By Blair Williams, founder of MemberPress

Businesses around the world are using automation in one way or another to generate revenue and improve each customer’s experience. One of the most popular uses of automation is chatbot technology. Blogs and owners of e-commerce storefronts around the world are using this technology to grow their businesses.

It’s hard to deny the advantages of using artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots to communicate with customers. This tactic has improved the way we can guide the customer’s experience when they are making a purchase, browsing your website or signing up for your newsletter. Let’s look at a few different ways you can use chatbots on your website for happier customers and consistent business growth.

Improve the customer onboarding process.

Have you ever signed up for a newsletter, online course or membership site, only to have no idea what to do after the company took your money? Sadly, this happens often with business owners who don’t have a good onboarding process for getting new subscribers or buyers in the loop. The result of this transaction is a bad experience that will surely leave a sour taste in the mouth of your subscriber.

Chatbots can help bridge the gap between new customers and companies in several ways. One of the most common tactics for onboarding someone who signs up is by using a virtual chat assistant to guide the user through the basic steps of setting up their profile and getting started, Additionally, you can program links to your tutorials in text format through your chatbot. If the user has more questions about signing up, they have the resources available to find the answer to their problem, thus improving their experience on your website.  

Make smart product recommendations.

The use of algorithm-based product recommendations to improve your user experience is widespread; I would bet you’ve come across it at least once without even realizing it. Let’s talk about Amazon and its product recommendations tab and “frequently purchased together” block on each product page. Amazon is able to use its algorithm to figure out what customers may like based on their past purchases combined with the data they have on previous customers and the things they’ve bought in the past.

You can use a similar tactic on your website, but with a chatbot. If someone is browsing your site, send a chatbot popup that automatically recommends an item based on their past purchases. If the customer is brand new, offer potential products by analyzing the items they’ve searched for or what topics they are browsing on your blog. 

Consumers love the idea of personalization. When a business relates to them by offering them products that fit their purchase history, it builds a connection between the consumer and the company. As a result, you’ll likely see more repeat purchases and better customer experience.

Solve customer issues in real time.

When someone has a question or issue on a website, they expect an answer fast. This is particularly true if the consumer is on the verge of making a purchase. If you wait too long to answer, it could be too late to convert the customer. 

Fortunately, it’s possible to answer many customer questions or issues with a chatbot. Many businesses that use this technology have a tier system that they use for questions or concerns -- generally, the lower the tier, the more common the issue. For example, you might consider a question about a product feature tier one, and your chatbot can handle this question by giving them an immediate response, which improves their experience and can boost your revenue. A higher tier question may require looping in an experienced customer service rep, but your chatbot can let the customer know help is on the way so they are less likely to get frustrated.

It’s hard to deny the success of automation in today’s business landscape. As we discover new ways to improve the way our customers experience our storefronts and content, we know that artificial intelligence is going to play a huge role. For now, chatbots are providing serious results for businesses all around the world. If you’ve been on the fence about applying this technology to your website, now it a great time to get started. Your customers will thank you for it.

Blair Williams is the founder of MemberPress, an all-in-one membership website software for WordPress.