The holiday season is around the corner. With the festive cheer comes higher sales, more revenue, and significant work for the customer support teams of e-commerce businesses.
Increased demand for products leads to an influx of customer support requests. Coupled with employee shortage due to leaves and absenteeism during holidays, handling customer support during the festive season can be extremely challenging for contact center agents, leading to a drop in productivity and lower customer satisfaction (CSAT) levels.
Moreover, with the fear of catching COVID-19 reducing traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping will soar again this year, creating higher demand for e-commerce businesses and their support personnel. In 2020, U.S. consumers broke records of holiday shopping during Cyber 5, with online sales rising 20.6% year-over-year.
Holiday shopping isn’t the easiest. Sometimes, a customer may have an item in mind but cannot navigate the brand’s website to find it. At other times, customers may not be able to think of suitable gifting options. Or, they may want to know about the delivery status of items already bought.
Additionally, the business world has witnessed a paradigm shift in customer expectations over the past year, the most prominent being an increased demand for more convenient, personalized, and meaningful customer engagement.
Conversational AI and automation have emerged as the most vital trends in CX. Businesses have adopted AI-powered chatbots to deliver desirable and seamless omnichannel customer experiences that lead to hyper-personalized customer journeys, brand loyalty, and a competitive edge over other players in the market.
This blog talks about how brands in the e-commerce business can optimize customer support in this holiday season using customer support bots and AI-driven virtual assistants.
E-commerce brands perpetually witness a spike in demand around the holiday season. And with the fear of catching COVID-19 still looming in the air, online shopping will continue to grow even as in-store shopping begins reopening its doors.
Amidst such high demand, how can online brands create a foolproof strategy for holiday customer support? How can customer service chatbots help in this regard?
As discussed above, holiday shopping can be time-consuming and often tedious as consumers look for the perfect gift options.
A conversational AI bot can gather information about the tastes and preferences of the customer or ask questions about the intended recipient the customer wishes to buy a gift for and suggest suitable products.
At times, customers may tell the support chatbot what they are looking for, and the bot can throw up relevant search results.
Additionally, customer experience bots may assist visitors in navigating the website and inform them about seasonal offers, discounts, and product combos.
Marks and Spencer launched a Christmas Concierge chatbot to connect with customers during the festive season via Facebook Messenger. The chatbot allowed the brand to tailor product recommendations to the customers’ specific interests and needs – home, food, or both.
If the customer selected food, the bot asked specific questions about the type of food, dietary needs, etc. The bot then walked website visitors through menu options and allowed them to browse through recipes, request tips, and purchase directly from the recipe page.
Businesses face their fair share of chaos during the peak holiday season. As customers rush to buy their favorite products and gifts, brands witness a substantial rise in queries.
In such a scenario, leveraging chatbots can take the burden off your support staff. Brands can automate some of the routine, mundane queries (for example, minimum order value for free delivery) by using AI chatbots. By analyzing and reviewing trends, patterns, and metrics from previous festive seasons, they can make a list of the most frequently asked questions and train the customer support bot to answer them.
Conversational AI keeps response times low, streamlines and optimizes the support process, and helps brands provide a seamless experience to customers.
At times, customers may want to track the delivery status of their orders at 2 pm on a Sunday. Or, they may be shopping for products at 3 am and have related product queries.
Customers are always in a rush during the holiday season and want their questions answered as quickly as possible. Often, they resort to last-minute shopping, and if left waiting, they may get annoyed and visit a competitor’s website.
Moreover, customer support agents may be unavailable during holidays, leading to staff shortages at the contact center.
Fortunately, customer experience chatbots are always awake, don’t need holidays, and handle multiple customer queries 24X7X365 days a year.
There may be times when the bot is unable to answer customer queries, leading to customer frustration. Moreover, as the customers often rush and expect quick service, their chances of getting annoyed are much higher when questions remain unresolved.
AI-driven customer support chatbots can leverage sentiment analysis to comprehend customer emotion and route queries to a human agent to ensure a speedy and effective query resolution.
Sometimes, customers may visit the brand’s website and find it challenging to locate the products they need. Or, they may add items to their cart but leave the website before checking out.
Bots integrated with live chat widgets can help brands onboard new customers, provide real-time responses, and personalize customer support, even when the agent isn’t available.
Moreover, such bots can recapture the interest of customers who may be trying to leave the website by throwing pop-up messages like “Flat 20% on order above $100 just for you.”
If the customer has left the website without buying the items in the cart, the bot may automatically generate and send an email saying, “We see you left something in your cart. Come back and get a 10% off on your purchase.”
At Acuvate, we help clients deploy AI-powered customer experience chatbots to optimize customer support in the holiday season with our enterprise bot-building platform called BotCore.
With minimalistic coding requirements and pre-designed templates, BotCore allows organizations to implement customer-facing chatbots within weeks. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we leverage the best of Microsoft’s AI, ML, and NLP technologies to build chatbots that deliver highly personalized and frictionless customer interactions.
Moreover, our bots are multilingual and can cater to a global audience with English, French, Italian, German, and many more languages. Additionally, BotCore supports various platforms, including web, mobile app, and social media apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Additionally, we leverage Microsoft’s low-code bot-building solution, Power Virtual Agents (PVA), to help clients quickly build intelligent, conversational AI chatbots with little or no coding knowledge needed.
To know more about BotCore and Power Virtual Agents, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.