Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company

You might be tempted to think of chatbots as a new, revolutionary marketing tool, but this isn’t the case — chatbots have existed for decades. Nevertheless, businesses have only recently decided to exploit them and the opportunities that come with implementing a bot on their commercial websites. A well-optimised chatbot is a great way to boost conversion rates and generate more online leads and sales. Bots were initially built primarily to deal with customer service issues, and were aimed at improving efficiency in resolving problems and queries from customers. But they have since been developed further to become more sales- and marketing-based.

There are two main types of bots – the intelligent bot and the scripted one. The scripted bot uses pre-defined points and responds in an automated manner. The intelligent bot is continuously developing, analysing customer text and learning from conversation and experience using AI. Facebook is largely responsible for the development and growth of the chatbot, as it allowed bots to be integrated into its platform via its Messenger app. With over four billion users (as of September 2019) using the Messenger app, the potential for businesses using bots is huge.

There are several reasons why you should use chatbots for your online business including:

Massive potential In marketing terms, bots are still in their infancy. They will continue to develop and grow and will soon be at the forefront of most website’s service efforts.

Simple to build There are many providers out there who make it easy to build bots. Of course, there is a bespoke option, but, with bots in their infancy, now is the time to explore the most cost-effective options available.

Grow your brand image A chatbot represents your business and its values. Using a bot is a great way of brand building and helping to convey what your business is all about.

Simplify customer service They remove the human aspect of dealing with an enquiry, stripping it back to its simplest form, and provide users with short, concise, clear information leading to greater customer satisfaction.

Cost effective The cost of developing a chatbot is minimal compared to the cost of having someone dealing with online enquiries and issues. With the potential lead generation they can also provide using AI, the bot could become one of your most affordable sales tools.

Andrew Langridge is from ETrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK.