The rise of artificial intelligence chatbots may sound like a sci-fi horror scenario, but in truth, the booming industry of bots isn’t terrifying at all. Instead, it’s a technology that delivers real, practical benefits to businesses and customers alike. Bots are already a large part of the customer service scene. In 2018, the bot market was worth $1.274 billion and forecasts expect it to reach $7.5 billion by 2024.
Idea of chatbots
Businesses today are quickly coming around to the idea of chatbots for customer service. 60 percent of consumers have used bots to engage with a business in the last year, and 48 percent say they’re willing to chat with a bot for customer service. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not chatbots make sense for your business, these are the major things you need to know about deploying customer service chatbots.
What are Artificial Intelligence Chatbots?
Chatbots for customer service provide real-time interactive responses to customer queries. Companies pre-write queries for the bot, and it responds in a conversational style. In fact, AI chatbots also tend to learn from every customer service interaction and improve their responses over time.
5 Ways You can Use Chatbots for Customer Service
Some firms may be apprehensive about replacing human encounters with automated dialogue. But customer care bots don’t replace human agents. They’re supposed to be used in specific situations that benefit both agents and clients. And when used in that manner, they are really useful.
1. Faster customer service
More and more people choose self-service options over talking to a human, and bots make it even easier for customers to discover answers quickly. When it’s a busy session, agents often face a customer line. They must help one before moving ahead. It eludes bots. They may answer any number of customers at the same time with no wait time.
Getting a rapid answer to customer care questions is vital to 89 percent of clients. And Artificial Intelligence Chatbots can provide 24/7 customer assistance, but people have to eat and sleep. One survey asked users what they thought the main benefits of bots were, and the top two replies were 24/7 customer service (64%) and quick responses to questions (55%).
2. Less Time Spent on Repeating Queries
While customer service chatbots can’t solve every customer support issue instantly, they can handle many that don’t require a human response. Your professional agents should not be spending hours addressing simple questions like “What hours are you open?” or “When will my order arrive?”
That helps agent morale. Nobody enjoys offering repetitive cut-and-paste answers. In fact, 79 percent of customer service agents feel managing complex issues enhances their skills, and 72 percent believe it increases their value to the organization.
3. Bots Can Help Personalize
Currently, the most obvious purpose for customer support chatbots is to deflect simple questions with clear answers. The information you give to visitors can be personalized if your customer service chatbot’s technology interfaces with other systems.
A customer support bot might use your CRM database to assess if a visitor is an existing client or a prospect. When a returning consumer enters an e-commerce site, a chatbot can provide alternatives like “Hey welcome back, would you like to check the status of your recent order?”
On the same site, a new visitor might see “First time here?! Want to see our most popular things or learn more about us?” On top of immediately personalizing interactions, customer service chatbots can communicate crucial information while switching between bot and human. An agent can see which help center articles and webpages a customer has visited if they have tried to self-solve their issue. Agents can avoid repeating replies already seen by customers, saving both time and money.
4. Bots Work Across Channels
Customers now have options. According to Forrester, 95% of customers use three or more channels for customer care. Customers are increasingly using messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger in addition to traditional channels like email and phone. Customers today expect brands to be available on several channels, and who knows what new channels will be launched in the coming years.
Good News: Bots can be omnichannel. You can even use bots to answer frequent inquiries received by email, website, slack, and other messaging apps. The more AI bots you deploy, the less work your agents have to do.