AI Chatbots: A New Income Stream For Digital Agencies & Web Designers

Understand how AI chatbots can be a game-changer for your digital or web design agency in this blog, from enhancing customer service to boosting revenue.

Malin Svensson

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Business Development

Malin Svensson

Malin Svensson

Hook & Hold

Malin Svensson is a chatbot developer and conversation designer. She runs a conversational marketing agency called Hook & Hold, and has developed AI chatbots for a wide range of customers, typically in the education and ecommerce space.

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Chatbots are popping up everywhere these days – from international eCommerce stores to small mom and pop brochure sites. As a digital agency owner, you’re in a unique position to not only observe, but actively participate in the chatbot revolution.

The rise of chatbots has been meteoric, driven by advancements in AI and a growing demand for seamless customer interactions. But, with this rise come challenges: integrating the technology correctly, providing accurate responses, and satisfying customers.

Despite these obstacles, the benefits for digital agencies and web designers are huge. From streamlining customer service to generating leads and driving sales, chatbots offer a new avenue to add value for clients and increase recurring revenue.

In this article, we’ll explore how chatbots are changing the digital landscape and how your agency can ride this wave to success.

Why customer demand is driving chatbot popularity

In our always-connected world, the demand for instant customer service is skyrocketing, and chatbots are stepping up to meet this challenge.

Using chatbots, your agency can offer clients around-the-clock interaction, combining speed with personalization.

This isn’t just about keeping up; it’s about staying ahead by providing innovative and efficient solutions that align with the current pace of business and consumer expectations.

Let’s see how the demand for constant support is driving the growth of chatbots.

Meeting demand for “always-on” customer support

Consumers are online 24/7, all around the world, and they’ll quickly lose interest in companies who aren’t available to provide support when they need it – think busy times like Black Friday, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.

Businesses that are slow to interact with their potential and existing customers are bound to lose market share.

Increasing customer engagement

They say the typical consumer needs around 7 to 10 interactions with a business before they make a purchase. Chat offers a space where that interaction can happen – it’s swift and easy for the consumer, and cost-effective for the business.

Competition is fierce, and a lot of companies are under pressure to stand out. Excellent customer service has shown to be an important factor when deciding who to purchase from.

Aligning with consumer preferences

Ask any brand with high traffic about how their customers reach them, and they’ll tell you it’s a combination of email, phone, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and live chat on their website.

But generally speaking, chat is the preferred channel of consumers looking for customer service. Few people want to speak over the phone anymore, and we don’t always want to wait for an email response. Chat is instant, and suits the high expectations of today’s eager customers.

Reducing customer service overheads

Until recently, excellent customer service has been fairly expensive. But with the recent explosion of highly-effective AI tools, adoption of AI-driven customer service is on the rise – and driving down prices.

OpenAI has allowed for more cost-effective development of high-quality, human-like chat support that saves businesses time and money.

Staying active on social media

Instagram is the second most popular social platform for support requests. For many brands, DMs are a necessary evil. They’re inundated with messages, and their support teams struggle to keep up with demand.

But, that’s where their audience is. This year, I did some research on how quickly online brands reply to customer support requests on Instagram, and more than half of the brands I reached out to didn’t reply at all (see results below).  

Instagram recently launched Instagram DM automation, and in combination with OpenAI based tools, DMs are becoming powerful, cost-effective channels for support as well as lead generation. 

Does it make sense to add chatbot development to your services?

Businesses who can benefit from chat typically have the following in common:

  • They have high traffic
  • They get many customer requests
  • They rely on a sales funnel

If your clients fall into any of the categories above, chances are a chat system could help them either save money or drive revenue – or both.

What your agency can use an AI chatbot for

Chatbots are typically used for support, but we’re seeing them used for lead generation and sales purposes more and more.

Marketing

  • Lead generation & list building
    • With a chat funnel, you can deliver an offer (discount, lead magnet) right in the chat in exchange for a consumer’s information (email, name, product preferences etc.).
  • Lead qualification & segmentation
    • Gain insights into your clientele by asking your users questions directly, allowing for better segmentation since your decisions are based on first-party data.
  • Product launches & giveaways
    • An engaging chat experience is a great way for consumers to sign up for sale updates or product launches in chat, or opt-in for a giveaway.

Sales

  • Cart abandonment
    • Continue the conversation with users who have shown interest in your products or services but haven’t made a purchase.
  • Appointment booking
    • Easily set up an appointment through a short conversation. Integrate with your preferred calendar tool.
  • Upsells
    • Stay connected with users who’ve made a purchase and could benefit from a related product.

Support

  • FAQs
    • Immediately reply to FAQs in your brand tone of voice.
  • Live agent hand-off
    • Smoothly hand over the conversation to a human support member when necessary, like complex support requests that demand human input.
  • Basic operations
    • Depending on the type of business, this could be managing a subscription, order tracking, etc.

AI chatbots as a recurring revenue stream

A chatbot project is similar to a website or application project. A common payment structure is a larger fee for building the foundation of the chatbot, and a recurring fee for maintenance and optimization.

If you’re already offering services related to your customer’s online presence, whether it’s their website, their marketing and sales operations, or their social media, chat development can be a nice add-on.

Possible client objections & how to handle them

While we’re seeing a paradigm shift where more and more businesses are adopting AI tools, you may still hear objections. Below are common concerns potential clients may have, and what I typically say to them.

“Bots can’t replace humans.” That’s correct, and they’re not meant to.

Bots are meant to make life easier for both businesses and their customers.

They can complete tasks like replying to FAQs, lead a user through a lead qualification funnel, or provide order tracking, and then hand the conversation over to a human live agent when needed.

“My audience wants to chat with a human.”

According to a recent Amazon report:

  • 87% of consumers expect an immediate response – human teams can rarely provide this, and if they can, it’s expensive.
  • 84% are more likely to spend more with brands that let them choose their preferred communication channel.
  • 1 billion users message the FB family of apps each week.
  • Users’ preference for using an automated solution to check an order status was 3.4 times greater than interacting with a live agent (67% vs. 20%).

“I want the chatbot to do everything.”

  • Manage expectations by explaining that a bot can’t do everything, and a live agent may be needed at times.
  • Don’t implement all ideas immediately. Start with 1-3 use cases for a chatbot, i.e. your Minimum Viable Bot, and develop it from there. Monitor user engagement to inform what use cases to build next.

The AI chatbot revolution: A new era for agencies & web designers

As we’ve explored, the world of AI chatbots is full of opportunities for digital agencies and web designers. They’re not just answering customer queries; they’re redefining customer engagement and opening new revenue streams.

Whether it’s enhancing customer service, driving sales, or gathering valuable data, chatbots are a versatile tool in your digital arsenal. The question now is, how will your agency leverage this technology to stay ahead?

Let’s chat more about integrating AI chatbots into your services and how they can propel your agency to new heights. Book a call with me, Malin, for insights and strategies to make the most of this exciting digital trend.

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Malin Svensson

Malin Svensson

Hook & Hold

Malin Svensson is a chatbot developer and conversation designer. She runs a conversational marketing agency called Hook & Hold, and has developed AI chatbots for a wide range of customers, typically in the education and ecommerce space.

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