How can chatbots improve your customer service?
With 67% of customers using conversational chatbots in the past year, there is little doubt about the impact of chatbots on the future of customer interaction and marketing.
Nowadays, customers expect exceptional levels of service and engagement from brands. And in our fast-past digital world, anything but an instant response to a customer query will inevitably lose you business. Thankfully, chat bots offer an affordable and reliable answer. What the user wants is what a bot delivers: a direct line from their problem to your solution.
Perhaps you’re unsure if you have the technical expertise to bring a chatbot into your suite of marketing tools. Read on and let’s see if we can help navigate your way ahead.
What are customer service chatbots?
A chatbot is a program built to automatically engage with received messages via live chat. Chatbots can be programmed to respond the same way each time, to respond differently to messages containing certain keywords, and even to use machine learning to adapt their responses to fit the situation.
Put simply, chatbot automation is a super-effective means of communicating with and selling to your online customer.
What the main types of bots?
There are two main types of bot:
- Informational bots
- A new format in which to consume content
- Utility bots
- Solves a user’s problem through conversational marketing techniques
Chatbots leverage chat mediums like SMS text, website chat windows and social messaging services across platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to receive and respond to messages. The most advanced customer service chatbots are powered by AI, helping them to understand complex requests, personalise responses and improve interactions over time.
How can chatbots help your business?
Chatbots can cut operational costs by up to 30%. What’s more, 47% of customers reported that they’re open to buying directly from a bot. This means that, as well as reducing your marketing spend, chatbots have the potential to significantly increase your sales.
Think of your chatbot as the point where communication, service and transactions merge and become one. If you understand the interactions your audience is already having with your brand, then you can simply harness the chat interface to yield maximum impact.
Traditional marketing can ask your customer to take as many as ten steps to find the solution they’re looking for. But with your chatbot, this can be scaled down to just three:
|1. Engagement||2. Understanding||3. Recommendation|
|Initiating interaction with your customers||Comprehending your customers’ needs||Finding the quickest way to solve their problem|
In simple terms, chatbots allow you to deliver faster and more accurate customer service, while costing you less. If we look for statistics on the impact of chatbots, it’s no wonder that 50% of businesses plan to spend more on chatbots than on mobile apps this year. It’s a win-win.
How conversational bots enhance customer experience
For today’s consumer, price is no longer the main deciding factor. Instead, customer satisfaction comes primarily from the level of personalisation and quality of experience. According to a study conducted by PwC, 43% of all shoppers are willing to pay more for greater convenience, and 42% are willing to pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience.
Click on the image below to download the infographic
The main benefits of using chatbots
- Round-the-clock customer support
In the online world, immediacy is everything. And in a 24-hour global marketplace you cannot afford to be ‘out for lunch’ at any time. Your chatbot offers this service and, by giving potential customers what they’re looking for and nothing more, you save them time and avoid the frustrations associated with other forms of communication.
- Personalised customer interaction
With the more basic pre-programmed bots being superseded by AI power, your highly sophisticated interface will be hard to distinguish from a human at the other end of the keypad. So you can communicate in your style, using your terminology and differentiating from your competitors.
- No more IVR
Spend 5 minutes on any social media platform and you will find a thread about how frustrating it is to use automated voice call services. Your customers will thank you for taking that misery out of their lives!
- A smoother customer journey
It may be that your customer can’t find the answers to their questions elsewhere, or they’re unsure which questions to ask. With your bot posing a series of information-led questions, it can rapidly direct your customer to the solution and, ultimately, to the desired transaction. In fact, 68% of consumers say they like chatbots because they provide quick answers.
- Free up your staff to focus on what they do best
One of the primary concerns surrounding recent developments in technology is the fear of AI chatbots replacing customer service roles. But will chatbots really replace human customer service? We don’t think so, chatbots exist to support — not replace — their human counterparts. It’s important to remember that a customer service bot is designed primarily to handle volume — albeit in a very sophisticated way. Bots take care of the grunt work, allowing your (human) team to focus on those enquiries that require a more personal, nuanced approach and delivering the best value to your customers.
Best examples of customer service chatbots
Below are the best examples of customer service chatbots on a website.
Zendesk is a CRM that focuses on products that provide excellent customer service. On their website, they have a chatbot that clients and potential customers can use to learn more about their services. You can ask any questions and the chatbot will give you options to choose from, and if your choice is not listed, you can type what exactly you would like.
HOAS are student housing for rental purposes. On their website, HOAS offers a chatbot to assist students and potential students. If the chatbot cannot solve your problem, you will be transferred to a human.
Samara James, is a jewellery designer specializing in wedding rings. They have a live chat option on their website. This can be directed to Messenger, WhatsApp, or if you’d prefer a live chat with one of their agents on the site itself. Your inquiry will be answered within seconds by a live agent and an expert will answer any jewellery-related question you have.
Gol airlines is a Brazilian airline company. There is a chatbot on their website that welcomes you with a message and provides you with relevant information. There are also options for you to choose from for your inquiries, and if your question isn’t listed you can type it.
As an energy company, EDF has a lot more customer interactions than any other company. In this case, chatbots help manage multiple customers simultaneously.
Customers can contact them through Text messages, WhatsApp messages, or through a chatbot on their website. A message with an option to select will appear after you select the chatbot option. Once you provide your details and a brief explanation of your query, the bot will connect you to an advisor.
Social Media customer service chatbot examples
A rise in social commerce has led to the rise of social media chatbots as well, which have helped many brands build relationships with customers and boost sales, while also leaving clients satisfied.
You can start a conversation with the boohoo chatbot by selecting one of the options listed or even asking your own question if it isn’t listed. The boohoo chat bot helps you track your parcel and gives you more information about their return policy.
Tommy Hilfiger is a global designer fashion brand that has also entered the Messenger bot market. While Tommy Hilfiger does not have an option to begin a conversation, simply say “Hello” and they’ll reply within seconds regardless of their business hours.
WHO (World Health Organisation)
Message the bot with just a simple “Hi,” the bot will respond with “Hot Topics” and a welcome message, along with a few options to choose from the topics you would like to explore.
Are a travel agency that offers amazing deals to their customers. They have a chatbot on Messenger that responds quickly. By clicking on “Get Started,” they will respond with two articles and a “search hotel deals.” If this is not what you are looking for, do not worry, you can still message them with what you want assistance with.
Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways, also known as Cathay Pacific, has a messenger chatbot that offers customer support. You can start the conversation with the bot by saying “Hello” and the bot will respond fairly quickly. From there, you can continue the conversation.
In summary: What problems does a chatbot solve?
When it comes to improving customer satisfaction, there are a whole host of reasons to start using chatbots. With the help of the right guidance and expertise, a chatbot will:
- Make your customer journey easier and quicker
- Provide 24/7 customer support
- Reduce your sales costs
- Skyrocket your sales
- Free up your staff to focus on what they do best
Want to hear more about our expertise in chatbots and conversational marketing?
Get in touch with us and a real person will be happy to have a chat with you.