Are Chatbots Really Good for Small Businesses?

July 19, 2016

4:40 pm

Chatbots have been making waves in the digital media space for quite some time now. For many companies, chatbots mark the beginning of a new era – where communication and mundane daily tasks can be regulated to others, freeing up valuable resources and time to commit to other things that may need your attention as a startup founder or manager. But while chatbots may be a convenient resource for large companies, can they provide the same benefits to small businesses?

In fact, chatbots may be detrimental to the growth of small businesses.

Why Chatbots Don’t Work For Small Businesses

Businesses are smart to adapt digital trends to better adapt to consumers’ concerns and to market their own products in an increasingly competitive market. But for small businesses, who may need more support with establishing their brands and communicating with consumers. Chatbots, in their effort to add convenience to business owners’ lives, also reveal the sacrifice of a trait that will benefit small businesses the most.

What exactly is that trait? Authenticity.

What Small Businesses Truly Need

Above all else, small businesses have the advantage of building their brands in authenticity – and consumers respond strongly to that. While large companies can rely on branding to build connection with their consumers, small businesses must rely on authenticity to build that loyalty that helps their businesses stay afloat.

Small businesses are in need of something beyond just the convenience and artificiality of chatbots. What they really need is the support to keep their revitalization alive. Saving resources is an important concern for many small businesses, but not at the expense of sacrificing what can turn out to be small businesses’ best asset.

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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she’s using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color.

Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to [email protected] or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.

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