What they do not factor in, is how customers have changed over the years. Customers have become extremely demanding of brands, seeking little to no wait time for getting their queries answered and it does not stop there, they also expect the company to provide correct response at the first go. Customer’s today do not care whether they are talking to a machine or a human as long as they can get their queries resolved as soon as it arises.
This shift in how customers want to be addressed, has nudged businesses to look for technologies that can solve the multi-fold challenge of delivering timely, accurate and self-service alternative to their customers all at the same time. Chatbot have come out as clear winners in this search. This gets validated from a recent report published by Accenture digital, where 56% of the responding businesses of their survey say that chatbots are driving disruption in their industry. 57% of the businesses say that chatbots deliver better ROIs with minimal effort, while 90% businesses have reported faster complaint resolution over chatbot.
In this article, we are going to look into everything that surrounds chatbots and how it improves customer experience.
Let us start with the very basics first.
Chatbot is a type of software that converses with humans through a live chat interface. These bots can reside on a website or on communication platforms like Skype, Slack, or even Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
There are two types of chatbots that businesses usually invest in to make themselves 24*7 available – Rule Based and AI-Based or Conversational Chatbots.
Rule based chatbots work by scanning the keywords inside a customers’ inquiry and deliver pre-packaged answers, also known as canned responses. Rule based bots understand only what is fed to them. For example, a rule based chatbot might answer just fine for:
Customer : I want to have an appointment with doctor
But the rule based bot might not be able to answer this:
Customer: When is the next appointment available with the doctor?
This is because a rule based bot does not have the understanding of context. You should opt for Rule based bots when your requirements are transactional.
AI-based chatbot or conversational chatbot on the other hand use natural language understanding for creating conversation and responses that are a lot more complex. The AI powered bots when integrated with a businesses’ CRM or ERP platforms can underpin the online presence of the brand while allowing it to tap inside customers’ information and offer them personalized experiences.
Here’s an example of what AI powered conversation looks like:
Customer: Till what time is your California store open?
AI-based Chatbots: Hi Dave, We will be open till 7 p.m. today. It’s raining in California, so carry an umbrella!
Now that we have looked into what chatbots mean and what are the different types of bots, let us move on to look into the ways they enhance customer experience.
While the most talked about benefit attached with chatbots is cost reduction, the real return on investment can be seen through the changes it brings to customer experience. Below we have mentioned some ways a chatbot can help transform your customer experience program.
A. Real-Time Answers
For a business to be truly global, it has become imperative that they shift from their 9 to 5 working model to a 24X7 model. The only way to achieve that is through the incorporation of chatbots. Through them businesses will be able to answer users’ queries in real-time, irrespective of what time of the day it is.
B. Minimal Wear Down
While a human customer support agent may wear down after continuously answering queries of a similar nature, bots are designed to manage high volume of requests. This make them perfect to answer repetitive, frequently asked questions. Additionally, chatbots do not require time to search for answers and fetch them like human customer service agents do, which in turn helps in reducing the service time and the operating costs.
C. Lesser Errors
AI powered chatbots tend to make a lot less errors when answering customer queries compared to humans. The reason behind this general correctness is because of their high use of data analysis using which they are able to provide responses backed up with accurate information and help improve first interaction resolutions.
D. Managing Simple Transactions
Bots can perform a number of simple transactions for customers like - buying train tickets, booking hotel rooms, etc. By handling these menial transactions, chatbots not only save users time but also your customer support team’s.
E. Reduces Passive Customer Interactions
Most often than not, businesses engage in passive interaction - meaning, they mostly respond to queries and not initiate conversations. AI powered chatbots can initiate the conversations with users by informing them about upcoming or ongoing discounts and sales and additionally sending them to the websites’ conversion pages like product pages, blogs, case studies, or tutorials, etc.
F. Eliminates IVR
One of the biggest challenges that customers face is with respect to the use of IVR systems when they make calls to customer support. These systems, being highly structured route customers through multiple responses before taking them to their required destination.
A chatbot on the other hand, removes all the IVR driven frustrations while answering users’ queries in real-time, without taking them through multiple routes.
Knowing the ways chatbots can play a role in enhancing the customer experience for a business is simply a part of the process where you actually see the benefits. It will be really meaningful whenl you know how to develop and deploy a bot successfully.
While there are chatbots which are very advanced and can handle all type of users queries and direct them to make an order, customers would want to talk to human agents on several instances. There might also be instances where they would be wanting to simply leave an email and not interact at all. Considering this, it is important that you integrate your chatbot with other lines of communication as well, like Live Chat so that a customer can shift between the bot and live agent with ease.
While this article covers almost everything to give you a nudge in the direction of incorporating a chatbot in your business process for improving your customer experience, you may not be able to handle all the work it entails until you partner with a sound customer support software providers. You see, there are multiple “promising chatbots” in the market, but the chances that they would fit seamlessly with your business model are not guaranteed.
And so, it is important that you partner with a custom chatbot company who has wider range of solutions and can provide a solution which is aligned to your business needs and integrates with different channels like Whatsapp. Meesenger and others.
Author Bio: Akanksha is an IT enthusiast, having an experience of 7 years in marketing and promotion. She has experience in varied industries, in positions working across the line of marketing. She is a day dreamer, an avid reader and a crazy traveler when she is not working.