In the changing world of virtual assistants for business, you need to strategize for the greatest advantage in the market
When you launch a new product, you probably spend lots of time before that deliberating on market size, target audience, projected sales, and distribution channels, among other factors. When you launch a virtual assistant, you need to spend lots of time ruminating on the relevant success factors too.
There are five main reasons why you’ll need a robust virtual assistant strategy in today’s world.
The world is addicted to messaging
The latest usurper of social is messaging, and that’s the place where virtual assistants live, representing your business. It is the face of your personality and service, automatically engaging and supporting your customers.
With more users on messaging apps, interacting with their friends and businesses, it’s worth thinking about how to capture their expectations of reaching you on the platform they are already using every day.
Tracking the growth of WeChat in China, Facebook Messenger may also become the next frontier for brands to all have an “official bot” that mans and responds to queries.
Your competitors are innovating with bots
International brands such as HP, KLM and Burger King all putting their investment and marketing clout behind virtual assistants on platforms like Facebook Messenger, users will start to slowly get used to talking to bots on Messenger. They may soon have the expectation that every business has a virtual assistant that will attend to them. If you’re not there when they expect it, and only reply 72 hours later, you may already be losing out on a chance to talk to customers and also be potentially seen as lagging behind the curve.
Your customers are expecting faster responses
Increasingly, as customers have higher expectations of your business, they will also demand faster responses. Gone are the days where people are willing to wait around for a day to get a response on email.
Across all channels, the majority of consumers expect responses to their inquiries under 10 minutes. A virtual assistant can easily reply to customers based on your previous data, immediately, all day.
Labor costs are on the rise
The cost of labor is also rising and can reduce the feasibility of staffing sales or support employees to help customers round the clock. 24/7 staff can be costly to maintain, but may be extremely important to your customers. A virtual assistant is a good interim replacement, answering frequently-asked questions, and escalating further concerns if customers cannot find what they are looking for through the bot.
A chance to build your AI strategy too
A virtual assistant is also a great way to approach the topic of planning for the business’ artificial intelligence strategy. It is an accessible way to get started thinking about how to use the data that the business has gathered through the years — for example, using the past support tickets as a way to mine for topics and sentiments related to the business and its products, improving operations and product development. Following the virtual assistant experiment, the business will be more well-equipped with knowledge and other resources to pursue deeper machine learning projects and integrated AI programs that can acquire a serious competitive advantage for the business over time.
If you’d like to chat about setting up your own virtual assistant strategy, we’re always open to talking to you about what you need and how you can move it forward!