Do you remember Simsimi ? Back in the day, it was one of the most popular social chatbots on the market. Users could interact with the artificial intelligence program and teach it how to respond to specific questions. It was mostly used for leisure then, but nowadays such chatbots have proved to be very useful in the small business arena.
Small businesses, particularly, often encounter challenges like a lack of staff to provide around the clock customer service. Recruitment for such positions may not be considered as an option since there are usually limited resources. A great alternative to this is to employ the service of a chatbot, a computer program that simulates the customer service experience for your clientele. Chatbots can mimic humans as they engage with customers to answer questions, pass along information or even help customers with shopping.
The utilization of technology in small businesses is always a great option, especially if you want your business to remain competitive. Some people may feel that the incorporation of chatbots can make your business seem impersonal, but the beauty of discovering the best chatbot technology is that it can be programmed to respond as you would, to the point that most people don’t even realize they’re not speaking with another human being!
Below are five of the top chatbots applications for small businesses. Take a look and see if any of these could be a good fit for your business.
#1 Messenger for Business
Most of us use Messenger for social purposes, but did you know that it is also being used as a chatbot by some businesses?
Using this platform allows you to link existing accounts, create automated replies, and utilize the chat extensions. Some businesses even incorporate automated ads for more efficient customer service and marketing. Messenger can be considered to be one of the best chatbots for your small business, since it is an app that is generally used by everyone.
However, with Messenger for Business, you may need to tweak certain features which might require the prowess of a web developer. But for those who are non-techie, there are always guides that you may use if you want to incorporate this app into your small business.
ChattyPeople is another chatbot for small businesses that is easy to manipulate. This can be integrated with Facebook and it allows users to customize bots to show images or even reply to curious users.
Both technical and non-technical people can enjoy this app since it does not require much coding. It’s simple to use, as it’s really just a matter of creating a bot that answers customer service inquiries or incorporating your bot with Shopify so you can monetize your Facebook pages. Not only that, but it’s also 100% free!
How does it work?
It allows users to connect to other platforms or social accounts through plugins. Afterwards, the said platforms open to other plugins or developers, allowing them to contribute their own plugins for others to utilize and benefit from.
I am not an IT person, but using this program, I was able to create a bot easily. There were existing guides that I was able to use to help newbies like me to create bots for their businesses or services.
-Maria, Tuxedo Impressions LLC™
Telegram is one of the top messaging apps available on the internet. Just like Messenger, you can create a bot within the application itself.
When an application allows users to open-source, third parties are capable of integrating their bots into it. Some can even create bots of their own. The Bot Father is one program that allows you to customize how your bot responds to specific inquiries, and how you can incorporate applications like YouTube and GitHub. Others may even customize notifications, reminders, alerts and the news.
The last item on the list is FlowXO. As you have seen thus far, most of the bot platforms connect to Messenger, Telegram or Slack. FlowXO connects to them all. Aside from allowing users to communicate with their colleagues, friends or even relatives, FlowXO is flexible and can work across many platforms. However, all of the features it offers come at a price, as this is a paid platform.
Through the years, technology has made it possible for the majority of our small business tasks to be automated. Chatbots are one of those developments. As ChatBot expert Murray Newlands said, "Where 10 years ago every company needed a website and fiveyears ago every company needed an app, now every company needs to embrace messaging with AI and chatbots." Chatbots are part of the future of the ever-changing face of technological influence in the small business world. Are you ready?
Do any of these programs pique your interest? Which ones do you prefer? Have you used chatbots before? What was your experience with them? Let us know through the comments below!
- Maria Kristine, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™