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How Virtual Assistants And Chatbots Can Help Cut Costs In 2022

As businesses adapt to the ever-changing technological developments, automation and artificial intelligence are two topics that can’t be ignored. Outsourcing customer service requirements to virtual assistants and chatbot implementation have proven both time-saving and cost-cutting alternatives to full-time employees. 

Chatbots, combined with the human intelligence of virtual assistants, make for an efficient option for organizations searching for more prominent and more innovative methods to communicate with and engage with consumers.

How Can Chatbots Help?

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) technology that communicates through audio or text. Chatbots are utilized in dialogue systems for practical applications, like customer service, collecting information, and other tasks. For example, Botsify is a great platform that helps businesses attract and engage with customers.

Around 70% of millennials have had great chatbot interaction experiences, and many favor chatbots for their simplicity and quick response rate, based on the customer experience index. In addition to a better consumer experience, call costs have also been reduced.

Scripted bots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) bots are the two main types of chatbots. While scripted bots follow a preset conversational path, AI bots employ artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) technologies to decipher the ‘meaning’ behind a query and react with the best relevant response. 

Naturally, deep learning is not yet advanced enough to replace human effort, so hiring a virtual assistant is vital to assist with customer service tasks that AI cannot do.

Who Is A Virtual Assistant?

Unlike chatbots, virtual assistants are human employees who work for your company virtually. They are independent contractors and usually charge based on an hourly/project basis. 

Since they are not full-time company employees, they don’t need additional benefits like insurance, paid leaves, etc. This makes them an excellent option for small businesses since they get to save costs without compromising on the quality of work. 

So, how exactly can remote assistants and chatbots be used by businesses to cut down costs?

Reduce Training And Upskilling Expenses

The training of customer service workers is a subject of concern for most businesses. Training and upskilling grow more critical as outdated processes are reformed and new resources are acquired. However, this is an expense that may quickly spiral out of control. Chatbots, on the other hand, maybe refined continuously and automatically. 

Even if fresher, ethically-sourced data is available, an update to the centralized system can be performed, with the modification rippling to the whole chatbot operation. Chatbots are constantly improving as they learn from user inquiries to determine the best response to specific topics.

As for virtual assistants, they are already trained and prepared for the job even before joining. The company from which you hire a virtual assistant is responsible for training and upskilling so that the financial burden does not fall on you.

So with both virtual assistants and chatbots, you get all the benefits without spending a lot of resources.

Reduced Workforce

Cheap labor doesn’t produce quality, and high-quality labor doesn’t come cheap. While employment is still one of the most excessive expenditures globally, it is also one of the most difficult to eliminate. Companies that tried to keep operations afloat with fewer employees, especially customer service, have encountered rejection from their consumers and staff exhaustion. 

Furthermore, phone customer support has an additional disadvantage: clients would have to wait longer with fewer resources, resulting in higher business phone costs. As a result, businesses may spend more on monthly bills than they save on employees. But what if a chatbot was engaged as the initial point of contact with consumers?

Chatbots are more than efficient in managing an infinite number of interactions simultaneously. That implies that a chatbot might be used to answer as many client issues as feasible. The service process is transferred to a human agent only in the instance of really complicated inquiries.

Now, the natural question is – what if a question arises the chatbot is not yet equipped to handle? Obviously, artificial intelligence has come a long way in recent years, but it’s still far from replacing human effort altogether. So you need a real person working on customer service too.

Virtual assistants are an excellent choice for customer service since they have flexible working hours and can even work night shifts depending on your requirements. Additionally, during busy months it’s easy to upscale your team or remote assistants and terminate their contracts during slower months.

Fewer Abandoned Orders

Think about this: how often have you left your online shopping cart abandoned because you didn’t receive timely customer support from the store? An average consumer’s patience lasts only 4 seconds before they lose interest and move on to the next thing. So you need to be able to provide customers with information in those four seconds if you don’t want to lose a potential client.

Customers are more likely to stay with a company if their questions are answered swiftly and decreased waiting time. Adopting an AI speech chatbot can improve consumer happiness, resulting in better conversion and a lower rate of shopping basket abandonment.

According to research, the deployment of chatbots resulted in enhanced customer service, lower mistake rates, and a better customer experience for 74% of CSR managers.

Likewise, you can employ virtual assistants to work in shifts round the clock, so there’s always a human person at the other end of the screen to answer any urgent queries the consumer might have. Since there’s prompt support and no abandoned carts, you’ll be making back more revenue than the resources you spend. So from a business perspective, it’s wise to invest in chatbots and VAs.

Customer Retention 

Maintaining successful client interactions is not an easy task.Here you can use CRM software to have a clear information of customer journey and interaction on every stage.  However, streamlining the client experience directly influences your business’s performance. The same factors that increase consumer happiness also help companies run more efficiently.

Chatbots that are well-programmed help eliminate mistakes. They can quickly deliver up-to-date and correct responses to consumer inquiries since they operate with precisely organized databases and algorithms. Chatbots, unlike humans, do not become sidetracked or dismiss vital information. As a result, clients will always receive the information they require when required in a shorter amount of time.

Partnered with a virtual assistant’s intelligence and human touch, you can rest assured that your customer service department is virtually in good hands.

Round The Clock Service

Try as you might, you can’t match a chatbot’s accessibility, no matter the size of your customer support team. Chatbots do not work a 9-5, do not want a break, and are unconcerned about time zones. They are not human; they can work all day, every day, without error, unlike humans.

However, the cost savings aren’t the only advantage of chatbots accessibility for company owners. Customers are likely to value this functionality as well. Consumers won’t be constrained by business hours while searching for your product, completing a transaction, or contacting a consultant.

Around 40% of consumers value getting their queries addressed, whether speaking with a human customer service representative or dealing with a chatbot.

The same concept applies to virtual assistants. While they are human employees, you can still get flexible with their work shifts and job description. In addition, since most virtual assistants are multi-talented, you can use their skills across various departments in your company – from social media to customer service and even administrative tasks.

Chatbots Aid Strategic Planning

Chatbots are great at gathering data that may help you increase leads and give feedback for your marketing strategies. You can then utilize this information to pinpoint any aspects of customer service experience that require improvement and plan your marketing efforts to better target clients based on their comments, suggestions, and recommendations.

Chatbots, for example, may be used to advertise special deals and help you save money on marketing efforts. In addition, Chatbots might provide clients with customized offers or discounts for their data. 

Reduce Costs And Maximize Productivity

Technology is constantly evolving. To keep ahead of the competition, businesses should employ as many automation tools and solutions as possible. Competition is fierce, and even a slight edge can be the difference between winning and losing. For example, virtual assistants and chatbots have improved customer support, enhanced operations, and provided valuable insight into consumers’ thoughts. 

We hope you enjoyed this article and consider hiring a virtual assistant and including chatbots as a part of your business’s customer service experience.

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