Customers expect great communication, speed, and efficiency from today’s businesses – the pillars of impeccable customer service. Until recently, this service has been delivered solely by human agents, but since the rise of AI and the first chatbots, customer service has undergone a revolution.
Consider these figures. Garner believes that, by 2027, a quarter of all global companies will use chatbots as their main way to communicate with customers. Similarly, business leaders found that up to 67% of sales increases are generated thanks to these little digital helpers.
It goes to show just how popular and effective chatbots are – but how, exactly, can you use them to supercharge your customer service? Read our guide to discover more.
1. Fast and effective response
One of the first things you can gain by using a chatbot is an impressive speed in customer response times. And guess what happens when a customer inquiry gets dealt with in a matter of minutes instead of hours (or days), especially if you have just launched your small business? Correct: you have a happy, satisfied customer who is a lot more likely to come back to you for more purchases.
But even if the customer has to wait for a little while before their issue gets resolved (potentially by a human agent) the immediate response of chatbots generates a feeling of reassurance in the customer.
Chatbots have the ability to tailor their responses not only to the individual customer, but also to the tone and style of the business, down to the geographical region. For example, if your clients look for businesses through a domain search Canada, a chatbot can communicate with them using the spelling, syntax, and information relevant to this region.
In addition, chatbots can fine-tune the customer experience even further by gathering and storing crucial data, such as customer buying patterns, purchase history, behavior, and preferences.
By knowing if a customer regularly orders a particular type of item, the bot can offer vouchers, special offers, or alternative items that are relevant to the customer’s taste, making the overall experience even more customized.
3. Money and time savings
Setting up a business can mean a huge amount of outlay. There are vital components such as working to establish a website, making the right hires, buying stock, and crafting a marketing strategy. Customer service, too, also comes at a cost.
Chatbots are extremely cost-effective if used to their full potential. Their cost-efficiency depends on the fact that bots don’t require expensive training and onboarding, don’t take home a paycheque, and don’t require holidays or breaks – all elements you must consider when recruiting human agents.
Of course, human beings with their sophisticated skills and natural empathy remain an essential element in good customer service, especially because there will always be issues a chatbot can’t resolve. This is one of the many good reasons why you should invest in advanced HCM human capital management solutions.
Still, chatbots can handle multiple queries simultaneously, and can be deployed to do the heavy lifting of answering straightforward questions and directing customers to FAQs and other relevant information. All of this, in turn, frees up human staff members to focus on more complex issues.
Ultimately, chatbots can mean that a slimmer, more agile human team can focus on what it does best, leaving the chatbots to cover the rest. This results in big savings on salaries and hiring costs.
4. 24-hour and worldwide availability
If you are an international business, the chances are that your recruiting strategy is designed to take different time zones (and potentially languages) into account. So, why wouldn’t you offer the same to your customers through 24/7 customer service?
To achieve this without asking staff to work unsociable hours is a challenge, and this is where chatbots come into play. Chatbots can remove this obstacle by being available to customers around the clock, regardless of where they are in the world.
Another huge advantage of chatbots is that they remove all language barriers. A bot can be programmed to speak any language, and can easily switch between languages depending on the customer’s needs.
If you’re concerned about maintaining human-like interactions, incorporating live chat features alongside chatbots can provide that extra layer of personal touch and immediate assistance, ensuring that even during the wee hours, your customers feel valued and supported.
5. Instant feedback and data collection
As a chatbot interacts with a customer, a lot of useful data is generated. This data can be harvested and used to provide valuable guidance for your brand, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
For example, products that seem to generate more customer issues than others can be flagged and logged. Likewise, repeated questions relating to a topic like automatic call distribution may be logged into an automatic call distribution guide from Vonage, to help guide customers on how to use this tool.
In fact, anything that could be useful and valuable can be gleaned from the interactions chatbots have with customers.
The beauty of this method for gathering data is that there is no need for customers to fill in feedback forms or take part in surveys: the information simply flows in, as a by-product of chatbot interactions.
Chatbots and the future
Chatbot technology will continue to develop, and it’s likely that ever more sophisticated and tailored ways of communicating with customers will emerge. Businesses no longer see chatbots as a novel addition to their customer service: they see them as an essential component.
By using chatbots, companies around the globe can expect to reap many benefits – from time and cost savings to customer loyalty, from around-the-clock availability to data collection.
These are just some of the reasons why chatbots are now firmly established as beneficial elements of any aspiring business’s customer service offering.
Are you ready to embark on your chatbot journey, too?