How to Improve Your Customer Service with Chatbots
Stellar customer service is indispensable in today’s highly competitive landscape. Learn how you can use chatbots on your business website to deliver a truly delightful customer experience.
In the last few years, artificial intelligence has slowly but surely taken center stage in various industries, including digital marketing. While there are many uses of AI and machine learning in marketing, such as semantic search, predictive analytics, and personalization, in this post, let’s dive deeper into the most basic (and increasingly mainstream) use of AI — chatbots.
Put simply, chatbots are an integral part of any business website today, not just a mere good-to-have feature. Salesforce’s latest State of Service survey suggests that:
- 53% of service organizations expect to use chatbots within 18 months — a 136% growth rate that foreshadows a big role for the technology in the near future.
- 64% of agents with AI chatbots are able to spend most of their time solving complex problems, versus 50% of agents without AI chatbots.
This means that most, if not all, of your competitors are likely already using chatbots or are planning to do so in the near future.
What’s more, the second statistic indicates that as a chatbot serves as the first responder to your customer’s inquiries, it enables your customer service team to work on other crucial activities required to move users further down the sales funnel, thus boosting the team’s productivity.
But that’s just icing on the cake — chatbots are essential if you wish to establish an outstanding customer experience.
Provide Prompt 24/7 Customer Service
Easy access to modern technology has resulted in online consumers who expect near-instant solutions to their doubts or queries. That is, if they need any information or clarification from your end about your business, 82% of them expect an “immediate” response.
This need for speed is achieved by using live chat (something that modern consumers actually prefer over calls) on your business website. However, you can’t have a person sitting behind the chatbox 24/7 for the sole purpose of resolving customer queries.
While your business operates for limited hours during the day, chatbots can operate 24/7, meaning that no support request will go unattended. So, instead of having to fill out a form or wait for a response from you over email, visitors can just type in their queries and get on-the-spot answers to commonly asked questions.
For cases when human intervention is needed, the inquiry can be passed on to the appropriate customer service agent. And if the inquiry is made outside business hours, the chatbot can log the query and let the customer know that their issue will be resolved as soon as possible.
Besides, the fact that chatbots can be programmed with data about your business ensures that they have all the information they’ll need to deal with customers at all times. The bot won’t have to search for answers in the same way a human employee would, thus reducing service times.
Reduce Human Error
No matter how talented your customer service team may be, at the end of the day, they’re still human. And human customer service agents can make mistakes, such as:
- Communicate incorrect information or take too much time to resolve a simple query.
- Lose their composure. Employees can have bad days when they’re flustered with work. Though unlikely, their frustration can reflect in their chat with customers, which can lead to conflict and an unpleasant experience for the customer.
Bots, on the other hand, simply don’t have the ability to make such mistakes. Chatbots don’t have bad days, don’t run out of patience or lose their cool, and offer a quick and accurate resolution to customer’s questions every time.
Plus, for existing customers, chatbots can accurately recall their entire buying history and offer personalized product or content recommendations.
Create More Engaging Customer Experience
Research from Survey Monkey and Drift reveals that only 38% of customers want to talk with an actual human when engaging with a brand. Modern consumers, composed of Millennials and Generation Z, are not fond of phone calls. They want to resolve their questions as much as they can via text.
Chatbots can also serve as excellent virtual assistants that guide the decisions your customers make and the items they buy. For example, the British online fashion and cosmetic retailer ASOS uses a Facebook Messenger chatbot (nicknamed “Enki”) to provide highly-relevant custom product recommendations using a technology called “Style Match”.
The user answers a few questions about their fashion taste, or submits images of outfits they’re interested in. This enables Enki to understand the customer’s preferences and respond with tailored recommendations in the form of images and links.
If customers feel like a product has been picked out just for them, it makes them feel more special and thus, are often more likely to make the purchase. Having such a useful chatbot for your brand is a highly effective way to prove that you care about your customers’ needs and that you’ll go above and beyond to ensure great customer service.
Essentially, it facilitates a more engaging experience that will set your business apart and motivates customers to stick to your brand.
Moreover, taking inspiration from this example, you can also create a fictional character (like the aforementioned “Enki”) to use it as an avatar for your chatbot. Doing so gives the bot a human look-and-feel and consequently, makes it more engaging.
There are many ways to integrate a chatbot into your website. You can get it developed from scratch, use one of the many free chatbot platforms, opt for advanced conversational marketing software, or even a full-fledged digital adoption platform.
Such one-to-one, real-time interactions between your business and its customers are a big boost for enhancing the customer experience.
75% of businesses using chatbots on their website report at least a 10% boost in customer satisfaction. Furthermore, 43.18% of all respondents to a survey by Tidio claim that a chatbot is their preferred channel of communication when buying online.
In other words, people now expect chatbot as a standard on any business website. And so, it is quite indisputable that you must use chatbots if you wish to create a robust customer experience that facilitates brand loyalty.