take time to design, implement, integrate and, if using AI-mediated responses, “learn” how to respond.

To determine if a chatbot is right for your business, answer these questions:

  1. Does my sales team spend a lot of time responding to repetitive tasks that could be solved with automatic answers?
  2. Do we have the budget and technical skill to maintain this tool?

If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, chatbots could be a great asset to your business. Learn more about specific software options and what they can offer before you make a final decision.

Want to know more about chatbots and conversational interfaces?

Read more about how you can use live chat and conversational user interface software to create happy customers and relieve some of the client conversation burden from your employees:

Information on Capterra’s Top Technology Trends for SMBs survey

Capterra conducted this survey in June and July 2018 among 715 U.S.-based small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with more than one employee and annual revenue of less than $100 million. The survey excluded nonprofit organizations. The qualified respondents are decision-makers or have significant influence on the decisions related to purchasing technologies for their organization.

Looking for Call Center software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Call Center software solutions.

About the Author

Tirena Dingeldein

Tirena Dingeldein

Tirena Dingeldein is a former Lead Emerging Technology and Business Trends Analyst for Capterra.


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