Chatbots: Empowering Customer Service Amid Turbulent Times
Chatbots are fast becoming part of the digital core of tech tools that companies utilize as a secret weapon to increase their competitive advantage in the customer service arena. At the same time, chatbots are solving a very real problem taking place today: of a decrease in available customer service agents and positive customer experiences due to an economic downturn.
Some of the biggest corporations in the world are experiencing layoffs. If companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are not immune to the disruption in the workforce, then there is sure to be a domino effect across all industries. You're likely having to make some hard decisions that involve a reduction in staff, hiring freezes, and shifts in company spending.
And while these times are tough, there are proactive technological solutions that can ease the burden of maintaining positive customer experiences during workplace challenges.
One great technology that helps you meet and keep up with customer demands amidst workplace changes are the very same chatbots companies use to increase their competitive advantage.
What Are Chatbots
Chatbots are a chat software tool that mimic human conversation to efficiently perform routine tasks. In customer service and support, they provide an easy and inexpensive way to automate website live chat on your company website so that visitors can ask questions in reference to a product or service they purchased or are considering purchasing. If you’re still not convinced of the utility of chatbots, it is important to note that chatbots are expected to be the primary mode of customer communication for at least a quarter of companies by the year 2027.
Benefits of Using Chatbots in Your Customer Support Strategy
A well designed chatbot can improve the customer experience at a lower cost than interacting with a live agent. These are not your chatbots of the past that were difficult to navigate and left you desperate for live human support. Today’s chatbots are more focused on enhancing the customer experience by offering immediate answers to common challenges.
Here’s more of how adding chatbots to your online customer service toolbox can make you a more customer-centric business.
1. 24/7 Support
Your customers have high expectations of your company’s products and services. And when they have a question regarding your products and services, they expect to have an answer as soon as possible. In fact, one study shows that 73% of consumers consider the quality of the customer experience to be an important factor in making a purchase decision. If your company stands on providing high quality customer support, then chatbots should be part of your customer communication strategy. Rather than thinking of chatbots as a replacement for human labor, think of it as an alternate route to meeting customer needs around the clock.
2. Handle Routine Inquiries
If you’ve found within your company or organization that there is a backlog of support requests during peak hours, then you’ll be excited to know that chatbots can handle routine inquiries with ease. Chatbots can effortlessly answer frequently asked questions like the following:
What hours are you open?
Where are you located?
What is the status of my order?
Chatbots are not only a benefit for customers, but they’re a great support for the customer agents you already have on staff. A recent study shows that 89% of executives agree that a satisfying employee experience leads to a better customer experience. Having a ready, automated response to these common questions via the use of chatbots can free up human agents so they can focus on more complex customer service issues that come in through live chat.
3. Quick Response Times
When a customer is in need of help, they want to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Chatbots help to create quicker responses to customer inquiries. This eliminates the need for waiting in long queues or sitting through complicated email conversations that are hard to follow. Research shows that customers are 2.4 times more likely to stay loyal to a brand when they get their questions answered quickly. Implementing chatbots into your customer service strategy can ensure that each customer gets what they need through automated responses or by pointing them to ready-made self service support materials like a knowledge base or how-to videos.
Chat software can handle multiple customer inquiries simultaneously, allowing companies to scale their customer support operations without adding more human agents. Furthermore, chatbots offer omnichannel support, meaning that a chatbot can be available in more than just on your website. Chatbots can be implemented into your customers’ favorite instant messaging and social media platforms. These are tools your customers are already using on a daily basis and have a high level of trust when it comes to reliability.
5. Consistent Customer Experience
Chatbots provide consistent and standardized responses to customer inquiries, ensuring that customers receive accurate and reliable information every time. This helps to maintain a high level of customer service across multiple interactions - even when there is a lack in human availability.
Developing chatbots also allows your company to be proactive in responding to common customer complaints. Rather than wait for a customer to reach out to an agent, you can look at chatbots as a way to conduct your own research on what your customers are asking, common problems they may have with certain products or services, or tools they may need to help them use your products and services successfully. This proactive approach to customer service improves the overall quality of the interactions with your customers.
6. Cost Savings
Good customer service looks like consistency in meeting the expectations of customers. And while we’ve established that customer expectations are rising, companies also must meet these high expectations using less customer support staff. Chatbots are an investment that can handle a high volume of inquiries without incurring additional labor costs, making your business operations more efficient. In fact, research shows that the integration of chatbots into customer service departments in retail, banking, and healthcare will produce a savings of $11 billion annually by 2023.
Ready to Add Chatbots to Your Customer Service Strategy?
Tough economic times are an opportunity to think creatively about what can be done to ensure that your day to day operations are running as smoothly as possible. And ensuring that your customers are well taken care of should be high on your list of priorities. Investing in chat software can be a boost for your business’ customer service strategy and reduce your ticket volume. Chatbots are a great technological solution to increasing your customer service support manpower while utilizing the resources you already have on hand.
Let TeamSupport help you understand how chatbots make working with your customer support department more profitable. We can demonstrate how interacting with chatbots can feel like a natural conversation that delivers a shorter route to solving customer problems.
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