Chatbots & customer service – The proof is in the pudding!
If you are on this page, then it is probably because you are interested in the link between chatbots and customer service. In this article, we will present different examples of chatbots and other intelligent bot applications and how they can be used to improve customer service. This includes but is not limited to the classification of calls, reducing the workload of call centers, managing an increase in call volume, and showcasing a company’s online services. Without further ado, here are some examples of chatbots that can improve customer service.
Improving customer service is one of the main concerns of company managers. According to various firms specialized in strategic consulting, it would be 5 times less expensive to retain a customer than to prospect for new ones. McKinsey & Company also adds that the probability of selling your products to an existing customer is 60 to 70%, but it drops down to 5 to 20% if it is a new prospect. We can clearly see that customer satisfaction has become one of the main commercial indicators.
Chatbots in customer service
Optimizing customer service gives you a competitive edge, but it also comes at a considerable cost in terms of managing salaries, office space, and equipment. Here is where chatbots come into play with their many advantages and very few drawbacks.
Before we start, it is worth mentioning that chatbots are everywhere and that it is very likely that you are already a chatbot enthusiast without knowing it.
The definition of a chatbot:
Whatever you call it, a chatbot should be differentiated from a messagingbot like the ones you can find on WhatsApp, Messenger, Discord or Slack (think Big Tech). A chatbot is a conversational agent that can be equipped with or without artificial intelligence and may or may not be automated. It is essentially a computer program that has been developed with a messaging-type user interface.
Examples of how chatbots are used to improve the customer experience
Chatbots can quickly establish an interaction and closeness with people who wish to contact your company.
They work on the following 2 areas:
- Improving the customer experience
- Creating a feeling of closeness with brands
A recent study carried out at the beginning of 2021 on approximately 800,000 conversations conducted on 530 chatbots has given us a better understanding of their current use. We can see that the number one use is dynamic FAQs (39%), ahead of lead collection (21.5%) and customer service (14.56%).
As we can see, a well-configured chatbot must be able to provide immediate answers to your customers’ most frequently asked questions.
After-sales service: answers to questions from customers who have already called your company and need a solution, such as “It doesn’t work” or “I didn’t receive my purchase”.
Getting information: examples include how does a product or service work, what are the supply delays, how to receive a quote, or how long will deliver take.
Orders: examples include how to buy a product or service, what the price is, or how long it will take to get it.
The 2 most common types of chatbot to improve the customer experience
Basic conversational agents
This is the most traditional kind of conversational agent. It is configured by assigning a response to one or more words or groups of words. When the client inputs the word, the bot will send a pre-recorded answer. This type of chatbot is usually used in conjunction with a human agent who can answer less common questions.
Artificial intelligence and deep learning are used to drive the thinking process. The bot learns upstream from the huge amount of data it is provided with over time, with the addition of information about the customer and the sector. The most advanced bots are able to reproduce human language, understand texts with mistakes or even SMS-style language. In some cases, a conversation with a smartbot can easily replace a discussion with an advisor busy dealing with complex requests, therefore enhancing a company’s customer service.
While there are different types of chatbots, the most interesting for a company are autonomous conversational bots. The Zaion chatbot is able to interact with customers in natural language. It understands spelling mistakes and even SMS-style language (like ‘C’ ‘U’ and ‘L8R’). It can analyze questions and provide personalized answers based on the person speaking.
In other words, the chatbot is an excellent marketing and sales tool to guide your prospects and customers through the sales process and towards satisfaction.
The advantages of chatbots for your customer service
Although there are different types of chatbots, there are two main categories of chatbots. Firstly, we have instant messaging chatbots like WhatsApp or Messenger, and secondly we have conversational chatbots on websites or applications.
The advantages of the messagingbot for customer service
The format appeals to users and it is already part of their communication habits. By being both instantaneous and asynchronous, it is a communication channel that adapts itself well to the availability of your users.
Messaging applications have become the norm as a result of the development of Big Tech: WhatsApp has two billion users, and Facebook Messenger has 1.2 billion users, and all these users have already been converted.
On average, merchant websites with a Messagingbot have a higher conversion rate than those without one. However, if the messagingbot is not efficient, the results will be totally counterproductive, and the company’s image could suffer.
The advantages of conversational chatbots for customer service
Once it has been set up, the bot is autonomous and frees up customer service departments to focus on less repetitive tasks.
It improves the end-to-end customer experience by providing relevant answers in a matter of seconds without disrupting the customer’s experience while browsing the website or application.
It is available 24/7 for 100% customer service support even in the evening and on weekends.
It can be scheduled and activated according to the activity of the website visitor. It reacts to triggers such as the rate of scrolling on the page, multiple visits from the same IP, or if the mouse is hovering around the ‘close’ icon.
Chatbots and industry sectors
Smart chatbot providers can configure the tool to be able to adapt to different industries. This is even more effective when the chatbot is powered by AI and machine learning.
This makes it particularly popular with companies in the banking, insurance, telecom, and retail sectors.
Taking the example of the insurance sector or banking sector, the chatbot can be used for:
- Claims management: declaration, follow-up and handling of claims
- Contract management: certificates, contract modifications, information on guarantees, addition or modification of beneficiaries
- Daily management: bank card assistance, transaction reports, balance consultation, management of practical questions from customers
- FAQ and policyholders’ area: management of passwords and login details, contact with an advisor, updating of customer information
For the retail sector:
- Answering questions about product information: pre- and post-sales support, technical intervention, complaints, discounts and promotions
- Order and delivery management: renewal, modification or cancellation of purchases, practical information on the order, management of returns and refunds
- Customer account: registration, deregistration, management of login details, change of address or credit card
- Loyalty: loyalty program, points balance, gift card, discount voucher, promotional offer
As we can see, the use of chatbots makes it possible to streamline the management of customer service activity. Its hybrid format and its numerous uses mean that it is an essential ally for any company wishing to make life easier for its customers and prospects, but above all for its teams in charge of customer relationship management.