AI Chatbots and Small Business Websites: Separating Hype from Reality

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It seems like everyone and their mother is pushing AI Chatbots these days for small business websites.

Buzzwords and bullshit I say.

I’ve tested them extensively and I am not using them for my small businesses.

Here’s why…

Ask yourself; what businesses do you patronize that use AI technology in a customer facing role? Maybe your cable company that makes you go through an ai chatbot before they’ll finally break down and let you converse with a human. But probably no businesses that you like.

>>> The reality is AI communications may perform great in demonstration environments but in the real world, communicating with customers it flops hard and just frustrates people.

>>> In addition to that, chatbots generally DETRACT from the most valuable user action on your website.

About that user action…

For example let’s say you have a home service business (which I do), the most valuable user action is an inbound phone call. A person that picks up the phone and dials your number to speak with, has a much higher intent and likelihood to buy than one that does not. Therefor the focus of the website should be to drive people to take that action.

Now I know one some might say ‘well some people may not want to call’ — so they should have the option to use a chat bot. I’ve tested this extensively over the last 10 years and in practice, when other options are removed, many people will make the call. We could express this otherwise as saying, many people who would call will opt for lower intent contact methods when given the choice — this only diminishes the quality of your leads

Why these AI Chatbots have gotten popular?

This is because a few companies like Go High Level have made white label solutions that internet marketing agencies can resell. Now we have every low-level agency operator running around selling ‘AI chatbot to small business owners.

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!