How Chatbots Can Boost The Customer Retention Rate

How Chatbots Can Boost The Customer Retention Rate

As the world worked together to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 became the year when businesses were concerned with retaining customer loyalty, even if it meant taking a temporary hit to the bottom line. By putting customer-oriented policies in place, including flexible refunds, pricing, and change policies, and providing 24X7 service, organizations helped customers sail through the crisis.

As uncertainty loomed, contact centers became a significant touchpoint for anxious customers seeking answers, information, comfort, and support. AI-enabled customer service chatbots gained widespread adoption. Businesses leveraged chatbots to reduce wait-times and provide consistent support and quick information at scale and lower costs.

However, in 2021, as recovery and bottom line become extremely critical, businesses will now focus on leveraging chatbots to build customer loyalty, drive retention, and improve revenues.

Capabilities like omnichannel engagement, conversational IVR and sentiment analysis will become essential in delivering exceptional customer experiences and retaining brand loyalty.

In fact, a study by Harvard Business Review has concluded

increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

So, let’s explore how chatbots can boost customer retention rate in 2021.

Beyond Customer Service and Support: Developing a winning customer retention strategy with chatbots

While cost reduction and automation of inbound customer service requests are the main goals of deploying chatbots, a shift in focus to other use cases, including a decrease in customer churn and increased conversion rates, has gained traction.

1. Omnichannel customer engagement

Businesses today are leveraging multiple channels to reach out to their customers. In line with the increased usage of messaging apps and social media platforms, chatbots can now integrate with channels, like Facebook, WhatsApp, email, websites, mobile apps, voice assistants like Alexa, and Cortana etc., to assist customers in locating products and finding answers to their queries.

Omnichannel bots help businesses reach where their customers are. Using technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and natural language understanding (NLU), omnichannel bots understand and retain context and provide holistic, consistent, and meaningful support to customers across a host of channels.

Such wholesome customer experiences help reduce churn and boost retention.

2. Personalized engagement and recommendations

Chatbots collect data during their interactions with customers and analyze such information to craft buyer personas and identify customers who are on the verge of ending their relationship with your business.

Such data is critical in understanding needs, retaining customers, and increasing revenue. 

  • For customers who are on the risk of leaving, chatbots can push special offers via different channels to re-engage them back with the brand
  • Chatbots can also be used to recommend other products to your existing customers, based on their interests and past purchasing behaviours, to increase retention and enhance revenue. For example, Consider Ponds’ (a Unilever brand) AI Skin Advisor chatbot, on Shopee, an e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia.
Ponds Chat Snap Buy

Based on the customer’s headshot photo, the bot identifies key skin concerns like wrinkles or acne etc and recommends the right skincare product. The bot received appreciation from over 98% of customers who interacted with it. This type of personalized recommendations and engagement goes a long way in improving the overall customer experience and retention.

  • Chatbots can be trained to ask customers for referrals and reward most loyal customers with discounts and coupons

3. Making purchases easier

By using chatbots, businesses can provide the purchasing facility directly from the chat interface. Your bots can recommend products, lead customers to your online store, and make payments easier.

When there is simplicity in carrying out purchases, your existing customers will keep coming back to your business, and you may also convert potential leads.

Chatbots make the buying process more seamless and engaging by educating customers on product features, comparisons, how-to videos etc.

4. Going local with multilingual bots

Customers prefer to interact with chatbots in their native tongue. Moreover, they trust brands that offer support in their native language more than the ones that don’t.

By deploying a multilingual chatbot which can interact with users in their preferred language, you can accelerate your localization efforts by understanding regional nuances and cultural subtleties, make your customers feel valued and understood, and allow issues to be resolved in the shortest time interval. Therefore, multilingual bots play a significant role in acquiring and retaining customers.

5. Asking customers for feedback

Every time a customer completes an online interaction, the chatbot can ask for short feedback, like, “Are you happy with our services?” or “What are the areas we should work on?” with multiple options for each question.

If customers don’t feel satisfied, the bot can ask them the reason. Data collected from such feedback can help improve customer service and go a long way in increasing customer retention.

6. Respond to customer queries 24x7

One of the most basic ways for businesses to increase customer retention is to swiftly respond to customer queries. A chatbot can provide quick and accurate answers to customer queries in real-time, within seconds of being contacted.

According to a report by Hubspot, 90% of customers cite instant response as a critical factor when it comes to customer service.

With chatbots, your organization is assured of round-the-clock customer service, thus supporting customers at their convenience, even outside business hours.

Get Started

According to research, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 3x to 35x higher.

By providing the following benefits, chatbots help boost your customer retention rate –

  • Giving quick and relevant answers to customer queries
  • Enhancing customer reach through omnichannel engagement
  • Improving CSAT levels with highly interactive and personalized conversations
  • Boosting the ability to recapture lost customers with customized messages and tailored offers
  • Providing personalized diagnosis and recommendations
  • Delivering localized experiences with multilingual capabilities
  • Collecting customer feedback to ensure better support in the future

At Acuvate, we help clients build and deploy AI-enabled chatbots with our enterprise chatbot building platform, BotCore.

BotCore’s core capabilities include –

  • Minimum coding requirements, graphical nodes, visual templates, and pre-built connectors empower you to quickly build and deploy chatbots across different channels with a single configuration.
  • BotCore’s chatbots support multiple languages, like French, German, Italian, etc., so you can reach and engage a broader consumer base.
  • Through automatic handling of API requirements, BotCore’s chatbots can easily connect to various channels, such as Facebook, SMS, email, WhatsApp, etc.
  • BotCore’s machine learning (ML) capabilities allow chatbots to learn from past interactions and retain context to provide more interactive and meaningful engagements.

If you’d like to learn more about the top customer experience trends to watch for in 2021, please feel free to get in touch with one of our customer experience experts for a personalized consultation.