Providing the best customer experience has always been one of the main goals of businesses. However, the traditional way of customer service fails to keep up with the constantly changing expectations of customers.
But with new technology evolving every now and then, businesses would need to keep up and improve their services. Customers’ expectations change over time, demanding a more convenient and hassle-free way of reaching out.
Some customers now prefer communicating with businesses through online platforms such as social media. This means that it would be much more helpful for consumers if businesses would provide a wide range of channels for their customer service.
One of the most used communication channels nowadays is chatbots. Businesses use chatbots as tools in giving better support experiences to customers. Chatbots for customer service have been a trend lately. In fact, chatbots are the fastest-growing brand communication channel and are expected to cut business costs by USD8 billion by the year 2022.
What are chatbots?
Investopedia defined a chatbot as an artificial intelligence software that simulates the conversation of a human being through voice interaction or texts. It works by choosing the right natural language processing (NLP) engine.
Customers could ask questions or give commands and it would respond or carry out the requested action. It is convenient since it could be run in most chat applications.
Most well-known businesses have adapted to using this technology. Some chatbot examples are machine learning chatbots, rule-based chatbots, and the hybrid model. The most commonly used is the button-based chatbot. It requires the user to choose from several buttons, prompting another set of options.
How did Chatbots and AI have Revolutionized Customer Service?
With the capabilities of chatbots, it could positively impact a business’ customer service. Here are eleven (11) ways chatbots and AI have revolutionized customer service.
1. 24/7 Availability
According to a report, 43% of consumers expect 24/7 customer service. This means that it is important to keep the operations round-the-clock. This might be difficult and could cost a lot for businesses since it would mean adding more employees.
As with chatbots, this tool does not require sleep or breaks, and it is possible for them to provide basic support and quick responses anytime.
Customer service chatbots could offer simple solutions to customers when the support team is not available. Since businesses are able to engage at the preferred time of customers, it would improve their satisfaction.
2. Instant Support
Some customers would try to resolve a product-related issue by searching on the internet or looking at their previous service interactions. This is because they want to avoid the hassle of trying to reach the business’ customer service.
With a chatbot, it would be more convenient. Customers don’t have to wait in long queues or listen to on-hold music. The hold time could be reduced since it quickly responds and would only take short time to access the needed information. Chatbots would not keep customers waiting since they could help in giving instant assistance.
3. Minimal Costs
Chatbots could make customer service more efficient without the need for spending too much. There would be no need to provide customer service training or add more support agents since chatbots could just be programmed.
Moreover, businesses could estimate the peak time and then deploy chatbots for cheaper costs. Also, chatbots could be set to answer FAQs and better understand the customers’ queries to lessen the need for representatives.
4. Personalized Customer Experience
These chatbots allow a personalized experience for each customer. It could identify specific information about the customer, instead of giving generic responses.
Personalized customer service is not just limited to a single conversation. For example, every time a customer sends a message to the business’s customer service, the chatbot could continue the conversation based on the older message threads.
5. Improve Social Media Support
Nowadays, a lot of customers reach out to businesses through their social media platforms. However, most of their inquiries are not entertained because of the lack of resources.
Chatbots would be a great solution to this problem. For instance, businesses could create their brand’s Facebook chatbot and activate automated responses to the customer’s requests. This would help build a strong relationship with customers by providing targeted content to answer their queries and farfetched resolutions.
6. Real-Time Reviews and Feedback
Feedbacks are essential in every business. But it is not always easy to get customers to answer questionnaires or to fill up forms.
Implementing chatbots would allow a business to have a better feedback loop. It features templates that could make the process more interactive and easier. Reviews and feedbacks may be received at any stage of the customer support journey. It could be before ending the conversation while waiting for the product details, or after purchasing a product or service.
This way, it would be convenient for the business to know what areas to improve and which products or services should they focus on more.
7. Productivity of Agents
Chatbots also helps in increasing the efficiency of the customer service team. While the team is working on other important tasks, chatbots could simultaneously deal with several customers. When FAQs are addressed on time, agents are more likely to be more productive.
In addition, bots are capable of escalating issues to the expert support agent when it requires special assistance.
For example, the non-voice customer service of a business has been receiving a large volume of questions through their chat and e-mail. Since it is a non-voice process, implementing chatbots could help in handling support requests. This would also ensure that customers would not need to wait long before getting a response.
8. Lesser Support Tickets
Delay in resolving customer issues would result in an increase in support tickets. This would most likely affect the growth of the business because of low customer satisfaction. That’s why it is important to boost customer experience and ensure that all issues are being addressed in a timely manner.
In addition, chatbots are great for resolving simple queries and providing better first contact resolution. Simple queries may be set on chatbots such as order status and delivery time. It may also be programmed with all the information needed for more accurate service.
9. Solution to Language Barriers
Customer service representatives and customers often experience communication gaps. It is one of the most common problems in customer interaction.
And since it is almost impossible to have a staff that could speak all languages, chatbots are the solution. Implementing chatbots on a business’s communication system would prevent the loss of potential customers.
Chatbots are run by NLP, allowing them to understand different languages and tones. It stores various words and sentences during a conversation so it would be easy to increase their existing knowledge base.
10. Reduced IVR Frustration
Not all customers like using interactive voice response (IVR) systems on phone calls. It could be frustrating listening to the menu but not being able to get a personalized response. Not to mention that it oftentimes leave no room for special requests.
That’s why chatbots for customer service is a great way to give customers relief from IVR systems. Since it provides straightforward answers without the need to wait for long hours, it would be more efficient and productive for businesses.
11. Better Self-Service
Even if chatbots could route customers to the right representative to assist them, some would still want to find solutions independently.
Chatbots could direct customers to answers that would help them resolve their issues. For example, when a customer cannot connect their purchased gadget to their internet, the chatbot could provide basic instructions.
This would help in keeping customer satisfaction on a high level without the need for support tickets.
In conclusion, customer service requires a unique approach that covers all the needs of customers. That’s why chatbots and AI are now essential to businesses’ customer service. It helps in improving customer engagement and in providing support to consumers.
It is clear that one of the major reasons why consumers prefer using chatbots is speed. In fact, based on research, every minute is important in customer service. If a business waits even just for five minutes before responding to a customer, it decreases its chance up to 10 times of getting in touch again.
So since customers would want quick and smooth solutions to their problems, technology would be a huge help. As the technology improves, chatbots and AI will have a strong role in customer service. From reducing costs to providing a better customer experience, AI chatbots would be beneficial to both businesses and customers. In addition, it boosts the quality of customer service and promotes customer loyalty.
With businesses gradually adapting to new technology, chatbots are also keeping up with the changes. This transformation would be beneficial for every aspect of the business, including customer service and sales.
Handling customers might be overwhelming for some businesses. It would require a lot of time, effort, and patience when looking for customers, accommodating them, and providing for their needs.
Business process offshoring companies could help reduce the stress of reaching out to customers and ensuring they receive quality service. By offshoring customer service from BPO companies, it would allow you to have a better relationship with your customers.
In One CoreDEV IT (CORE), we provide employer of record solutions and excellent services like lead generation services, customer support, and voice and non-voice solutions. We promise to be persistent in delivering outstanding service to help your business grow as well.