Today’s customer service chatbots are truly remarkable. Thanks to artificial intelligence, their capabilities so far exceed the link-serving and canned answer rehashing chatbots that annoyed us all in the mid-2000’s that they should really be given a new and distinctive name. But what’s truly revolutionary about these “new” bots is the impact they have on business. Their ability to increase customer engagement, satisfaction, and ultimately retention could greatly benefit almost any organization.
1. Your customers don’t want help now—they want it NOW
Of all the things the Internet has given us, patience is not one. With so many different customer service channels available to customers, companies must adjust the expectations associated with these always-on, instant channels. For instance, a study undertaken by Lithium Technologies found that when customers use Twitter to contact a company, 53% expect a reply within one hour, and that number jumps to 72% when the customer is using the tweet to lodge a complaint. If those expectations aren’t met? Sixty percent of customers will take action to express their dissatisfaction. Sitting on hold or waiting a day for an email to be returned is simply no longer acceptable.
Not only can chatbots be easily and instantly engaged at any time during the purchase process or any other customer interaction, but they are an endlessly scalable solution. Unlike human customer service employees, which are a finite resource, a chat bot can handle any number of customers, eliminating the frustration of waiting for an available agent.
2. They’re everywhere your customers are
Almost as important as speed in customer service is convenience. To provide information and resolve problems quickly and efficiently, companies must make it easy for customers to contact them. Leading customer service chatbots not only function seamlessly on a business’s website, but they also work on social media platforms and within popular messaging apps including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Slack, all places customers are increasingly using to interact with brands.
Chatbots are also optimized for mobile use, ensuring that mobile customers can complete an entire transaction using just one app or interface – no need to speak with a call center agent or log onto the company’s website.
3. They provide excellent human interaction
The chatbots of yore provided answers based on keywords, and the average chatbot even today draws from predefined scripts. But a premier customer service chatbot, like the one designed by customer care self-service leader Nanorep, harnesses pioneering artificial intelligence to provide personal, human-like interaction and truly relevant and helpful information and actions.
The Nanorep solution in particular uses a proprietary natural-language-based algorithm to converse with customers in any language. Even if customers use long complex sentences, fragments, slang, or misspellings, the chatbot is able to understand and provide answers. The Nanorep chatbot also uses contextual answer technology to tap into a business’s knowledge base to deliver personalized and relevant information. Perhaps best of all, chatbots aren’t susceptible to frustration or hurt feelings as human customer service workers may be, and are able to maintain consistently friendly discourse.
4. They do it all
As discussed above, leading chatbots do much more than simply regurgitate information that can be found in an FAQ. Chatbots can do everything from providing basic help and product research to offering information on sales, searching catalogs for personalized product recommendations, and even completing sales transactions by accepting payment and providing shipping information. Such seamless processes can make a customer more likely to make a purchase.
And in the event a human representative is needed or preferred for the customer care experience, chatbots can transfer customers to a human agent within the same app or interface.
The super-intelligent customer service assistant
In addition to the above, customer service chatbots can also reduce a company’s customer service expenses by minimizing the staff required to keep customers satisfied and loyal. Chatbots are also keeping with the current trend for self-service in customer care; in fact, according to a study by Nuance Enterprise, 75% of respondents consider self-service a convenient method of addressing customer issues, and 67% prefer self-service to speaking with a customer care representative.
The only thing that might make a chatbot even better? If it could suggest a new name for itself.
For more on how chatbot technology is being implemented in various industries, see Bots Are Coming To Restaurants And Financial Services.