Chatbots are becoming more popular. The top priority for (almost) every business today is to improve the end-to-end customer experience. Why? It is the key to increasing customer satisfaction and laying the groundwork for long-term customer loyalty.
And, with so much customer engagement with brands now occurring somewhere in the digital world—particularly on a brand’s or business’s website—more it’s important than ever for companies to identify all of how they can bridge the gap between them and their customers. Customer service chatbots have quickly become one method of achieving this.
What Exactly Is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is an artificial intelligence program that simulates human conversation via a live chat interface. It is pre-programmed with pre-written responses that are displayed based on the previous message from the customer. Chatbots search the user’s text for keywords and phrases related to common customer issues. Based on the information it receives, the bot then provides self-service solutions.
And that is only the beginning of what this technology is capable of. Some chatbots are so complex that they are nearly impossible to distinguish from real people. While that scares me, business owners appreciate the benefits these bots provide to their customer service team.
ADVANTAGES OF USING A CHATBOT
- Reduced Case Volume
Chatbots can significantly reduce the number of cases handled by customer service representatives. Because bots are a self-service tool, customers do not need to speak with one of your human representatives to get answers. If their issue is straightforward or common, the chatbot can direct them to your knowledge base or FAQ pages for a solution. This allows your agents to concentrate on more complex and time-consuming cases.
- Make each greeting unique
You train customer service representatives to be friendly, to greet customers by name, and to recognize their status or tier of service frequently. Your chatbot’s AI interface can perform the same functions. To ensure chatbots naturally greet customers, program them to pull in values like “First Name” for customers who are already logged in.
- Streamlined Connectivity
Chatbots can transfer a chat to a human agent if a customer’s problem is complicated and requires live assistance. Because the customer does not have to rewrite their problem, this seamless integration improves the customer experience. Instead, the representative can read the previous thread and pick up where the bot left off.
To personalize customer interactions, chatbots can be integrated with your CRM. It can look into each customer’s previous interactions with your brand and refer to relevant information as needed. This is critical because 72% of consumers expect your representatives to have their contact information before an interaction begins. Bots, unlike humans, can look up this data instantly and know exactly where to find the information they’re looking for.
- Enhance customer relationships
Being accessible and responsive whenever they need you most appears to be the quickest way to a customer’s heart these days. Unfortunately, it does not make sense for many businesses to staff a 24/7 customer support team to ensure that customer questions or requests that occur in the middle of the night are addressed by a live agent. This is where chatbots can make a significant difference. They can easily assist customers at any time of day—even when your customer support team is off the clock—because they can operate around the clock without ever needing breaks or naps.
- The Desire to Conserve Time, Money, and Resources
The prolonged lockdowns have significantly impacted the company’s cash flow. To manage the business with limited resources and budget constraints now is the time to integrate chatbots that can handle routine tasks while freeing up human resources for more complex ones. Chatbots are now available at reasonable prices and even on a monthly subscription basis.
- Converts leads into sales (aka, boost conversion)
In terms of conversion, you may be surprised to learn that customer self-service solutions, such as chatbots, can increase conversion rates on your website by up to 20%. Chatbots can help new and returning customers get closer to purchasing by assisting them in becoming more autonomous and supported at every stage of the customer journey.
This is significant for several reasons. For starters, higher conversions typically lead to higher sales—exactly what every business strives for. You understand how difficult it can be to convert first-time visitors to your website (aka “leads”) into real, paying customers. Chatbots can serve as an extra line of defense in this capacity, incentivizing new users.
- Make interactive FAQs
Instead of directing customers to your FAQ page, have chatbots bring the answers to them. Load your top-level FAQ questions and any follow-up questions and answers into your AI interface. Chatbots that use natural language processing (NLP) recognize language as it is used in everyday interactions, making it simple for your customers to find the answers they seek.
- Integrate process automation into chatbots
Allow customers to assist themselves by providing guided, step-by-step instructions within the chat. Ask your team which tasks customers could easily complete on their own — these tasks your agents could meet with their eyes closed (like replacing a lost credit card). Once you’ve identified a few simple tasks, program chatbots to walk customers through the process from beginning to end. In the case of complex issues, the chatbot may need to transfer the conversation to an agent. However, the agent is well-prepared because chatbots collect data that allows them to resolve each case quickly.
- Customers can be engaged by using rich text and content
Rich text, which includes boldface, italics, fonts, font sizes, and font colors, delivers the wow factor when answering simple questions. Consider inserting images or even interactive menus into a chat conversation. Based on customer questions, your chatbot displays a product menu, a selection of knowledge articles, or additional customer support options, all within the chat.
Chatbots can help you scale customer service. Customers will appreciate how customer service chatbots respond quickly and efficiently to their questions and concerns. Meanwhile, your agents will concentrate on complex customer service challenges instead of answering frequently asked questions. And you’ll be able to easily scale support to handle any surge in cases that come your way.