Most traditional communication channels require micro-management hence the need for businesses to adopt modern approaches like chatbots, which provide a means for direct customer engagement, bypassing the need for special purpose web pages.
Chatbots can be integrated into applications, instant messenger, and websites and enable clients to forge closer relationships with their clients without hiring customer service agents. Customer experience is worth investing in since customer satisfaction is what makes customers return for repeated purchases, and it is more cost-effective to maintain existing customers than attaining new ones. Even though complete automation of the workforce is not feasible, automating a portion of the sales and support services will go along way into helping a company save, by cutting down labor costs.
Olive Hang, research vice-president at Gartner predicts that by 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be handled entirely by AI, a 400% increase from 2017.
It is, therefore, crucial that companies get ahead and start adopting chatbots in automating a portion of their customer interaction. This way, every experience, whether in sales, marketing, or customer service, will meet or surpass customer expectations.
Digital strategist, brand, and influencer consultant Shane Barker advise businesses to take advantage of chatbots if they are to improve their customer experience. He poses, "Want to improve your overall customer experience? It’s time to leverage ai chatbots.”
A simple chatbot integration into your application or website can greatly boost customer satisfaction by turning grievances from monologues into dialogues and make your customers feel heard.
Research by Researchgate indicated that customers prefer chatbots because of the quick and effective solutions as well as the feel of exclusive client support, as opposed to calling a customer support center and waiting in line to talk to a representative.
Benefits of using chatbots in customer service
1. Chatbots provide faster and more convenient service
Support bots eliminate waiting time by reducing response and overall resolution times to customer queries, and deflection of repetitive tasks from customer service agents. Customers get frustrated when their inquiries and complaints take a long time to get a response.
According to consumer research by Accenture, 66% of the consumers surveyed in mature markets expect customer support to be faster, and 78% in emerging markets.
A majority of customers prefer to live chats and messaging applications as a means of getting in touch with companies and expect customer service to be convenient and efficient. With chatbots, customer queries can be addressed within seconds because chatbots can answer FAQs and simple queries instantly, therefore reducing the chances of losing a customer.
2. 24/7 availability
Customers expect round-the-clock support from online businesses. A chatbot is location and time-independent, and, therefore, able to help customers outside of office hours. If it is unable to resolve a query, it can create a ticket for the customer to be contacted by a customer service agent during office hours.
3. Increased customer and employee satisfaction
It is not feasible to completely automate customer service and replace agents with chatbots, a balance between the two is necessary. Like virtual assistants, chatbots supplement customer support agents, and conversations can be seamlessly transferred to customer service agents. Any query that the chatbot cannot address is transferred to a live agent with the necessary information to handle it. You can create chatbots to respond to FAQs and take over repetitive tasks while leaving customer service agents time to focus on time to deliver high quality and personal service to customers.
4. Reduce customer churn rates
To guarantee returning customers, it is important that the operations team shifts from company-centric to a customer-centric focus.
67% of customer churn is preventable if customers' issues are resolved at the first engagement. When it recognizes frustration from the customer or can no longer provide relevant responses, the chatbot transfers the conversation to a live agent. Chatbots enable users to operate with little to no clicks, optimizing the usability of websites. The fewer the clicks, the higher the chance that a visitor will make a purchase, hence the success of amazon’s “buy-with-1-click” strategy.
According to Chatbot magazine, 91% of unsatisfied customers will not return for a repeat purchase.
5. Helps to reduce costs
Chatbot magazine indicates that chatbots can save up to 30% on customer support services. They provide a way for companies to offer efficient customer service by handling dozens of messages cost-effectively.
Creating chatbots to increase customer satisfaction
1. Keep chatbot information up-to-date
Contrary to popular belief, it requires lots of commitment to implement and operate a chatbot. To be effective, create chatbots with sufficient information. A chatbot is trained from a knowledge base of the most common queries and thereafter learns continuously from previously raised issues, and on-going conversations. It is important to optimize chatbots by keeping them up-to-date by feeding them with relevant information, otherwise, they will be rendered redundant. Updated chatbots can provide relevant assistance to many if not all customer queries.
