Being available around the clock for every client is a dream of a business owner. It allows you to constantly generate leads, engage potential clients, and scale your business faster than ever. But most businesses find it challenging as it can be a resource and money-intensive process. 

Well, not anymore. With AI chatbots across your website, social media channels, and other customer engagement platforms, you can be available 24/7 and do much more at a substantially lower cost. 

This blog post explains everything you need about AI chatbots and how to leverage them for your business needs. 

What is an AI chatbot? 

AI chatbot is a computer program that can mimic human  conversations. It uses machine learning, natural language processing, and other AI-driven technologies to understand the context behind a query and respond to it accordingly. 

These programs usually run within a website or an application and are trained on large data sets to handle complex queries. They can learn from previous experiences to improve over time.

Conversational AI chatbots 

Conversational AI chatbot is a subset of AI chatbots specifically built and trained on Natural language processing and language models like GPT. This training enhances its ability to understand human language, enabling it to interact effectively with business clients, web page visitors, and other customers. 

Conversational AI chatbots like Birdeye Webchat also use machine learning (ML) to analyze previous conversations and improve their response. 

Some of the most common examples of AI chatbots are Bard, Chat GPT, Claude, etc. 

How do AI chatbots work? 

AI chatbots come in various forms and are meant to work without human assistance so that businesses can free up those resources and boost productivity wherever possible. 

While all things around AI feel complicated, the AI chatbot function is pretty simple when you break it down into four major processes:

  1. Accept input: The chatbot interacts with the user (web page visitor, content developer, sales executive, existing customers, and so on) to accept their input. Most chatbots can be programmed to initiate conversations. 
  2. Analyze input: The chatbot then analyzes the content and tries to understand the context and intent behind the query. 
  3. Scans existing knowledge: The existing knowledge set can be predefined rules, FAQs formatted, natural language processing ability, and machine learning ability. 
  4. Respond: The AI chatbot then responds to the user based on its understanding of the input and the existing knowledge it has. 

AI chatbots are only as good as the data set you train them on and how well you leverage their capabilities for your needs. 

How do AI chatbots improve business performance? 

AI chatbots can help businesses improve efficiency, save customer waiting time, provide quicker resolution for time-sensitive queries, reduce resource dependency, be available to clients during off-shifts, and boost customer satisfaction. 

Most business-customer interactions are happening on digital channels, and the faster you can answer customer queries, the better. 

AI chatbots can revolutionize how you do business. Some of their key benefits for your business include: 

Improved efficiency 

Implementing AI-driven chatbots can help you save time resources, and answer customer questions succinctly and efficiently. This vastly improves the overall efficiency of your business. 

24/7 availability 

You never know when a customer will visit your website or send a message on a social media platform. An automated response based on predetermined rules can help you address queries around the clock and eliminate wait times.

A recent Birdeye study determined that 30% of consumers would not select a local business that doesn’t respond to a message within an hour. So, this functionality can be a crucial competitive advantage. 

Ability to serve more customers 

Human-operated customer support teams have a maximum capacity for serving customers. AI chatbots can significantly improve that limit and help you serve more customers without increasing the resources. 

“We also have found that Birdeye’s AI-driven WebChat significantly reduces the number of phone calls our team has to handle because they can serve more than one person at a time.”
- Steven Greer, COO of Genesis Counseling Center

Increased customer engagement 

Your website and social media platforms serve as digital storefronts for your business. Customers are more likely to engage with them if a chatbot is ready to serve them. AI chatbots specifically improve customer engagement times as there is no wait time, and customers can have conversations instantly. 

Conversational AI chatbots specifically engage customers better as they can mimic human conversations and put customers at ease with a more personalized response. 

Improved lead generation volume 

With improved engagement practices, AI chatbots can help your business capture more leads across all digital interaction channels, such as websites, social media, mobile applications, etc. Customers are also more likely to leave their information after a meaningful conversation than just a visit. 

Higher ROI with reduced operational costs

Implementing AI chatbots generates more leads, improves customer engagement, reduces wait times, and improves productivity. This helps you generate a higher ROI across customer acquisition and retention campaigns. 

Enhanced customer experience 

With AI chatbots, you can make your customers feel seen and important. Answering their queries quickly and improving the quality of their interaction (compared to non-AI chatbots) translates to an enhanced customer experience across the board. 

Customers appreciate experiences similar to interacting with Chat GPT when engaging with local businesses. 

"I think when somebody is trying to chat on the website, they don't want to talk on the phone. They just want to know the answers to their questions. Messaging and Webchat make it easy for us to respond to customers and get them the answers they need. And if the chat goes inactive or they leave the website, the conversation then switches to text messaging. This has saved us a lot of business because we can always get back to potential customers in just a few minutes."
- Nick Pulizzano, COO, TruForce Pest Control

Data-driven insights 

One of the significant advantages of leveraging AI in chatbot programs is that it can collect, analyze, and derive insights from customer interactions. These can serve as valuable data points in designing marketing campaigns, implementing purchase cycle decisions, product development, customer support decisions, etc. 

