Modern chatbots should not be compared to the previous generation of them. Annoyingly automated and unintelligent, a chatbot used to presents a cost-risk to a company more than the money it ever saved them in labor costs. Like automated calls with machine voices, chatbots were a horrible way to communicate.
However, machine learning and artificial intelligence have changed all that. Chatbots are learning too, and people have adopted messaging as a viable means of communication they use every single day. There are some great chatbot builders and chatbot building platforms out there, and nearly any company of nearly any size can afford them. It is just a matter of using them correctly.
Here are a few of the many ways that chatbots can help improve your customer service.
No Wait Time
Even with live chat and phone operators in a call center, at peak volume times there is often a wait, a hold time a customer must experience before they can relate to an agent. A chatbot, though, can answer right away and learn more about the customer’s issue.
This is a huge advantage. The web is built on speed, and a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load has huge bounce rates. Likewise, a chat that takes more than 2 minutes to answer sees a huge number of customers give up and exit the site. They might call or choose to communicate another way, but in some cases, they are lost forever.
Because of the questions they ask and the screening they do, chatbots can determine ahead of time what a customer’s issue is and get them with the right customer service help. This means the customer will get with the right representative the first time often.
This not only saves manpower, it also saves hours of wasted time determining what a customer needs and who they should speak to. Also, it saves the customer frustration. The same as wait times, too many transfers tend to make the customer angry and they may even give up, running to your competition.
A well-developed chatbot can make a huge difference in the number of transfers, cutting overall chat or call time down.
There are two big things that make chatbots good for providing personalized service. They are artificial intelligence and big data. Here is how they work together.
Machine learning lets the chatbot immediately know who is contacting you. The information from their profile is imported, and the chatbot can see if they have contacted you about this issue before, what the outcome was, and any other issues they may have had.
All the information in their profile is a part of big data, the data you have gathered on that customer and others like them. Because the chatbot can not only see their records, but the resolutions offered to other customers with similar issues. Using these, the chatbot can even propose potential solutions before the customer makes any contact with a human operator.
This works for either complaint resolution or even questions about a purchase. For purchase questions, it may be possible for the chatbot to offer resources and answers that preclude any kind of human interaction.
Faster Complaint Resolution
When it comes to complaint resolution, speed is even more important. Customers not only want action, but they want it now, and because the chatbot gathers information from the customer, by the time an agent is reached, a solution may already be framed well.
Also, if the agent needs to ask any follow up questions or the customer has any, they can ask them in real time rather than having to wait for an answer via email or another form of communication.
The immediacy of complaint resolution is not only exactly what the customer wants, it is what your business wants as well. This resolution is likely to be less costly and time consuming than one that drags on.
Self-service is nothing new, but chatbots allow you to take this to a new level. Customers have come to expect satisfaction right away, and if they can get a few simple questions asked they are more likely to buy right away.
As self-checkout and online shopping become more the norm, customers are likely to serve themselves as much as possible. The more you enable this with chatbots and other services, the more likely customers are to return to your brand and shop with you all the time.
There are a couple of ways that companies have tried to provide customer service round the clock. First, they have tried to hire call centers both in the United States and abroad that are staffed all the time. These call centers often serve more than one customer, and the knowledge and service they provide can be less than stellar.
The other method is to have chatbots answer as thoroughly as possible. With modern programs, this approach works much better than it has in the past. If the chatbot cannot answer all the questions the customer has, it can schedule a follow up during regular business hours. At least the customer feels heard and is assured a solution is coming.
If the issue is a true priority that requires immediate attention, the chatbot can determine how best to route the customer’s call, specifically to someone designated to respond to these priority calls. Either way, your customer service is better, and the customer feels they can get answers around the clock.
Chatbots can help improve your customer service if used correctly. Modern chatbot builders and programs are better than they ever have, and no matter what your business size you both can afford them and find a program that will work for you.