The desire for automation has driven human civilization for centuries. The earliest known example of automation is a float regulator that was used for a water clock in Ancient Egypt way back in 270 BC. Today, we’ve got advanced software applications carrying out a wide array of structurally repetitive tasks quicker, and more efficiently than humans. The age of bots is already underway and if you’re a business owner, you need to get on board the bot train right away!
What exactly is a business bot?
A business bot is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) application that facilitates automated transactions. Business bots act as a form of universal user interface that supplements human intercommunication and can serve dozens of practical uses, ranging from managing finances and making purchases to setting up meetings and channeling information. The applications of bots, once limited to sales and customer support, have grown manifolds in the recent years to cover every business aspect that involves human interaction with products as well as services.
Bots are a growing presence in global business
Retail, media streaming, food delivery, tourism and virtually every other business you can think of has already been touched and transformed by bots. A real estate business looking to figure out which leads to prioritize? There’s now a bot called Roof Ai that uses social media to identify the leads, converses with potential customers, supplies the information they seek, and then assigns leads to the sales agents. The bot’s functions translate to immediate answering of customers’ queries, superior customer engagement and conversion rates that are way higher than human marketers.
AI bots have capabilities beyond human reach. These include impeccable data management and utilization, immediate responses, with almost no chance of analytical or communicational lapses. Unlike your human employees, bots don’t tire out, don’t suffer from occasional slowing down or distractions and are on the job round the clock. From Lyft to PayPal, Subway to Spotify, every well-known business establishment of the day is employing bots to further their business.
While the bot buzz is already on its highest note yet, it’s set to rise further in the coming years. According to Gartner, the world leader in business research and advisory, over 50 percent of the world’s businesses will be spending more money annually on bot creation than they will dish out for development of mobile apps. Considering how big a deal mobile apps are to modern day businesses, there can be no questions about the business potential of bots.
Top Reasons why your business needs bots
Every department in an enterprise needs to handle numerous repetitive and predictable tasks that are traditionally entrusted to human employees. The new age business bots can shoulder these responsibilities in a better, more efficient manner. Here are some compelling reasons you should utilize bots for your business endeavors.
Bots improve customer-enterprise communication
If you’ve tried to contact a business’s customer support via phone or their website, chances are you’re familiar with Automated Call Agents and chatbots. These AI powered bots interact with the customers, offering answers to their queries and directing them to different channels when required.
Automated Call Agents and chatbots are fully capable of carrying out complex conversations and are available to assist the customers around the clock. Interactions with the bots are less time consuming compared to traditional humans managed customer support systems. With bots on duty, customers don’t have to wait long in the queues at times of heavy call or chat traffic. Bots can also record and relay customer feedback to the designated department or personnel so you can utilize it for improving your services and customer experience.
Gartner’s reports predict a marked increase in the utilization of chatbots by global businesses in the coming years, with about 85 percent of all customer service communications expected to be carried out using chatbots by 2020. With most of the world’s businesses taking to bots for better, faster interactions, you definitely don’t want to be left behind!
If you are planning to build a Bot for your business and want to know the procedure of building a bot you can head to this comprehensive article on “How to Build a Bot”.
Bots can improve risk management and security
Modern businesses are required by the laws of the land to abide by a number of internal and externals regulations. If you’re an enterprise involved in manufacturing any form of consumer goods, you’re expected to fulfil the compliance requirements for the movement of materials. You’re required to ensure timely declaration of your stocks and share your manufacturing plan with the regulating bodies. Similarly, an IT unit is required to run periodic risk assessments, comply with the norms of IRDA, GST, TRAI, SoX and a handful of other regulating authorities.
The use of bots eliminates human errors which can have severe repercussions for your business. Bots can create and maintain records with impeccable accuracy, speed up the review process and eliminate the risk of compliance violations. With risk and compliance bots, you can monitor all business activities and always have an eye open for cybersecurity threats, breaches and data leaks, all of which are a big concern for modern day business owners.
Bots are a valuable tool for executing financial functions
When it comes to finance, there are plenty of common operations that fall under the sphere of automation. Using financial bots can help carry out basic accounting tasks, aid financial planning as well as external reporting in a speedy, systemized manner. Financial activities like journal entries, managing fixed asset accounts, account allocation and reconciliation are all tasks that can be performed in an easier and more time and labor efficient waysimply by using bots.
Bots ensure smoother flow of materials in the supply chain
A supply chain is essentially the backbone of any enterprise that’s engaged in material production and sale. Ensuring a seamless flow of individuals, resources, technology and activities for creation of the final product can be a complicated task. With bots involved, the task can be much simpler and easier to execute, that too, in much less time.
Using supply chain bots in procurement, distribution, inventory, shipping and logistics systems can significantly improve communication and connectivity across different points in the supply chain. Your supply chain will move faster, with virtually no possibility of encountering pit falls.
Bots are a boon to human resource management
Your employees are one of your biggest assets and their management, one of your most crucial responsibilities as a business owner. Management of human resources is a process that involves plenty of tasks that bots can help expedite and make easier and less demanding on the human operatives. Just think of the way your HR manager screens and recruits personnel. The process typically involves asking pre-determined questionnaire related to personal details, qualifications and professional experience. An HR bot can easily manage these tasks and reduce the load on your HR manager. The bot will also help answer the job seekers’ queries and help wean out those not suited for or interested in the position.
An HR bot will also be a valuable ally to your existing employees. Instead of direct communication with the HR manager, the employees can seek and share information and updates through the HR bot at any time of the day. If you’re a small to medium size business with one HR manager and operations running 24X7, a bot can be a big help to employees whose work timings might not coincide with the HR manager’s.
Bots can improve marketing and multiply your sales
For years, email was one of the most useful means for marketers to reach out to the customers. But that’s changed. Most customers don’t even open the marketing emails any more. What’s worse? They’re likely to mark your promotional email as spam if they don’t like a particular offer or happen to come across it at a less than suitable time. And then there’s the heightened risks of marketing emails containing malware that makes a lot of people hit ‘Delete’ without even viewing the message within!
A messenger bot or chatbot side steps the issues with plain old marketing emails and offers a wonderful way you can reach out to the customers with your promotional material and marketing messages. Chatbots are frictionless. The customers can read your message and check out your products without needing to leave the Messenger. Chatbots allow you to get creative with your marketing strategies, make them more fun and engaging for the customers, and better customer engagement is bound to translate into higher sales numbers.
So, now you know of a few ways that bots can help your business, but there are plenty more, some of which are yet to be discovered! Bots can be customized to alleviate the burden of every business-related task you can think of. They can take the load offyouremployees, improve their work life and offer a means to engage your customers in ways never thought possible. And they’re not even done evolving!
Your business, same as every other across the globe needs to hire the bots to remain relevant in the rapidly changing business landscape. Make the smart move – embrace the bots revolution and power your business to whole new level.