The present-day world of online retail behemoths of Amazon, Argos and Asos etc undeniably leaves a small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) with a clear disadvantage when it comes to eCommerce. Despite their relative lack of exposure and customer loyalty there are, however, a number of ways that an SME can compete with the big dogs. One of these is through customer experience – something that AI chatbot perfectly facilitate. Especially when it comes to one of the deadliest challenges for any retailer: seasonal economic fluctuations.
Seasonal changes massively shift the retail market and are extra testing to an SME that relies on a much smaller customer base. The Winter break is an obvious example, with the month of December being responsible for more than 20% of sales of the year’s total retail in 2018. Then you also have the seasons of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and countless other religious holidays etc each of these coming with a respective influx in demand for certain commodities and industries. Typically, during these periods or “high seasons” SME’s are strained by the temporarily higher demand. Either left understaffed or having extra leg work to do in terms of the need to recruit, hire and train temporary employees.
By using chatbots to support their customer service and sales teams SME’s can offer their customers a more responsive, sleek, easy-to-use customer experience that competes with the retail leaders, all year round.
With chatbots, SMEs are no longer forced to hire employees to accommodate seasonal shifts in demand. Because the technology is automated, chatbots can handle any number of customer interactions and, in fact, favours a higher workload – as they improve with every interaction. With Chatbots on side, SME employees are not constrained to repetitive customers enquiries each day but instead can concert their efforts on work that requires a sentient perspective.
SME’s often undergo periods of transition as they grow and bring on new staff whom have to be trained and consistency in customer experience suffers as a result of this.Whether it is the speed or quality of responses customers don’t necessarily always see the best side of an SME. Chatbots, however, deal with routine enquiries at a formidably consistent and accurate rate and will never vary in professionalism, accuracy or brand personality.
Feedback and Data
Another great asset that chatbots bring is there customer feedback functionalities. Customers aren’t worried about offending a chatbot, and thus give more direct and useful feedback – it’s a great way to collect honest intel from customers. Furthermore, invaluable insights can be gained through your customer’s interactions with your business: what they’re looking for, how frequently and on which channels.
Thanks to the power of AI – all companies can deliver a top quality customer experience.