Understanding the Advantages of SMS Chatbot
Published: May 8, 2019
Have you ever found yourself frustrated on a phone call with customer service, only to be greeted by a robotic voice that couldn't understand your issue? Or have you ever been overwhelmed by a flood of emails or messages from customers, making it difficult to keep up with the demand for immediate responses?
These are common challenges that businesses face in today's fast-paced world, where customers expect instant gratification and businesses struggle to keep up. That's where SMS chatbots come in.
These intelligent virtual assistants are revolutionizing customer service by providing real-time support and personalized engagement, all through a simple text message. As businesses navigate the complexities of digital transformation, SMS bots have emerged as a powerful tool to improve efficiency, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive growth.
Let’s take a closer look at the role of chatbot SMS in today's business landscape and how they are shaping the future of customer engagement.
What Is An SMS Chatbot?
A lot of companies in eCommerce, financial services, healthcare, and more industries have already started utilizing SMS chatbots to handle customer questions and responses. In principle, it’s an ideal way of driving customer engagement without creating additional third-party software. This mobile marketing trend has taken the world by storm, and for good reason.
The advantage of an SMS AI bot is that it takes the human factor out of the equation. This means it can respond to multiple customers simultaneously, as opposed to humans who can handle one customer at a time. Whether it's customer service, qualifying SMS leads, or chat commerce, they come in handy in more than one way.
Moreover, chatbots are both cost and time-effective. The bigger question here is how can one create and implement one for a business.
To start, there are two ways to approach this—creating an SMS text bot from scratch by yourself or using third-party tools for assistance. If you are building pne from the ground up, you will need to develop your own scripts for the chatbot.
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Third-party tools, on the other hand, have an existing database of scripts you can use. In either case, you will still need to customize the scripts to better adapt them to your needs. And with so many applications and services available, skipping the hassle of creating one is probably a good idea.
Upon creating it, make sure to thoroughly test it out before implementing it. You need a fully functioning software application before using it to interact with customers. A glitchy or unresponsive SMS bot can discourage customers from using it and decrease engagement.
Therefore, before delivering the final product, ensure its working stability through a prototype tool. This will give you an idea of what your finished product will look like and what you can improve.
How Does Chatbot SMS Work?
The customer sends an SMS message to the chatbot's phone number or short code.
The bot receives the message and uses NLP to analyze the message and understand the customer's intent.
It retrieves relevant information or data from its database and formulates a response based on the customer's inquiry.
The bot sends a response back to the customer through SMS.
If necessary, the chatbot may ask follow-up questions to clarify the customer's inquiry or request additional information.
It may also provide recommendations or suggest actions that the customer can take to resolve their issue or inquiry.
The bot may update the customer's profile or record their interaction in a database for future reference.
It may also escalate the conversation to a human agent if it is unable to resolve the customer's issue or if the customer requests to speak with a live agent.
Why Use Text Chatbots?
Customer engagement has always been the driving force behind every successful business endeavor. Traditionally this was handled by people—and it still is for the most part despite the popularity of text bots.
But, due to the increasing number of customer inquiries, the process of conversational marketing can get rather overwhelming, putting a huge strain on companies. Human effort simply cannot efficiently deal with all that communication—this is where bots take the stage.
Chatbots provide a modern solution to this problem. These are computer programs that can simulate human-like conversations using an existing database of interactions. You’ll come across them on apps, websites, communication platforms, and so on. Text message marketing also involves them in practice.
SMS is a ubiquitous technology, available on almost every mobile phone, making it a highly accessible platform for businesses to reach their customers.
They can provide 24/7 assistance to customers without the need for human intervention, allowing for quick and convenient responses to inquiries.
Handling large volumes of messages and inquiries without experiencing any lag or downtime makes text messages highly scalable for businesses of all sizes.
Implementing chatbot SMS can be much more cost-effective than hiring additional customer service staff to handle inquiries, as they can handle a large number of inquiries at once.