How to use AI chatbots for business? 

Businesses can use AI chatbots by embedding a live chat widget in their website or mobile application. If you want a tailored solution, you can also customize existing chatbot solutions to suit your needs. 

Here are some popular ways to use AI chatbots for your business:

  1. Customer support AI chatbots 
  2. Lead generation and nurturing AI chatbots for sales and marketing
  3. Recruitment-related AI chatbots 
  4. Personalized recommendations AI chatbots 
  5. Conversational AI chatbots for social media 
  6. Omnichannel supports AI chatbots 
  7. Appointment booking and confirmation AI chatbots 
  8. Customer feedback collection and analysis AI chatbots

Let us take a look at each of these ways to use AI chatbots in business in detail. 

1. Customer support AI chatbots

How well you provide customer support to your existing and potential customers can have a vast impact on their overall experience with your business. By implementing AI-driven chatbots, businesses can:

  • Provide 24/7 support to customers.
  • Instantly address FAQs and enable customers to solve simpler issues via the AI chat agent.
  • Reduce the burden on human agents and allow them to focus on complex and critical issues. 
  • Allow the human agent to improve their responses with AI-driven solutions like BirdAI for response rephrasing, response translation, etc. 
Image shows how Birdeye Webchat works
Pro Tip: The ability to extend self-service to customers can be a game-changer for businesses. But the key here is to work with the right conversational AI to improve customer experience that can mimic a human experience and adequately assist the customer. 

Medlink Georgia implemented Birdeye’s chatbot solution to answer the most commonly asked questions so their staff can attend to more pressing patient needs. This has tremendously improved the patient experience for Medlink Georgia’s clients. 

2. Lead generation and nurturing AI chatbots for sales and marketing

Local businesses spend a large portion of their marketing budget to run paid campaigns to drive traffic to their website. It’s crucial for them to make the most of cutting-edge tools like AI chatbots powered by GPT technology to maximize their investment. 

With AI chatbots, businesses can convert web visitors into leads, capture lead information, and nurture them in their purchase cycle. 

"Before Birdeye, the only way we could capture website leads was through a form. Now with Webchat, we've received over 1,400 leads. Webchat and business texting have become an essential part of our day-to-day business."
- Marisa Endy-Vanchieri, Direct of Social Marketing

Recommend reading: How to use AI chatbots to convert leads on autopilot

Implementing AI chatbots on your website can help you:

  • Engage visitors when they land on your website and assist them by answering questions on products, services, and business operations. 
  • Provide recommendations to help them with purchase decisions based on the input they gave during initial conversations. 
  • Guide potential customers to valuable resources such as guides, informational videos, and tutorials to engage them further. 
  • Offer customized discount codes to convince customers to make a purchase. 
  • Convince a customer about to abandon a shopping cart with discount codes, product recommendations, or customer service if they need to address any queries. 

Conversational AI chatbots like Birdeye Webchat have better success in lead generation and nurturing since they mimic human interactions. When customers converse in their natural language, it eases their discomfort, making them more likely to close the deal. 

Finding talent can be challenging in this competitive market. When you advertise a new position, most candidates visit your website. Sometimes, people who follow your business may regularly visit your website to check for open positions. In both cases, there is an excellent opportunity to capture their information and engage their interest. 

AI chatbots can help your HR team not miss out on a single good candidate by providing information on the latest job openings, work culture, and HR contact information. They can also help in scheduling interviews and capturing information from candidates, ensuring no promising applicant is overlooked. 

4. Personalized recommendations AI chatbots

Converting web visitors into customers can be challenging, especially since you or your team isn’t there to spot confusion, apprehension, or doubts. But you can have your AI chatbot swoop in and engage the customer. Businesses can provide an enhanced shopping experience with personalized recommendations using AI chatbots. 

AI chatbots can help dispel customer doubts by monitoring customer activity such as products viewed, pages visited, or search queries in the session. Then, when the visitor stalls or becomes inactive, the AI agent can step in and offer help.

With the large data set they are trained on, AI chatbots can provide highly personalized service, including product recommendations. These can only improve as customers interact, provide feedback, and request for more information. 

5. Conversational AI chatbots for social media

Social selling is a growing phenomenon. Customers increasingly use social media to discover new brands, engage with them, or even purchase directly from Facebook Shops or Instagram stores. 

This breeds a growing need for businesses to deploy conversational AI chatbots across these channels to capture leads, converse with customers to dispel doubts, recommend products, and more. 

