Why would you need an AI chatbot on your small business website?

Is artificial intelligence overrated? Is it necessary to have an AI chatbot set up on your small business website? Considering the size of your website and your company, should you even bother?

The short answer is that it doesn’t work for everyone, but it does work for many. Will it work for you? Let’s see.

Before we start, let’s define an AI chatbot:

Chatbots come in a range of capabilities – and prices.

Ai chatbot, small business website, lisech marketing strategy consultingOn the bottom end of the spectrum you have a simple system that draws information from your knowledge base, answers what it can, and then send any additional questions to you.

At the top end of the spectrum you have a fully AI integrated chat system, which actually learns about the visitor during the conversation by asking questions and noting the user inputs. It combines the knowledge it has been given with its ability to learn, and can carry on a reasonably intelligent conversation.

These systems then also try to get the visitor to give them their email addresses, which is then used for automated follow-ups via email, using conditional logic (meaning that which email is sent next from the list of emails on file, will depend on the user’s actions – or lack of action) of the last email sent.

For instance: You have a short series of drip feed emails telling the user about say, the applications and benefits of a specific product. After sending two emails, the system finds that the prospect is not opening the emails – so instead of continuing with the existing series, it sends an email with a totally different subject line, to see if they will open it.

And once they opened say, three emails on the same product, but didn’t buy yet, then maybe send them an email offering a limited-time discount.

The term “AI” implies infinite possibilities – but you (and your available budget) will determine how much of the available potential you tap into.

First, let’s see why AI chatbots work for many small business owners:

A visitor comes to your website. It’s a great website, and it has loads of information. Unfortunately, in our day and age of “instant gratification”…

It’s too much trouble to read through the info to find out what they want to know. Not to mention it is boring, especially if they have to dig through lists of articles in your knowledge base.

Consider this:

How many times have you received a question via email from a prospective client or customer (or tire kicker), for which the answer is on the website?

You don’t know how many more simply left, and went somewhere else – where they could have their questions answered in real time.

Also, still on the topic of instant gratification…

Why would a prospective client or customer wait a day or two for an email response when other websites are ready to give them an answer right now?

Not to mention the fact that, even if your email support is lightning fast, there is still the little matter of working hours. AI chatbots work 24/7. Humans seem to struggle with that part – unless you are willing to pay people to work shifts.

For big companies, it’s okay to do that, but as a small business owner, not so much.

Now ask yourself this:

Will having an AI chatbot prevent some visitors from leaving your website empty handed?

(keep in mind that on most websites, more than 90% of visitors just leave without even talking to you or buying anything)

If the answer to that question is yes, consider the next question:

What is the typical lifetime value of your average customer or client?

Think in terms of how much money they usually spend each time they buy, how regularly they buy, for how long the average person remains a customer or client, and what the likelihood is of that person referring another person to you during that time.

In many cases, even though the items you sell may be cheap, the total value of any buyer over the period they buy from you can be a substantial amount.

Do you have a rough estimate in your mind yet?

Now, consider this:

Every time someone leaves your website without buying from you or talking to you, that is the amount of money potentially lost.

So, let’s say you get 1,000 visitors per month to your website. 95% of them leave without contacting you.

If you can engage just 5% out of the 95%, that would double the number of leads generated online.

That’s an extra 50 leads per month.

Let’s say you can close 10% of those leads, giving you 5 new customers/clients per month

Considering the lifetime customer value of your typical customer or client…

How much would that be worth to you?

So, let’s talk about the cost of having an AI chatbot installed:

Well, it varies, depending on your needs and wants.

For instance, if you want an AI chatbot that learns from the prospect during the conversation, and then follows up via email using conditional logic, it can cost you $3,000 or more, depending on how much information the chatbot has to be programmed with out of the box.

However, if you just want to get people to contact you, and answer the basic questions of visitors to your website, it can be done for a few hundred dollars.

Of course, you can always start off simple, and upgrade it later.


Should YOU invest in an AI chatbot for your website?

It depends.

If you sell cheap trinkets to tourists, and your website doesn’t really contribute to your clientele, then we would say no.

Or if you have a website that receives say, ten visitors a month, and about one per year reaches out to contact you (and you don’t sell high ticket items to make it worthwhile)…

Again, we would say no.

However, if your lifetime customer value (in profit) is more than say, $200, and you stand to gain just one more client or customer every month from having the automated chat on your website…

Then, having a top of the line AI chatbot would not make sense, but having a basic chatbot (at a cost of a few hundred dollars) would be a smart move.

Finally, if you are wondering why we don’t have an AI chatbot on this website…

Don’t worry. we are already working on it. It will be up soon.