2. Create chatbots with empathy
Even though they are machines, it is possible to train chatbots to respond. to be empathetic and capture emotional responses from clients. To make them more empathetic, chatbots require the ability to adapt to the flow of conversations and sentiments, have explicit measures by asking how the customer feels at the end of conversations and adopt implicit measures by capturing sentiments without explicitly asking, and the ability to compare both explicit and implicit measures to improve on sentiment capture. Include rich media such as images and videos during your interaction with clients. This functionality is available on certain chatbot builders including Botup.
Training should involve exposure to various emotional situations through real conversations. Performance data can then be used to measure which emotional instances the chatbot does not understand and train them to exhibit satisfactory responses.
3. Create an escalation path
Part of the purpose of automating customer service with chatbots is the handling of repetitive and routine tasks and questions. However, if the questions became too complicated, the conversation must be escalated to a human advisor. This escalation needs to be seamless to the customer, by switching from the chat window to voice interaction and keeping waiting times as minimal as possible. The live agent must be able to have information about the conversation before the escalation to avoid a repeat of information from the customer.
4. Gathering client information
To increase customer satisfaction, you must learn the client, their needs, and expectations. Chatbots are valuable in collecting information at the start of conversations. Since they are smarter than people, chatbots can remember the most mundane details about clients, and use this data in similar scenarios or the data can be used by customer service in follow-up support.
5. Simplifying the sales procedure
It is possible to create chatbots that can automate the sales procedure from beginning to end by giving customers order details, completing their payment processes, and helping them track their orders. The chatbot can send your customers' collateral if they need to know about your product and can set up a one-click scheduling calendar should they need a product demo. Processes that used to take days can now be easily completed with bots, ensuring your customers' purchasing experience is fulfilling.
6. Use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to make the chatbots sound natural and friendlier
It is vital that customers feel they are talking to a real person and not a robot. To achieve this, it is appropriate to ensure that the tone and language of the chatbot are relatable to your audience. By use of NLP, the chatbot learns to recognize real language and to recognize different tones to be able to use available data to personalize responses. This personalized experience with the brand reaps double benefits. The company can easily manage and analyze transcripts of the conversation and at the same time use this data to better understand their customers, their needs, and recurring issues that need to be addressed.
7. Create chatbots to be more conversational
To be able to engage customers, chatbots need to learn how to be interactive like on a voice call but without being too explicit, to avoid a negative reaction. This adaptation is possible only through insights from interaction analytics which captures the different approaches that customers prefer and then used to coach the chatbot to these styles. This adaptation will ensure customers feel satisfied with their interactions with your brand.
With Gartner predicting a 400% increase in the use of chatbots for customer interaction by 2021, data from interaction analytics can be used to learn how chatbots will react to new interaction types and hence improve on these interaction responses.
This reduces the workload for the live agents, leaving them to dedicate their time to more complex issues and improving customer experiences.
8. Understanding chatbot limitations
To give customers a satisfactory experience is to first be able to understand chatbot limitations, and therefore create them with these in mind. Even though they are very valuable, you cannot underestimate the value of human touch which dealing with customers. Chatbots work best in low-complexity situations and be powered to transfer control of conversations to live agents when queries become complex. Chatbots are very valuable during times like Black Friday, Halloween, Cyber Monday, and Christmas when many purchases are happening and therefore customers need more support.
9. Leverage the right chatbot tool to ensure proper implementation
The success of any chatbot is highly dependent on its initial implementation and it starts with the tool you use to build your chatbot. Experts recommend that you engage the services of reputable chatbot builders such as Botup.
To create a chatbot to enhance customer satisfaction, it is vital to understand your target audience and their language of communication. This will help you design the chatbot in ways you feel will address their challenges and increase their level of satisfaction. Analyzing their conversational history is also important to help you position the chatbot at the right level of customer support.
10. Constant monitoring
To ensure the chatbot is operating at its optimal, it is important to monitor it constantly to ensure it is meeting its goals and identify any shortcomings. This is usually the work of customer service agents who also handle any escalations from the chatbots. The agents can update it with new questions to its repertoire, and ensure it is meeting its goals.
Chatbots are becoming ever more popular in automating customer support. It is, therefore, necessary for businesses to enhance the trend to stay on top of their competition and optimize the customer experience. A good chatbot allows you to build, monitor, and make enhancements on the chatbot yourself. You must create chatbots that can adapt to natural language and give customers the experience of a real conversation with human tones.