The modern world of online retailing with the likes of Amazon, Argos and Asos and more undeniably leaves small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to e-commerce. Despite their relative lack of customer loyalty, there are still a number of ways an SME can compete with the big dogs. One of them is through customer experience. something that an AI chatbot makes perfectly easy. Especially when it comes to one of the deadliest challenges for any retailer: seasonal economic fluctuations.
Seasonal changes massively change the retail market and are extra testing for an SME that relies on a much smaller customer base. The winter holidays are an obvious example, with December responsible for more than 20% of total retail sales for the year in 2018. Then you also have Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and countless other religious holidays and more. each of these comes with a corresponding influx of demand for certain products and industries. Typically, during these periods or ‘peak seasons’, SMEs are stressed due to temporarily high demand. There is either underemployment or additional work in terms of the need to recruit, hire and train temporary workers.
By using chatbots to support customer service and sales teams, SMBs can offer their customers a more responsive, streamlined, easy-to-use customer experience that rivals retail leaders year-round.
With chatbots, SMBs no longer have to hire employees to meet seasonal shifts in demand. Because the technology is automated, chatbots can handle any customer interaction and essentially contribute to greater workloads as they improve with each interaction. Alongside chatbots, SMB employees are not limited to repetitive customer inquiries on a daily basis, but instead can combine their efforts on work that requires a sensitive perspective.
SMEs often go through periods of transition as they grow and bring on new staff to be trained and consistency in customer experience suffers as a result. Whether it’s the speed or quality of responses, customers don’t always see the best side. SME. However, chatbots deal with routine inquiries at an incredibly consistent and accurate rate and will never be distinguished by professionalism, accuracy or brand personality.
Feedback and data
Another great benefit that chatbots bring is customer feedback features. Customers don’t worry about offending the chatbot and thus provide more direct and helpful feedback. it’s a great way to collect honest information from customers. What’s more, invaluable insights can be gained through your customers’ interactions with your business; what are they searching for, how often and on which channels?
With the power of AI, all companies can deliver superior customer experiences.