With bots, you can meet the unique needs of customers and provide a more personalized SMS marketing experience for them.
SMS AI bots allow you to streamline your customer service operations by automating routine tasks and inquiries, freeing up your staff to focus on more complex tasks.
7. Increased Engagement
Businesses can send texts to customers on a more frequent basis, providing them with valuable information and updates in real time.
8 . Analytics
Thanks to these conversations, you can gain valuable insights into customer behavior. Armed with this data, you can track conversion rates, work on generating leads, analyze customer conversations, and understand which communication channels to expand on.
How Much Does An SMS AI Bot Cost?
The cost can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the chatbot, the features and functionalities required, and the vendor or service provider chosen. Consider the following cost components when implementing chatbot SMS:
Development And Setup Costs
The initial cost of developing and setting up an SMS bot can vary depending on the vendor or service provider, the complexity of the bot, and the features and functionalities required. This cost may include hiring developers, designers, or consultants to create and implement the bot.
Maintenance And Hosting Costs
Once the bot is set up, ongoing maintenance and hosting costs will be incurred. This includes server costs, software upgrades, bug fixes, and ongoing support and maintenance.
Text message bots usually charge per message sent or received. The cost per message can vary depending on the country, region, and service provider. In some cases, the messaging costs may be bundled into a monthly subscription fee.
If the SMS bot needs to be integrated with other systems or platforms, there may be additional integration costs to consider.
Do You Need to Create a Text Chatbot?
If you're a business looking to improve your customer support operations and engage with customers more efficiently, an SMS AI bot service could be a valuable addition to your toolkit. However, you don't necessarily need to create your bot from scratch. Here are some reasons why:
Building an SMS text bot from scratch can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, requiring a significant investment of time and money. However, by using a chatbot service, you can quickly and easily implement one without the need for extensive development or technical expertise.
On top of that, creating one from scratch can also be expensive, requiring the hiring of developers, designers, and consultants. But if you resort to a service, you can leverage pre-built templates and pre-existing integrations, reducing the cost of development and implementation.
Access to Expertise
A chatbot service will typically have a team of experts who specialize in their development and implementation. This way, you can access this expertise and ensure that it's optimized for performance and customer satisfaction.
The service can handle large volumes of messages and inquiries, making it highly scalable, which can be difficult to achieve when building a bot from scratch.
An SMS chatbot service will also offer advanced features and functionalities, such as natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and machine learning. These can help provide a more personalized and efficient AI customer experience.
6 Best SMS Bot Builders
Twilio is a cloud communication platform that offers a bpt builder with advanced features like natural language processing and machine learning. It also offers integrations with other popular platforms like Salesforce and Zendesk.
Dialogflow is a Google-owned platform that offers an easy-to-use text message bot builder with pre-built templates and integrations with messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Slack.
MobileMonkey is a chatbot builder that specializes in SMS and Facebook Messenger bots. It provides a drag-and-drop interface and pre-built templates to help businesses build their chatbots quickly and easily.
Tars is a conversational AI platform that offers a text message chatbot builder with advanced features like lead capturing and analytics, as well as integrations with platforms like Zapier and Hubspot.
Landbot is a no-code chatbot builder that offers one with pre-built templates and integrations.
Flow.ai is a conversational AI platform that offers a text chatbot builder with advanced features like natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and machine learning.
Top Text Message Chatbot Examples
H&M uses an SMS AI bot to provide personalized styling advice and outfit recommendations to its customers. It asks customers about their style preferences, budget, and occasion, and then makes outfit suggestions accordingly.
This popular beauty retailer uses an SMS bot to provide customers with customized product recommendations and beauty tips. It inquires about their skin type, makeup preferences, and favorite brands, and then suggests products based on answers.
Domino's uses a text chatbot to allow customers to place orders, track deliveries, and receive special offers. It can handle complex orders and payment processing, making it easy for customers to order their favorite pizza.