Using conversational AI chatbots, you can respond to customers instantly, direct them to the right resource, and seamlessly process transactions until the point of payment collection. 

6. Omnichannel support AI chatbots 

Most businesses have multiple locations and multiple customer interaction channels like SMS, website, social media, and mobile application. Studies show that customers use four or more channels to interact with brands. 

AI chatbots help businesses provide a consistent experience across all these channels by deploying an omnichannel support AI chatbot. 

These AI chatbots work on channels simultaneously and can collate customer conversations into a single inbox, learn from previous interactions, and provide a cohesive response to clients. 

7. Appointment booking and confirmation AI chatbots 

Businesses that allow customers to book appointments see a spike in confirmed revenue instantly. And the easier this process is for customers, the more appointments you can generate. 

You can customize open AI chatbots with GPT to interact with customers when they visit your website, collect appointment requests, confirm appointments, and allow customers to share personal information. 

This especially comes in handy for healthcare businesses to collect patient information via HIPAA-compliant intake forms and confirm slots. 

Using AI in healthcare via chatbots can significantly improve customer experience, allow staff to handle on-ground issues, and reduce the risk of dropped leads. 

“Through Birdeye Webchat, our website visitors can quickly get information from the automated attendant, Robin, or our agents precisely what they need. They do not have to go through the website and look for the specific pages with the information they need now. Webchat helps immensely by answering burning questions even at 2 a.m., and getting them the information they need helps to jump-start things. “

- Steve Greer, COO - Genesis Counseling Center

Learn how Genesis Counseling Center uses Birdeye’s AI-driven web chat solution to boost the patient experience. 

8. Customer feedback collection and analysis AI chatbots 

Customer feedback is the holy grail of business success. The more you know and learn, the faster you grow. However, collecting feedback from hundreds of customers can be a challenging task.

So, businesses can leverage AI chatbots to send pulse surveys to customers, interact with them based on their feedback, and understand more about their experience. Conversational AI chatbots can collect in-depth customer feedback by conversing with them in natural language. 

You can also train your customer service AI chatbots on this data and help them answer better future queries. 

Generate more leads with AI chatbots

Want to see the impact of Birdeye on your business? Watch the Free Demo Now.

How to choose the right AI chatbot for your business ?

You can choose the right AI chatbot for your business by analyzing its compatibility with multiple customer interaction channels, response templates available, data collection and reporting ability, user-friendliness, and flexibility in allowing human oversight. 

These are essential factors and can help you choose the solution when hundreds pop up daily. 

Let us explore the factors briefly in this section. 

1. Compatibility with multiple channels 

Customers expect omnichannel support and do not appreciate having to repeat the same thing across different channels. So, the AI chatbot solution you choose must be able to handle conversations on SMS, social media, Whatsapp, Website, and your application to name a few. 

2. User-friendliness

The AI chatbot is meant to simplify communication, not complicate it. User-friendliness must rank high on your selection criteria so that it is easy to set up, easy for customers to use, and has a pleasing UI to attract customers. 

3. Flexibility of human oversight

AI is a technology that is constantly evolving and learning on the job. Leaving it alone to handle customers is not a good idea and that is why you need a solution that allows for human oversight. Whenever needed, human agents must be able to step in, rephrase AI responses, and guide AI in the right direction. 

4. Data collection and analyzing ability 

Birdeye’s AI Robin can scrap and collect data from business profiles, training modules, and existing customer conversations. This is essential so the AI chatbot can provide your customers with the correct and comprehensive solution. 

How well the AI chatbot collects and analyzes data will make all the difference in customer experience. 

5. CRM integrations 

For a seamless conversation, the AI chatbot should know customer information, purchase history, payment methods, and other vital information. This means that the solution must integrate well with your existing CRM systems. 

Checking for CRM and other tool integrations can help you narrow down the best AI chatbot for your business. 

6. Reporting ability 

As the AI chatbot will eventually be responsible for a majority of customer interactions, it is essential that businesses can drive meaningful insights from the data collected. Choose a chatbot that allows you to analyze and generate reports for business improvement. 

7. Onboarding and supporting ability 

Implementing a new solution is always tricky for a business, especially regarding AI, which needs a lot of training and ongoing support. Choosing a company that provides comprehensive onboarding and training support can go a long way in a successful AI chatbot implementation. 

8. Conversational tone 

Customers are likely to continue the conversation if the AI chatbot uses a neutral yet friendly tone. Since this is a significant factor in the success of your AI chatbot solution, testing this before onboarding can help make the right decision. 

9. Pricing

Above all the other factors, the best AI chatbot for your business is the one that fits into your budget and does not strain your resources. While AI chatbots can seem expensive, measuring the trade-off between leads generated, increased customer retention, and reduced resource requirements can help you choose the right solution. 

