Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, today’s chatbots have become invaluable tools for customer service operations. They are not only streamlining and optimizing customer experiences at every stage in the service process but are also proving to be helpful aids to customer service representatives. Here are 10 powerful benefits of adopting chatbots for customer service:
24/7 Customer Service
Maintaining a support team that can care for customers at all hours can be very costly, but customers’ needs may arise outside of business hours. Frustration can build when problems are not addressed immediately, so providing a way for customers to ask questions and get answers at any time can be a major relief and a way to increase satisfaction as well as customer retention. Because chatbots allow customers to get help at any time, businesses can leave a positive impact on their minds even if service staff are unavailable.
A direct result of 24/7 availability is the obvious benefit of increased resolution speed. Quick response and fix to a problem can be the difference between keeping a customer or having them abandon a service. A chatbot can tap into a database and provide answers to questions immediately, at any time. Even if a human agent needs to intervene and provide further support, chatbots cut the workload and allow agents to focus on the more critical steps in finding solutions to customers’ problems.
As previously mentioned, even if chatbots can’t solve a problem immediately, they can at least provide an instant response relevant to the customer’s query. Customers do not like to wait for help but staffing costs do not justify keeping a large enough live team at all hours to guarantee that they get help immediately. Chatbots can be the first point of contact, reduce customer frustration, and fill in for agents when needed. Even if a follow up is required, the customer can feel well cared for due to the quick initial response.
Reduced Operational Costs and Improved Morale
One of the most immediate benefits of chatbots is monetary. Chatbots reduce operational costs by reducing staffing needs. A full-time support team is costly, so leaving the after-hours support to a chatbot provides enormous savings. Also, chatbots can handle tedious and repetitive tasks so human agents don’t have to. Agent productivity increases as they don’t have to answer repetitive and basic questions of customers. This saves time and money but also has the added benefit of positively impacting employee morale. People are much happier when they don’t have to reset passwords 100 times a day, for example.
Chatbots handle thousands of customer queries at once in multiple languages. They can not only work with several languages, but they can even understand different intents. This makes them very versatile and useful, especially for global companies. Sometimes it’s hard to find speakers of some languages, so these bots are a good alternative. While they cannot fully replace fluent human agents in all circumstances, they reduce the need to employ multiple language speakers as staff at all times.
Consistency and Accuracy (Even in the most repetitive, low-value tasks)
The workload can be strenuous and tough on agents’ performance, especially when having to work on the same tasks over and over. Furthermore, they may sometimes experience off days, when they may not work to their full capacity. Chatbots have the benefit of needing no breaks and performing at the same level regardless of how many times they have to repeat an action.
Data Gathering Opportunities
For people, it is hard to remember every part of a conversation, and it is even harder to analyze all the details in order to improve services and better meet customer expectations. Some chatbots, however, have the ability to gather analytics and can be trained to do so on the spot. Chatbots also give consistent responses that can be used to test customer responses without bias. This allows businesses to improve their service strategies.
Reduced IVR frustrations
Most customers loathe the dreaded use of interactive voice response (IVR) systems during phone calls. Having to listen to the menu and being unable to get a personalized response is frustrating. To some people, it is even downright insulting. IVR systems are also too structured, and oftentimes leave no room for special requests or unique scenarios. Customers have very few choices and sometimes end up being routed to the wrong help team. Chatbots can fully replace these outdated systems. Customers can still be routed to the right team without the intervention of a human agent, but they at least feel like they are being cared for and understood. Finally, using a chatbot also reduces the time and cost associated with transferring a customer between different departments, especially if some of these transfers are wrong.
Less Customer Stress
Reducing stress and frustration happens on many different levels, not only when substituting IVR systems. Some customers may experience anxiety when having to contact the help department and explain their issue, for example. Having the option to speak to a chatbot instead reduces these fears. The immediate response and overall reduced resolution speed also lessen the negative emotional response that some customers may have. Chatbots streamline the entire customer service process and help keep customers happy and satisfied.
Better Self Service
Finally, while chatbots can help route customers to the right hands, some customers would rather find the solution to their issues independently. With improved machine learning technology, chatbots can direct customers to answers that will help them solve their own issues or gather the needed information. This helps keep a high level of customer satisfaction while simultaneously decreasing support tickets.
Chatbots are becoming essential for a well-rounded and solid customer service strategy.
As you can see, chatbots provide responses and help that can either strengthen or substitute the need for two-way human intervention. This cuts operational costs and also leads to much greater levels of customer satisfaction.
BotCore – An Enterprise Chatbot Builder Platform
If you’re planning to customer service chatbots, you might be interested to check out our enterprise chatbot builder platform – BotCore which can be deployed both on cloud and on-premise environments. BotCore helps large and medium sized companies reduce customer service costs, improve agent productivity and enhance customer experience.