Most innovations come and go quickly, barely leaving a trace. But some technologies appear to shake up the way that whole industries operate. Chatbots are of the latter kind.
The first chatbot technology utilizing natural language processing was designed at MIT back in the 1960s. Most end users, however, only started seeing chatbots appear on websites and in apps in the 2010s.
There’s no doubt that chatbots are changing customer experiences for B2C and B2B companies. It’s becoming the norm to be greeted by virtual assistants instead of human agents and expect an instant response at any time.
It’s clear that chatbots as a technology are here to stay. They are valuable for both companies and consumers. Since they’ve now been around long enough, it’s also possible to analyze some key chatbot statistics that should help create new sales strategies for the future.
A Few Quick Answers About Chatbots Overall
It’s estimated that the conversational AI market, which chatbots are a part of, will grow at over 20% per year, from $6.8 billion in 2021 to $18.4 billion in 2026.
Companies benefit from using chatbots because they can reduce the number of human agents and decrease their customer support costs. By 2023, banks will save up to $7.3 billion on customer service costs due to using chatbots, while the insurance sector will save around $1.3 billion.
Chatbots make websites seem more dynamic and lively. They also invite action by featuring a familiar “messaging app” interface. There are now over 5 billion active users of messaging apps. This means that a messaging app interface is, in some way, the most user-friendly interface of all.
When it comes to countries where chatbots are the most popular, the U.S. is first with 36%, followed by India with 11%, and Germany with 4%.
In terms of companies, 24% of large businesses already use chatbots, and so do 15% of mid-sized companies and 16% of small businesses.
According to the Chatbots Magazine, the U.S. alone can save up to $23 billion by automating tasks with chatbots.
Chatbots are, without doubt, one of the biggest optimization opportunities of our time.
Statistics for Chat-Related Benefits
There are a few reasons for why B2B websites supported by intelligent chatbots work better. For example, customers really like the 24-hour service and how they can get instant answers to simple questions without having to scroll through the website or wait in line for a customer representative.
Increasingly, customers prefer to talk to chatbots — 34% said they would rather talk to a chatbot than a human agent in an ecommerce setting.
Such changes would benefit both companies and consumers tremendously, saving about 2.5 billion customer service hours by 2023.
Chatbot Statistics for Consumers
Another important aspect to consider is the demographics of chatbot users. In 2022, 70% of white-collar workers are expected to interact with chatbots on a daily basis. According to surveys by Humley, 43% of online banking users prefer to resolve issues through chatbots — a solution that barely existed 10 years ago!
For millennials, chatbots are even more natural, with 67% of them ready to buy from a brand using a chatbot right now.
At the same time, there are clearly some areas for improvement as 47.5% of US adults think that too many chatbot answers remain unhelpful.
Company-Specific Chatbot Statistics
In the business world, it isn't fair to say that chatbots will replace people. Instead, they will make people more effective by taking care of the low-level high-volume conversations — especially as customer support demand increases with the general rise in ecommerce.
However, most chatbots (41%) are currently used in sales, followed by customer support (37%) and marketing (17%).
Overall, 57% of executives think that chatbots are a way to provide visitors with personalized attention. And almost 40% of startup founders believe that chatbots are going to be the main AI application of the next five years.
Currently, the two types of chatbot and AI engagement used are declarative (or task-oriented) and conversational (or data-driven and predictive). Up to 77% of chatbots today mainly provide customer support and assist with after-sales processes.
In banking, chatbots are expected to take over 75-90% of online client interactions as early as this year. The chatbot industry is really taking over all kinds of businesses with lightning speed.
How to Enhance Chatbots with Artificial Intelligence
Most off-the-shelf chatbots come with some sort of rudimentary AI built-in. They can often reply to keywords, suggest a few options to be selected, and ask for structured information. In other words, chatbots are good at dealing with repetitive tasks but not at solving customers' unique needs.
On the other hand, salespeople are better at engaging customers and understanding their unique requirements.You might also have your BDRs engage website visitors in real time. The problem is that BDRs rarely know which visitors are worth their time. They don’t know which visitors have high purchase intent and which are on the website for other reasons.
The perfect solution to this problem would be a sales qualification tool that would assess every visitor’s buyer intent even before it gets to your BDRs — a tool like Lift AI.
Lift AI is the most accurate buyer intent solution on the market today. This platform is powered by a unique machine-learning model trained on billions of data points and more than 14 million live sales engagements.
As a result, Lift AI is able to measure the buyer intent of every single visitor on your website, even if they are anonymous (up to 98% of your traffic) and haven’t been recorded in your CRM tools before.
Once you install Lift AI, it will detect visitors with the highest buyer intent (averages about 9% of your traffic) and connect them to your BDRs through the chat platform you already use. Visitors with lower scores would be delegated to a nurturing bot or contained bot experience.
The magic of Lift AI is really in the numbers. Customers have reported increasing their chat conversions anywhere from 2 to 10 times in just 90 days. Here’s a testimonial from PointClickCare which grew its conversions by 400% using Lift AI.
Looking at the chatbot statistics above, you can see that the importance of chatbots will continue to grow for years to come. So it’s critical to establish how chatbots can help you build a stronger and more efficient sales strategy today.