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We can no longer deny it: the chatbot trend is under way. More and more people every day are being exposed to conversational agents in all sorts of sectors, from cooking chef chatbots on Facebook Messenger to Amazon’s Alexa in our living rooms.

Some businesses doubt chatbots are a real opportunity. Others doubt consumers even want to use them. Others also doubt chatbots will be part of our lives for much longer.

In this article, we will go over four research-backed data points that show why businesses need to look into chatbots today. If you find yourself doubting the chatbot trend, this article is for you.

Chatbots save businesses money

The data: by 2022, automated messages in the healthcare and banking could save $8 billion in costs across global businesses every year (Juniper Research).

Automating enquiries is the low hanging fruit chatbots are easily capable of picking up right now. It is widely assumed 80% of business enquiries are repetitive and require the same answers. Chatbots can pick these up and answer them automatically, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Juniper research mentioned above focused on the banking and healthcare sectors but it is easy to extrapolate the savings chatbots could bring to other global sectors.

The lowdown: chatbots help businesses save money by automating repetitive tasks.

Consumers want businesses to use chatbots

The data: Although only 57% of consumers know what a chatbot is, over a third (35%) want to see more companies using chatbots to solve their queries (ubisend research).

Automating incoming queries not only save businesses money, but they also make consumers a happier. In the ubisend research above, consumers stated chatbots as the best way to ‘receive an instantaneous answer’ (69%).

Consumers now expect instantaneity from companies. We no longer want to wait two to three business days for an answer to our questions — we want it now.

The lowdown: chatbots satisfy our desire for instant personal care. Research shows a majority of consumers who have experienced this level of instantaneity are delighted and want more.

Consumers are happy to talk to robots

The data: 40% of consumers say it does not matter whether they are talking to a human or a robot, as long as they get help quickly and easily (HubSpot).

When it comes to consumer-facing chatbots, businesses tend to fear the impact of losing the human touch. The argument is that if your customers are talking to chatbots instead of people, they will quickly figure it out and (for some reason) hate you for it.

The data above shows this perception is mostly wrong. Most people do not care who or what answers them, as long as they get the answer. This HubSpot finding is confirmed by ubisend’s research which shows 19% of consumers do not believe having a human interaction is important when talking to business.

The lowdown: consumers want help, they do not care how you do it. The faster they get the help they want, the more they will love you for it. Chatbots are the way forward when it comes to instant, on-demand, help.

Chatbots are a new income stream

The data: Consumers would be willing to spend an average of £314.74 through a chatbot (ubisend research).

Chatbots are not just about saving money by automating tasks and servicing customers quicker. They are also about increasing revenue and opening new revenue-driving channels.

The research shows consumers are more comfortable than many realise when purchasing through a chatbot. Digging through the data also shows the younger generation is even more comfortable. The 26 to 36-year-olds are willing to spend 52% more than their elders, up to £481.15.

The lowdown: businesses have a lot to gain from automating the repetitive tasks. They also have a lot to gain from opening a new stream of income. Consumers are beginning to turn to chatbots and the first businesses to meet them there will be in the driving seat.