“A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees.”- Shep Hyken.
Customer experience (CX) is the interaction between a brand and a customer, and the value addition the customer takes away from that interaction. Gartner proved that customer experience is the real game-changer for brands. In fact, 81% of companies around the world compete on the basis of customer experience today.
This prompt competition is driving brands to improve their customer experience strategies. One such customer experience strategy that companies use to add up to their customer experience game is?
While there are a bunch of things you can do to improve your customer’s experience, this article is dedicated to elucidating how chatbots specifically can create an effect in your customer experience strategy.
But before that, let’s start off with the basics.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is basically a computer program that is designed to communicate with human users through the internet. Modern chatbots running on the rules of AI allow a form of contextual interactions between a human and a machine, which usually happens via messages or voice commands. A chatbot is programmed to work independently from a human operator, but providing live chat features contribute to catering a holistic customer experience with your brand.
Why should you use one?
Chatbots are a great tool to automate all your lower-level interactions with your customers. You can now save time, resources and spare yourself the expenditure of hiring more manpower to take care of monotonous tasks and interactions. From brands like Sephora to renowned organizations like the UN, chatbots are in significant use and they’re definitely in demand! Chatbot use-cases are many and their functionalities in every use-case vary. Hence, the reason why they’re being extensively used in all sectors of industries today!
If you’re a business looking out to automate those frequent queries, be easily accessible 24/7, accelerate sales through more engagement and improve your customer experience, then chatbots are definitely the go-givers!
How do chatbots enhance customer experience?
While the benefits for the company that uses chatbots include reducing costs, the real winner will be your customers. Here’s how a chatbot enhances customer experiences.
24/7 customer support
Human beings need sleep, but a chatbot doesn’t. Customer queries at times arise outside of business hours, so they need some form of an assistance when the agents are offline.
Chatbots offer customers the opportunity to get answers to their questions round the clock, eliminating wait time. Some of the best chatbots, with great NLP engines, can offer the customer the feeling of conversing with a real person!
Seamless Live chat
A chatbot can engage customers the same way they would in an online conversation with customer support agents. So the learning curve for customers to engage with chatbots is sort of non-existent. Most chatbots these days are AI-driven and run on the rules of Machine Learning that can analyze the customer’s query and deliver a relevant response.
Chatbots can be easily integrated into the company website or any smartphone apps, saving the customer’s time and the trouble of searching through the company’s online resources for assistance. Being easily accessible through social media platforms like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp allows your customers to talk to your brand at any given time. In Facebook’s recent F8 2018 keynote, for example, it was revealed that over 8 million messages have been exchanged between Facebook users and businesses that are using Facebook’s chatbot live chat!
Chatbots handle most of the queries, but at certain times, there are queries that a chatbot isn’t trained to resolve. Or maybe the subject is just too complex for machine learning engines to analyze and provide solutions for. That’s when LIVE CHAT comes to play! Give people a holistic customer experience with your brand by addressing and resolving all their queries through live chat agents. While the chatbot assists your customers for lower-level queries and interactions, your live chat agents can look into complex issues and aim at resolving them. When the chatbot reads any complex issue, it will automatically assign a live chat agent to take over the same chat.
Assisting endless queries
Although most chatbots are designed to replicate human intelligence, other systems have been developed around the idea of letting computers handle repetitive tasks, like database searches. A chatbot’s main goal is not to replicate human conversations but to provide solutions to customer problems.
Now imagine you’re a customer support agent. You work extensively throughout the day to solve customer queries. Now, what if there’s one particular customer who keeps coming up to you regarding the same problem, even though you’ve resolved their issue several times? Human beings are a bag of emotions and no matter how much we try, there comes a time when we give into our ‘ID’ and sass talk with the (rude) customers.
According to Parature’s 2014 State of Multichannel Customer Survey, out of 1000 consumers surveyed in a study, 65% said they’ve ended their relationship with a brand over a single customer service miscue.
But what if there was a way of cutting all this drama? Chatbots can answer repetitive queries endlessly without being influenced by emotions. And that’s what consumers need!
Smooth customer journey
Chatbots make the customer’s journey with your brand easier and push them through the sales funnel better. Chatbots ease the purchasing process for the customers by sending them information directly, showing products they might be interested in and personalizing content for them.
Cut the stress
Customer support calls are a stressful course of events, for both the customer as well as the agent. This brings down the customer experience as many customers would rather drop off a brand rather than going through the whole time-consuming affair of customer support. Hence, chatbots came into the scene, making customers feel comfortable coming in with their queries.
A survey asked if the customers would welcome the use of chatbots to satisfy their needs round the clock. Approximately 70% of the respondents answered that they would use chatbots if they could accomplish much-needed tasks, such as resolving issues with the need to contact customer support, reduce the time taken to resolve issues, reduce the wait time to get a customer service representative on the phone and streamline the entire customer service process.
No more IVR!
Bid IVRs adieu and replace them with chatbots! One of the most frequent complaints customers have about the customer service process is the interactive voice response systems during phone calls to customer support. These systems read and take action on the basis of what the customer commands and route the customer’s call.
A chatbot on the other hand can be used in a similar way but the experience can be made a less frustrating. When the customer feels like their voice is being heard and understood, the chatbot can try to lead them towards either an answer or connect them with a representative.
Collect feedback and customer details
The most minute details of the interaction you have with your customer is an opportunity for you to create something remarkable. Collecting feedback is an integral part of any business. It helps you understand what your customer needs and what is being delivered by your service. It’s a great way of improvising your strategy and services. To asses how your customers feel about the service, data is of utmost importance.
The go-to method of collecting feedback on customer experience is by using surveys and polls. Chatbots replace the old-fashioned forms into virtual surveys that reach a wider audience. Emails sent to customers containing a feedback survey or questionnaire are often ignored and have no open rates. Hence, chatbots can be the ideal method of reaching and engaging customers on a larger scale.
With chatbots, you can collect feedback while the customer is still on the website. Since the experience is fresh, the feedback gathered is more accurate. To gauge how well your chatbot is performing and how satisfied the customers are from their experience, provide an option to rate the experience at the end of a conversation with the chatbot.
What contributes to a positive customer experience? Speed, efficiency, knowledgeable help and friendly representatives. Chatbots are a powerful tool when it comes to providing assistance and supporting your customers throughout their interaction with your business. Chatbots make it easy for customers get solutions to their issues instantly, at any given point. The customers no longer have to:
- Sit through the long phone calls with the customer service representatives for basic queries.
- Having to converse through email back and forth, adding onto the wait-time.
- Wait for days together to get their queries resolved, with constant reminders and arguments. This makes the customer experience so bitter the customer usually drops off the brand even if their problem is resolved.
With chatbots, customers can get replies instantly, eliminating wait-time. Along with reducing the response time, chatbots also provide fast solutions, which is an important metric in customer support.
To sum it up,
Chatbots are changing the way brands interact with customers and they’re taking over every industry possible. So maybe it’s time to consider integrating with them with your business, keeping up with the advancements and reaping its maximum benefits!
Build bots in 10 minutes, visit Engati.
To know more about chatbot technology, you can go through some of these blogs.
Thanks for reading!