How Chatbots Can Improve Your Customer Service Experience
A strong customer service experience is essential to maintaining customer loyalty. We live in a customer-centric environment where more modern methods of communication call for multiple contact options and require prompt responses. Chatbots improve the customer experience by giving customers instant access to information and assistance through simple interactions. By considering some of these best practices, companies can modernize their approach by rethinking how they are responding to customer needs.
The Chatbots of Today
Some businesses may balk at the idea that a chatbot can offer a positive customer service experience. After all, just a few years ago, chatbots were clunky assistants that never seemed to fully understand what questions people were asking, and therefore couldn’t answer questions or customer concerns.
In the past few years this technology has improved dramatically. Have you ever asked your phone’s built-in assistant or your smart home speaker to do something or tell you something? These tools operate much the same way as modern customer service chatbots.
If you’ve interacted with customer service recently, chances are you have received at least some help from an artificial intelligence source. According to Gartner, by 2020, a customer will manage 85% of his or her relationship with a business without interacting with a human. You may very well have had an interaction with a chatbot without even realizing it, a feat that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
Benefits of Chatbots
Evidently, the chatbots in use today are high-quality and harder to detect than ever before. However, you may still wonder what the benefits of chatbots in customer service are, particularly from the customer’s perspective.
- Fast Response Times: One of the major benefits of chatbots in customer service is that they can respond to customers in a moment’s notice. There’s no need for a customer to spend time on hold on the phone or wait for an email from a representative.
- 24/7 Availability: Similarly, chatbots can be available all the time. They don’t need to go home for the evening or to take vacations.
- Immediate Reaction To Troubles: Chatbots don’t need to be limited to receiving customer calls, they can also contact customers. For example, your company can use a chatbot on your website. When a customer is stalling on a page, the chatbot can offer assistance that can help the customer move to the next step in their journey.
- Less Frustration: Consumers often report frustration with having to wait to receive help from customer service representatives. This is exacerbated when compartmentalized team members transfer callers around. Chatbots can handle a broad range of topics without needing to transfer customers and keeping them on hold for several minutes.
These are just a few of the reasons to use chatbots in customer service. Businesses keep innovating ways to use artificial intelligence technology to make interactions between them and their customers quick and easy.
This can pay off in a big way. Not only can chatbots be cost-effective, but they can have a major impact on a customer’s experience with your brand and can foster customer engagement; leading to future repurchases and nurturing customer loyalty.
Chatbots Can Still Have a Human Touch
While technology has come a long way and artificial intelligence is continuously improving, sometimes a human touch is still needed. Luckily, many features and functions of chatbots will allow for the best of both worlds.
For standard frequently asked questions, responses can be uploaded into a chat portal for automatic responses. However, for more complex queries, a feature on the website or app will allow customers to ask questions and receive curated responses from a human representative in real time. You can improve the personal connection by including the customer service representative’s name and photo in the chat, so the user knows they are talking to a real person.
With this approach, ensure the chatbot isn’t live if there are no customer service representatives available – you don’t want users reaching out and not getting a response.
One of the great opportunities with chatbots is the chance to provide that help uniformly and consistently. As chatbots continue to advance, their ability to consistently enhance customer experience and loyalty will only improve. Businesses should begin implementing chatbots now to experiment with what features work best for their audience.
Like most best practices and business models, one size doesn’t fit all. While modernizing your touch points of customer access should include web-based communication, offering additional options for those that are not computer savvy—will sustain loyalty across all customer demographics and generations of consumers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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