You’ve heard your customers’ complaints. For anyone who has waited endlessly on-hold for a Customer Service Rep, or emailed a question into the Customer Support “abyss”, it’s clear that there is a lot of room for improvement in customer service.
Don’t worry. Change is here.
For businesses, today’s customer service challenge is how to move routine and easily answered questions through the system quickly – minimizing time and maximizing customer satisfaction, while at the same time allocating resources to more complicated problems. Ultimately, a happy customer is a returning customer.
A Harvard Business Review study quantified the effects of good customer service and found that in transaction-based industries “customers who had the best past experience spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.”
That’s a significant difference.
Chatbots are software-generated messaging tools that support conversational commerce, enabling your customers to interact with your systems as though they were working with a person, without tying up valuable human capital. Imagine an agent who can work 24/7 fielding questions, gathering leads, and creating cases to be addressed when your human agents are available – without being paid.
Your customers can ask the chatbot a direct question rather than having to navigate a series of potentially frustrating Help toolbars or waiting on hold. Think of the last time you spent more than a couple of minutes trying to find an answer on a standard website. How much easier would it have been if you could just ask, in your own words, for directions? Or, as a service company you may rely on your website to generate leads by having visitors sign up for a demo or fill out a contact sheet. Until they do, you can’t address any questions or concerns they may have. A chatbot can open up an initial dialog and answer preliminary questions making It more likely that a visitor to your site will take the next step.
Imagine the possibilities for your business.
All chatbots are not created equal. Consider the following when building a chatbot to augment your CRM systems, optimize service outcomes, build customer loyalty and decrease costs:
The same Harvard Business Review study addresses implementation costs when it reports that, “unhappy customers are expensive… Systematically solve the source of dissatisfaction, you don’t just make them more likely to return – you reduce the amount they cost you to serve.”
When considering investing in chatbots, balance their cost with their potential to positively affect your bottom line.
As Ross Goodwin, a data scientist specializing in AI, put it in a piece for NBC News, “It might sound like AI puts all human jobs on the chopping block, but the story of technology is one of augmentation, not replacement.” If a chatbot can answer routine questions, direct customers to the information they need more quickly, and perform straightforward transactional tasks such as processing returns, they free up human capital for your more complicated customer service issues.
Chatbots combined with the power of AI are changing how we do business and serve our customers. Your customers’ days of sitting on hold are coming to an end.
Want to read more about chatbots? Here are some resources you’ll find interesting.