Different Ways Chatbots and Virtual Assistants Drive Value for Procurement

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Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

Ultimately, businesses strive to become and remain profitable. Profitability is affected by many factors. Two main factors that affect this are the quality of items and the quality of procurement services provided.

The quality of items is a given and obvious factor that affects sales. It is one, if not, the top priority of businesses. It determines the number of sales as customers always go for the item with the highest quality.

On the other hand, the quality of the procurement process is often not given that much importance. However, what many business owners fail to realize is that this greatly affects the purchasing decision of customers.

Further, a smooth and hassle-free procurement process can increase the number of return customers. So, it is important to always see to it that you can provide the best possible procurement experience.

Today, there are various ways to improve and augment the procurement process. One of the most in-demand tools is chatbots and virtual assistants. These tools are both powered by artificial intelligence.

But before we can fully understand how chatbots and visual assistants create a better procurement process, we have to define procurement.

What is Procurement?

According to Investopedia, procurement is the process of getting goods or services to be used for business purposes as well. It is often associated with purchases in large quantities.

The procurement process goes way beyond just payment processing. This act involves sourcing out ideal products and the communication between buyers and sellers.

Payment processing up until the items arrive at the client’s doorstep is also part of the process.

Procurement is a lengthy ordeal that is why making sure that it is flawless is tricky. Chatbots and virtual assistants have positively contributed to creating better procurement services.

So, what are AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants?

Differentiating Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

One of the most common misconceptions today is that chatbots and virtual assistants are one and the same. They can be easily mistaken as the same tool because they are powered by the same technology- artificial intelligence.

Their difference mainly comes in which end they are providing services to. Chatbots are more commonly used to service the buyer end. While virtual assistants are used by the seller.

Chatbots. This program is utilized to improve the customer service aspect of businesses. It is mainly concerned with product queries. It provides a platform for customers to purchase an item.

One of the best uses of this tool is a chatbot for Shopify. Since Shopify is one of the leading eCommerce platforms today, it deals with tons of customer inquiries on a daily basis.

Chatbot for Shopify is helpful in clearing these inquiries by providing automated answers to common product questions.

Virtual assistants, on the other hand, act as personal assistants in performing daily tasks. This includes setting appointments, meeting reminders, sending emails, and many more. Some virtual assistants can be programmed to take notes during meetings.

Though different, these two tools provide significant services that help drive the value of procurement. Below are some of the ways they are beneficial to this process.

How AIs Drive Value to Procurement

  1. Chatbots

Chatbots provide services to the buyer. It aims to improve the whole procurement process by providing efficient aid to clients.

  • Multilingual and Responsive Support

One way chatbots can augment the procurement process is by being inclusive. Businesses should always be ready in dealing with clients from different demographics, locales, and countries.

A chatbot comes in handy when a client from the other end of the world needs assistance. Since it is powered by technology, its services are available 24/7.

You can also choose to incorporate a chatbot that has different language settings. This upgrades the procurement process by removing communication barriers.

  • Addresses Client Inquiries

In an economy that does not stop for anyone, speedy transactions are always preferred.

Imagine getting a customer inquiry wherein the client’s purchasing decision is solely dependent on who replies first. You can lose a potential sale just by slow responses.

A chatbot ensures that client messages, no matter what kind, are immediately addressed. This tool can be used to find a specific product and remove the need for the client to browse your whole catalog.

  • Creates a Smooth Flow of Transaction

After dealing with inquiries, chatbots are also capable of assisting clients until a successful purchase is made.

It allows clients to add items into their online cart and process payments. All of these princesses can be made in one avenue.

This feature is desirable because it does not only save your clients time but also ensures continuity of transaction. This smoothens the transition of processes from finding the products to checkout and shipping.

  • Get Customer Feedback

One of the most valuable features that chatbot has is that it allows feedback collections.

Feedback or reviews help businesses determine services that need to be addressed or improved. Only customers who have experienced your procurement process firsthand can truly determine its efficiency.

After a successful purchase, chatbots can initiate feedback collection through a few questions. These can be satisfaction ratings and short answers on why they gave that rate.

Source: Pexels

  1. Virtual Assistants

The services discussed above can only be carried out correctly if the business can accomplish its jobs. Below is an example of how this tool helps provide better services.

  • Improve Supplier Efficiency

Virtual assistants can help clients be on top of important things. In the business sector, time is always of the essence. That is because time can affect sales or profit.

For example, through this tool, they can create shipment reminders.

Fast and on-time shipments can greatly influence a buyer’s overall satisfaction. All consumers or clients aim to get a hold of their orders as soon as shipment factors permit.

Another example is on the dot products updates such as invoices and shipping details. A virtual assistant tool aids users in sending emails or messages that are important to business operations.

These services help preserve or employ efficient business processes. Therefore, it adds value to the overall procurement services.

Level up Your Business Today

There are different types of tools available in the digital age. It is highly recommended to use them to your advantage.

These tools include chatbots and virtual assistants. They are helpful in almost all major business activities. But, more importantly, they are beneficial in preserving smooth procurement processes.

A hassle-free procurement experience improves customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers mean higher conversion and return rates. All these factors combined mean higher sales and better profitability.