Applications of chatbots in B2B
Over the past years chatbots and virtual assistants have revolutionized the way organisations and consumers interact with each other. The results speak for itself and there is no doubt anymore regarding the added value of chatbots. That is why we are now at a stage where we discover more and more applications of chatbots for organisation. One area where chatbots are just starting to make their entry is in B2B. In this blog we will explore the potential and applications for chatbots in B2B.
The leading research and advisory company Gartner predicts that 30% of B2B companies will employ artificial intelligence by 2020 to automate at least one out of of their primary sales processes.
Also Elias Crum from marketing agency Marketing Guys sees chatbots as one of the four most important trends in B2B marketing for 2020.
“I think 2020 is really going to be the breakthrough of chatbots. Use the coming months to get started with a chatbot, practice and test it. You will notice that it does not happen automatically, but the experience will help you to create something beautiful.”
Alexander de Ruiter, CEO at OBI4wan sees a development on the chatbot market towards B2B applications. In a recent interview with Customerfirst Buyersguide he describes that chatbots are increasingly used within organisations for employee support. As an example of such an internal bot, he mentions PostNL. With support of OBI4wan the organisation is working on creating a chatbot environment for answering HR questions for mail deliverers.
“The bots can also help the IT service desk with resetting a password or reporting a printer failure. With chatbots, companies can offer their customers and employees service at any time of the day, including evenings and weekends. In addition, chatbots are efficient and save costs, and the employees in general are also quite enthusiastic about the bots.”
Customer Service Chatbots in B2B environments
Since the digital transformation the contact between organisations and customers is shifting more and more towards digital channels. Also in B2B, new channels such as live chat, where consumers are used to getting immediate answers to their questions, have made their entry. With chatbots organisations can ensure that website visitors are helped quickly at any time of the day.
“Today, all organisations that have digital contact with consumers or clients can benefit from chatbots, no matter the industry or type”, says Alexander de Ruiter.
The complexity of questions that organisations receive from their B2B customers is often higher than in a B2C environment. To provide solutions to these complex questions costs a lot of time and effort. To make sure customer service agents can fully focus on each case and help their clients the best possible way, it is beneficial to automate answers to the more simple questions with chatbots. As first-line customer support chatbots can also help prepare the work of service agents by requesting specific information upfront or by routing the question to the right employee.
From experience with chatbot implementations in more than 50 organisations, we see that chatbots lead to a productivity increase of up to 20% and an increase of customer happiness of up to 24% (NPS). Moreover, the automation of tasks also enables a cost reduction of up to 36%.
Helping website visitors find their way
Ideally you want to give all your website website visitors a good experience and help them reach their goal as easy and effortless as possible, no matter if they are existing customers, prospects or just looking for information on a specific topic. Chatbots can be of great value here by proactively finding out what a specific website visitor is looking for and then help him find his way from the moment he enters your homepage. Is a website visitor interested in a specific topic that you have great content on? The chatbot can direct him to the whitepaper or article on your website without going a long way round.
Lead generation chatbots
The generation of leads is one of the top priorities for B2B marketers as shown in the State of Inbound report by Hubspot. Here chatbots are of great value. By asking the right questions, a chatbot can map interesting prospects and actively steer them towards making an appointment for a product demo. You can even leave forms out of the process and let the chatbot ask relevant information such as an email address in a more natural and engaging way. If you connect your chatbot to the agenda of your sales agents, it can even automatically plan in meetings.
“AI in sales can lead to 30 percent higher conversion rates when engaging prospects or leads”, according to Gartner.
Getting started with a chatbot for your business?
There are plenty of possibilities for chatbots in organisations and the number of B2B applications will further grow. Do you have an idea how your business can profit from a chatbot? New chatbot platforms make it increasingly easy to get started with chatbots and experience the effect first hand. With our new OBI Bots Platform basically everyone in your organisation can build chatbots – no coding skills needed! Start building your first B2B bot and experience how you can scale your customer service, generate more leads and keep your customers and employees happy.