Studies show that consumers handle 85% of their engagement with businesses without ever interacting with another human being. Instead of engaging with people, consumers opt for self-service options and chatbots. Many millennials prefer to handle customer service matters themselves. Baby boomers are more likely to expect benefits from chatbots than millennials, according to Apiumhub, with a 61% usage rate.
When it comes to artificial intelligence chatbots, 60% of millennials have used them, and the majority of those have reported positive experiences. Of the millennials who have not used them, more than half say they are likely to use them given the opportunity.
Quite a few of the larger brands have noticed these preferences as well and taken action. Pizza Hut, for example, uses a chatbot to help customers to place orders via Facebook. Starbucks, the international coffee giant is also testing using chatbots to reach customers, although they have not integrated eCommerce options yet.
It is becoming more and more obvious that using chatbots for customer service is going to be the standard. Using them for making purchases, payments, and loads of other service needs is very near.
This increasing chatbot usage is due to several factors:
- Chatbots can cut operational costs by up to 30%
- 64% of internet users say 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots
- 37% of people already look for a customer service bot to get a quick answer in an emergency
- According to IBM, chatbots can answer 80% of standard questions people need answers for
Chatbots in the “Instant Gratification” Society
Chatbots seem very appealing to millennials, mostly due to the instant communication and ease of connection. Their parents tend to more often prefer human interaction, with a touch of self-service. You can also do this with chatbots, by offering the ability to transfer to a human or a phone call.
For the millennials, chatbots fit perfectly with expectations and the way they are used to communicating with the world around them. For others, it becomes a convenience. Not having to wait on hold for long periods or long times for responses through email is easier.
The beauty of these as a marketing method is that customers ask for quick responses from brands and get it. Consumers also demand fast and reliable customer service across all channels or platforms. A chatbot can give everything from service information and FAQs to automated sales processes and eCommerce capacity.
The days of customers having to wait on the phone for a long time to speak to a customer service rep are gone. The public has this expectation of “I want it and I want it now.” Customer care has to quickly keep up with developing technology. At the same time, companies are under constant pressure to engage with customers wherever they are and whenever they want.
This is where chatbots come in.
Using chatbots for customer support is increasing. The use of them allows your business to recognize and address customer problems, concerns, needs and wants much more easily.
A chatbot can be your new customer support team. In today’s instant gratification world, this shift towards self-service comes at a great time. (Many of our clients have been able to reduce the number of customer service reps with chatbots helping with much of the work.)
You can integrate chatbot applications with both your website and your social media. This allows for real time interaction and engagement through multiple communication channels.
Here are a few ways how this new AI technology can enhance your customer service strategy
Chatbots offer instant customer service
Chatbots have begun to replace slower communication like phone calls and emails. They are even taking live chat to a new level. Because chatbots can give a presence to answer some of the most commonly asked questions, the popularity has grown exponentially.
A good chatbot can remove the frustrations of navigating phone menus and waiting for email replies. Customers want to be able to get what they need and want it now. Accomplishing this with your setup is relatively simple once you know what you want it to do.
Chatbots can answer all types of questions at any time of day, from any location, even through holidays and weekends. Connecting a chatbot with your knowledge base can help people get the answers they need easily. Offering these personalized and immediate responses is building brand awareness.
For example, Macy’s, the American department store, has tested a cognitive mobile web tool, On Call. It helps shoppers find products, departments, and brands, as well as what services and facilities can be found in a store.
Businesses today should stay focused on identifying, testing, and supporting new concepts and approaches. The goal is to elevate your service through emerging technologies.
Handling unhappy customers
Customer service has always been a fundamental determinant of success for any business. Stats reveal that 91% of unsatisfied customers won’t come back for a repeat purchase or service. But the odds of losing a customer can immediately be reduced through the use of automated chatbots.
Even the most simple use of chatbots, like greeting people or clarifying issues, can improve a person’s overall experience. Chatbots can help in answering simple questions and quick-response needs. This gives more time for customer service reps to concentrate on more complicated customer needs.
Using chatbots to improve user experience
People today are looking for the most accessible and most productive ways to interact with a business. This is where quality chatbots can surpass their human counterparts. Chatbots can have quicker and more detailed access to client information. This makes them perfect for leaving the user satisfied with the entire interaction and increasing customer engagement.
For instance, Lufthansa, the airline company has launched a chatbot on their Facebook named Mildred. It helps passengers search for the cheapest flights within the next nine months. When you’re ready to purchase a ticket, you are redirected to the website to book the flights directly.
The difficulty with these comes in creating an automated process that is human-like. People still want to feel like they are interacting with humans even though most understand it is automation. Text-based communications via messengers appear to be favored over voice-based ‘assistants’. Siri isn’t human, and people understand that talking to voice-based ‘assistants’ can be frustrating and inaccurate.
Boost your bottom line
You may not be able to replace 100% of your customer service workforce. Automating part of the customer management and sales funnels through chatbots and other automation technologies, however, is more feasible. This approach results in significant savings for businesses. As we said earlier, chatbots can cut operational costs by up to 30%.
A single ai chatbot can manage thousands of chats at once. This means there’s not as much of a need to hire more employees, even as your company grows. The gains from automating customer service positions using chatbots in the US alone is an estimated $23 billion per year.
Chatbot advantages are not only cash savings and reduced labor costs. As AI continues to grow, the real gains come with more active and consistent customer management, engagement and communication, sales and conversions, reporting, and marketing.
Driving sales and conversions
Chatbots aren’t just an automated answering machine with a handful of options. Having a chatbot on your sales team can also drive sales and increase conversion rates.
Depending on what product or services you offer, chatbots can help with a variety of needs. They tailor their responses based on a user’s answers and input. This helps build a personal service that helps mirror human communication and seem more human-like.
Banks are currently experimenting with various customer-facing bots. A Dutch financial institution, ABN-AMRO has two bots live to engage with customers via Facebook Messenger. It has both a mortgage chatbot and an informative chatbot for entrepreneurs. Intelligent virtual assistants will be capable of providing customers with all sorts of services with fully automated methods.
Streamline your flow
Managing messages from the traditional help desks have resulted in longer wait times, chaotic messaging experiences, and increased stress for support staff. Chatbots provide a permanent solution with 24-hour access. This helps you achieve faster response times and more efficiency from your staff while also handling high volumes of conversations.
To give your business the best opportunity:
- Understanding how technology can help
- Focus on adding a human element to it
- Develop a strategy for using chats at scale
Chatbots can play a significant role in your digital marketing toolbox. They can help you to develop authentic relationships with customers, generate more leads, and simplify your sales cycle.
If you’d like more information about chatbots and the right fit for your business, contact us today. Let’s launch your new conversational strategy.