Have you ever been on a website and seen a little chat box appear in the right corner of your screen with a greeting from someone who seems to be a company representative? As you chat with them, you sense that something about them seems a little robotic.
These chatbots are popping up all over the web today. Is this something that dispensaries should be doing as well?
In this article, we’ll discuss if you should consider adding a chatbot to your dispensary’s website. We’ll look at some pros and cons of chatbots, how they can help you reach your goals, and if it’s practical to allocate additional resources to integrating this new technology.
Pros of Chatbots
Automation and AI are on the rise in today’s business landscape. Thousands of companies are using chatbots to enhance the customer experience and save money. Let’s look at some of the ways chatbots can be effective on your dispensary’s website.
- 24/7 customer service: The great thing about chatbots is that they can work 24 hours per day, seven days per week. This can save you a ton of money on hiring customer service representatives. Anytime someone visits your website, the chatbot is available with an immediate response.
- Customer engagement: Chatbots can engage directly with customers while keeping the tone of your brand intact. You (or your chatbot designer) can program your bot to communicate in a way that effectively conveys your company’s message.
- Automated sales: You can use chatbots to collect customer and order information, so all a customer has to do is come in and pick up their order. Chatbots can even dispatch orders to delivery drivers for you.
Cons of Chatbots
Although chatbots have some incredible utility, they’re not perfect. AI is an emerging technology with many limitations. Here are some of the cons that come with chatbots:
- Limited understanding: Though chatbots can range from basic to complex, they can’t always intelligently respond to the potentially infinite number of different customer messages. They also may not be able to understand many slang words and idioms.
- Expensive: Many chatbot providers charge a fee for each exchange that a visitor has with your bot. Though it’s usually less than a penny per interaction, these costs can add up quickly if you have a high volume of people talking to your chatbot.
- Limited feedback: Not every chatbot is able to provide a transcript of each customer interaction. Though some do, it can take a lot of time to sift through each interaction to continually program responses to new inquiries.
Should Dispensaries Be Using Chatbots?
Given the pros and cons of chatbots, the question remains: Should you use one on your dispensary’s website? The answer largely depends on whether you have the extra bandwidth to implement and maintain one.
Designing a chatbot for your dispensary’s unique offering can take time and commitment. You will have to brainstorm every possible customer conversation with your bot.
It’s also important to consider your brand’s goals and your audience’s preferences. If your customers have communicated that they want to order from your website, and this is something you want to streamline for them, a chatbot could be a great asset. But if you’re known more as a cash-only, in-store dispensary, it might be difficult to get your existing clientele to switch over to ordering from robots.
Determining whether your dispensary should be adding a chatbot to its website will come down to the unique facets and goals of your operation. It may be helpful to consult with a cannabis branding agency that can take a look at your operation from a bird’s-eye view and determine whether a chatbot would make sense to have on your dispensary’s website.
Highopes can not only help you with deciding whether to install a chatbot but can also help improve your website, strengthen your brand, and develop your online presence through strategic marketing tools. Contact us today to see how we can take your cannabis branding to the next level.