Best AI Chatbots for customer support and business growth in 2024 

There are hundreds of AI chatbots in the market, but not all are well-suited for business needs. We have compiled a list of the top AI chatbots you can leverage for your business growth.

The top AI chatbots for business growth in 2024 are:

  1. Birdeye 
  2. Kommunicate
  3. Watson Assistant 
  4. Intercom
  5. Zendesk answer bot 

1. Birdeye

Birdeye is a top-rated platform and market leader in customer experience solutions. We have many solutions that help customers grow their reputation, social media presence, manage customer feedback, and more. 

Our AI chatbot is one of the best chatbots for businesses, helping them serve their customers to the fullest. 

Image shows a sample screen of how to use Birdeye Webchat to be available 24/7 to their customers.

Birdeye Webchat is an AI-driven solution that allows businesses to supercharge customer interactions and use conversational AI tools to provide human-like responses to their clients. 

With Birdeye AI chatbot, businesses can:

  • Handle a large volume of customer queries in less time
  • Convert website visitors into customers
  • Provide excellent customer service via the conversational AI chatbot with GPT-integration
  • Capture leads by engaging customers 
  • Improve overall customer engagement time on the website 
  • Use BirdAI writing assistant to craft professional and impactful customer responses, similar to Chat GPT AI chatbot to assist your team. However, the built-in feature makes it easy for the team to interact with customers. 
  • Start conversations with name, phone number, and email address and integrate conversations into a unified inbox.
  • Provide 24/7 support to customers. 

Check out the pricing of Birdeye services today to know more! 

2. Kommunicate 

Image shows the landing page of AI chatbot tool - Kommunicate

Kommunicate is an AI chatbot that is essentially a mix of human and chatbot agents. It helps businesses serve customer queries and improve customer engagement on their website. You can use it on websites, email, and messenger apps like Facebook Messenger. This AI chatbot can only handle simple queries based on its knowledge base and will route all questions it cannot answer to a customer support agent. 

This AI chatbot: 

  • Helps businesses answer simple customer questions and route the complex queries to a human agent. 
  • Integrates your existing CRM and other workflow apps for a smoother application. 
  • Provides reports on customer interactions for the business to analyze and derive insights from. 
  • Has integrations with Chat GPT so that you can include the chat gpt-like responses with the Kommunicate bot itself. 

3. Watson Assistant 

Image shows the landing page of AI chatbot tool - Watson Assistant

This conversational AI chatbot assistant is a solution from IBM for businesses to improve customer experience and augment their customer support teams.

With this tool, businesses can:

  • Use Natural language processing to help customers have an interaction that mimics human responses 
  • Integrate their CRM workflows to provide a smoother customer experience 
  • Engage customers with automated responses, FAQs, and simple conversations
  • Secure and protect the privacy of their customers when they engage with the chatbot 
  • Customize the chatbot according to their branding needs. 

4. Intercom 

Image shows the landing page of AI chatbot tool - Intercom

Intercom has an AI chatbot, Fin, that can help businesses reduce the strain on their resources by answering FAQs, training on existing knowledge bases, and routing to human agents when needed. 

With Intercom’s Fin, businesses can:

  • Automate repetitive tasks such as answering FAQs, sharing contact information, or pricing. 
  • Customize workflows that offer personalized experience to customers
  • Use pre-built templates for surveys, onboarding, and customer responses. 
  • Embed the AI chatbot across multiple platforms. 

5. Zendesk Answer bot 

Image shows the landing page of AI chatbot tool - Zendesk answer bot

Zendesk answer bot is just like it sounds like. It is an faq bot that allows businesses to answer customer questions based on existing knowledge base and data across multiple channels. 

While it has standard chatbot capabilities, businesses can upgrade to conversational AI chatbot features for an additional charge. The solution allows businesses to use chatbots for simpler queries and escalate to human agents when necessary. 

Frequently asked questions on AI chatbots

How to use an AI chatbot for business?

You can use AI chatbots to streamline customer conversations, respond to customer queries, scale customer support, capture leads, and improve customer engagement for your business. 

Can I use an open AI chatbot for business?

Yes, you can use an open AI chatbot for business as long as you comply with their terms and conditions. 

How do I create a chatbot for my business?

You can create a chatbot for your business by customizing existing chatbots and training them on an existing knowledge base so that they can help your business.

Enhance customer experience with Birdeye’s conversational AI chatbots 

Conversational AI chatbot can be a game-changer for your business. You can be constantly available for your customers – capture their interest, engage them, answer queries, recommend products, and handle complaints without being there. Moreover, you can train these AI chatbots to provide a personalized human touch and improve customer experience. 

With Birdeye Webchat, you can significantly enhance the quality of customer interactions with our superior AI-driven solutions. Right from converting website visitors into leads to helping you craft professional responses and monitoring all conversations, our solutions do it all. 

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