Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. In the U.S., small enterprises generate around 44% of the economic activity and are responsible for about two-thirds of new jobs in the market. They play a pivotal role in driving innovation, generating job opportunities and contributing to the GDP.
However, there are some challenges that small businesses are likely to face. Starting a business is a victory, but maintaining it is the real deal. Fortunately, there are many technologies available to help small business owners overcome these difficulties, such as chatbots!
Here we will tell you why an enterprise AI chatbot service may be the solution you are looking for to scale your small business.
The Challenges for Small Businesses
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, about 20% of small businesses fail by the end of their first year. By the end of their fifth year, 50% go under; and by the tenth year, that number rises to 80%
Surely, maintaining the business is the hardest part, and sometimes you may even need to take a step back and change your strategy. However, being aware of the possible challenges you might face is the first step of being fully prepared to overcome them. Plus, many of the most common problems can actually be solved.
Let’s dig in some of the most common issues faced by small businesses owners today:
- Limited Capacity: Small businesses operate with small teams. Managing a whole company with limited staff means that your employees may have to perform several different roles simultaneously and, most importantly, must be in synch to achieve your business goals. One of the most significant challenges faced by small businesses is labour quality. According to a study by CNBC, 52% of small businesses said that their main problem is finding the right talent.
Lack of Funding: Small enterprises are often in a less stable situation than larger companies. Many small companies rely on one client to drive the business’ revenue, and many small business owners still need another source of income to keep the business running.
- Improving Online Presence: Adapting to digital transformation can be an issue for small businesses. While large companies have specialised staff to manage digital marketing activities, small businesses have limited capacity and resources to grow their online presence, such as optimising their website or investing in paid campaigns for social media.
- Providing Top-Notch Customer Experience: A top-notch customer experience is when you surpass customer’s expectations. For example, when a business’ customer service has a personalised approach and is able to solve problems whilst being proactive to customer needs. Happy customers come back for additional purchases, engage with your business and drive word-of-mouth. However, having a proper customer service strategy can be challenging and even costly for small enterprises due to the lack of capacity.
A chatbot is a computer-generated application that automates communication between a business and its customers. They provide an interactive and user-friendly interface where users can ask questions, send information and even manage payment operations.
Today, chatbots are the fastest growing brand communication channel. Consumers prefer talking to a chatbot because it provides quick answers to their queries, and the main benefit of this technology is offering 24/7 availability and support.
Using Chatbots To Scale Your Small Business
But can chatbots operate well for small businesses?
Even though there are challenges on the way, many of the problems faced by small business owners can be fixable with chatbots. Chatbots are one of the most cost-effective tools that small enterprises can acquire. It can reduce a significant amount of work from their employees, cut expenses, boost customer satisfaction rates, and drive your small business to scale.
Let’s take a look at how chatbots can help small businesses to overcome their main challenges:
With enterprise AI chatbot service, businesses can enhance customer experience by providing prompt and personalised communication in all customer journey stages. Chatbots are also available 24/7 and, unlike human agents, they can deliver the same quality of service to all customers, which is one of the reasons why they are so helpful for companies that want to scale.
Implementing chatbots can reduce costs by up to 30%. Bots can reduce the operational expenses related to customer service, communication, sales and lead generation. Further, chatbots lessen the need of hiring large teams and save maintenance business costs. For small businesses, chatbots are an investment, as they can manage and solve several problems with no extra charges.
Without leads, small businesses’ customer acquisition can slow down, which might affect the health and growth of your business. Chatbots can be a solid way to boost small companies’ lead generation efforts. Their interactive and automated interface helps connect with potential customers quickly and nurture existing relationships. Also, every interaction with a bot generates customer data, which helps companies gather valuable information.
Access to Customer Data
As mentioned above, chatbots generate an analytical view of your customer base. By analysing your bot’s data, you have a clear vision of the user’s buying behaviours, needs, and purchase concerns. Moreover, data allows organisations to provide personalised interaction. According to Epsilon, 80% of users are more likely to complete a purchase with a personalised customer experience.
Chatbots are more than a conversation tool. They optimise and automate every step of the sales process. Bots can capture, qualify and nurture leads, process customer data, send and receive payments and offer 24/7 customer support and engagement.
A chatbot can be the greatest ally for small enterprises. Enterprise chatbot services come with features that allow small businesses to thrive and enhance their performance in all areas, from marketing to sales.
The best advice for small business owners is to look for a chatbot builder, such as FlowXO, that understands the needs of smaller organisations and can provide a beginner-friendly interface and cost-effective service that can boost business growth.
With Flow XO, you can start building your first chatbot for free.
Contact us today!