When you think of customer service, what comes to mind? Most people would say either calling for assistance or visiting a store. But what if I told you there was now another option? Customer service has been revolutionized thanks to chatbots!
Now, when I mention chatbots you might think about automated messages that don’t really help you. But that’s not accurate anymore!
With the help of artificial intelligence, chatbots have come a long way and are helping businesses improve customer service operations in a number of ways.
AI-powered chatbots are making their way into more and more businesses, as they have proven themselves to be an efficient solution for improving customer service operations. This blog post will discuss how this technology can help your business attract new customers, retain old ones, and improve the overall experience of those who visit your website or social media pages.
What is a chatbot?
Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate human interaction through speech. They are usually integrated into messaging apps and allow businesses with limited resources to provide 24/7 customer care services at a lower cost than hiring humans. With this new technology, customers can interact with brands anytime, anywhere they want on any device. Businesses have the ability to cut down on costs while simultaneously improving customer service experiences!
How does AI help?
AI-powered chatbots are generally considered artificial intelligence because they simulate human interaction with the same response rate as an average person would.
AI has helped this process even further with the introduction of Natural Language Processing (NLP).
NLP gives machines the ability to understand natural language and respond accordingly, which goes hand in hand with the “humanizing” trend that many companies are adopting.
For example, if an incoming customer request asks “How much does this dress cost?” The bot might reply “For just $25 you can order your favorite style.”
How does that happen? NLP technologies help chatbots to identify and extract the natural language rules like syntax, grammar, and semantics.
This allows for more natural responses that mimic human-to-human interactions at a much higher rate of accuracy than before!
Artificial intelligence also helps chatbots improve using data and assessing how successful their interaction with customers was.
Through machine learning, chatbots are able to collect information on how customers interact with them and improve their services accordingly!
Now that you know what an AI chatbot is and how it works, let’s explore the benefits it has to offer to the business world.
1. Chatbots reduce customer service costs
A chatbot can cut customer service costs, which is a significant part of many companies’ budgets. The cost savings derived from implementing the right chatbot solution are worth the time and effort businesses have to invest.
The cost-efficiency of chatbots from automating customer service and efficiently executing tasks have benefited every industry but interestingly, the banking industry reaped the most benefits. It is estimated that businesses can reduce customer service costs by up to 30% by implementing conversational solutions using chatbots.
2. Chatbots allow a 24/7 service
Chatbots, unlike your human staff, have no need to take breaks, rest on weekends, or sleep. Even during non-business hours, you can still provide support and guidance to your customers.
This is especially important for companies serving clients around the world. Due to time zone differences, it can often happen that the client has to wait until business hours start for the customer service representative.
This inconvenience is instantly handled by chatbots that, regardless of the time or day of the week, can provide quality assistance to the customer inquiry.
3. Chatbots make life easier for your staff
Chatbot technology is beneficial not only for the business but also for its staff. There are multiple interactions with customers asking the same question. This can quickly become a mundane task for customer service representatives and give them a feeling of boredom.
However, with the help of chatbots, the customer service representative’s job becomes easier. This is because chatbots handle mundane work, such as compiling a list of complaints or solving simple problems, while customer service staff focus on more meaningful interactions and inquiries.
4. Chatbots speed up response time
The advantages of using chatbots include quick and fast responses which make them ideal for customer care centers with high call volumes such as airlines and insurance companies.
Chatbots can instantly access customer interaction history and respond to different problems and requests, such as package shipment information, with ease.
Customer service staff, on the other hand, need to ask for customer information to provide support and guidance which typically lengthens response time.
A recent Statista study showed that, on average, it takes customers around 88 seconds to receive a response when using live chat. In the case of chatbot solutions, the response time is almost instantaneous.
The speed of chatbots ensures that customers are satisfied even during peak periods when customer queues are long due to high traffic volume!
5. Customers feel more comfortable with chatbots
When it comes to asking about certain products or services, clients may also feel more comfortable interacting with a chatbot because there is no risk of being judged, which means that clients are free to express themselves without feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed. In contrast, when customers walk into a store or speak to a human customer service representative, they are likely to feel inhibited, as there is a risk of being judged or considered ignorant.
How different industries use chatbots
Due to all these benefits, it’s no wonder that many industries take advantage of chatbots and have found different ways of using them. let’s see how some of the sectors benefit from this technology.
- Airline – For example, airlines use chatbots to provide guidance onboarding procedures and baggage allowance rules. Customers can also get information about flights and book tickets by interacting with chatbots.
- Insurance – Insurance companies have employed bots that help customers purchase policies, process claims, give personalized quotes, and more with the click of a button.
- eCommerce – eCommerce companies use chatbots to help customers get answers to their questions, finalize purchases, receive updates on their shipment, and get support.
- Banking – Chatbot technology has also been embraced by banks who are now able to automate mundane tasks such as bank statement retrieval, historical spending analysis or updating personal information.
- Technology – Chatbots can also be used by technology companies to provide support for software products and services, as well as help with technical issues such as downloads and installations.
Chatbots are quickly becoming a crucial part of customer service by providing convenience and instant access to information, speedier responses than human staff, and an overall better experience for the consumer.
The future is bright for chatbots. More and more companies are adopting them as the preferred way to interact with customers online, as humans become overwhelmed with exponential amounts of requests. In fact, 40% of Internet users worldwide stated that they prefer to interact with chatbots than with virtual agents.
This technology is sure to continue evolving as time progresses; we look forward to seeing what comes next!