When someone speaks of artificial intelligence (aka AI), it feels like something from a science fiction movie. But what people don’t realize is that they’re already using it.
Our partners at HubSpot found that 63% of people don’t realize they’re already using AI technologies.
A popular form of AI that people have been using — both as customers and businesses, are chatbots: Simple AIs with branching logic that can be customized to respond to questions from customers.
If it seems like the use of robots will scare customers away from your business, consider that 48% of consumers already feel comfortable with interactions managed by bots, and 71% say that they would be happy to use a bot if it meant an improved customer experience.
In this post, discover key ways that chatbots can improve the user experience and supplement your customer service strategy.
The most significant way that chatbots improve the user experience is by simply providing additional avenues for customer support. With chatbots, customers are given another channel to contact your business aside from over the phone, via email, or by visiting a storefront.
Having an additional option increases convenience, as most chatbots can easily be accessed via mobile device or computer, so consumers can find resolutions from wherever they are as long as they have a compatible device. Bonus: You don’t even have to be present when using them. You just set them up to answer frequently asked questions and if your customer needs more assistance, you can offer an alternative solution via the chatbot.
71% of customers already expect brands to offer customer support over messaging channels.
Customers want quick responses from support teams when they reach out with simple questions. But, as many support teams handle a large volume of requests, it’s not always feasible to immediately answer questions, regardless of how simple they are.
Chatbots are a solution to this issue, as they can handle multiple conversations at once and provide quick responses to all queries, especially when it comes to answering simple questions.
For example, instead of calling your business to ask how long you’re open and being placed on hold, a Facebook Messenger chatbot can quickly respond with your open hours. If a customer were to ask a question that required hands-on help from a human rep, the chatbot would also know how to transfer the query to an available agent.
It’s well known that a top customer frustration is long wait times. People want quick solutions without having to be on hold or wait to receive an email reply. When speaking with chatbots, 59% of survey respondents expect a response within 5 seconds or less — something that would be difficult for a human to meet.
Chatbots help improve this aspect of the customer experience. Regardless of the type of question, a chatbot can be there to immediately assist customers when they reach out, whether it’s to provide a simple solution or transfer them to a live agent better suited to help.
When chatbots are trained to answer common customer queries and provide quick solutions, support teams are relieved of the pressure that comes from juggling low-touch issues and higher-priority issues that need more attention. In fact, 43% of businesses say they adopted chatbots because they wanted to save time with automated customer service.
Reps can instead focus on high-impact, time-sensitive matters, while chatbots answer standard questions like providing your business’ open hours.
Another way that chatbots supplement the customer experience is by offering around-the-clock customer support — 64% of customers say that 24/7 service is the best feature of chatbots.
When support is always available, customers no longer have to wait until your business reopens to get a response because a chatbot is there to respond to a query. If a serious issue were to arise when your human support reps aren’t online, a chatbot could even give the customer a timeline for when they can expect to speak with an agent. Without a chatbot, the customer may be sitting around waiting to hear back from someone, wondering if their query had even been received in the first place.
Chatbots learn more about customers through conversations with them like where they stand in relation to your business — are they qualified leads or simply interested prospects?
They improve the user experience by collecting information on leads and assessing their level of interest in what you offer. Then, when you know where they are in the customer journey, you can serve them with additional business materials that you know speak to their needs.
Drift surveyed B2B professionals across various industries and 54.8% of respondents reported that they receive a greater volume of high-quality leads from using conversational tools.
Just as you can generate high-quality leads from chatbots, you can also obtain useful information about how your business is fairing in the eyes of your customers.
If you notice a trend in similar issues, you can use this data to update FAQ pages, product instructions, and knowledge bases, or train chatbots to respond to these questions so your customers face fewer issues.
You can also learn how customers speak about your products and how they discuss them, giving you valuable insight into customer perception of what you offer. This can help you tailor your business materials, like marketing content, to use language that your customers use and can easily relate to.
Chatbots personalize a user experience, tailoring the conversation to match the customer’s exact need.
With personalization, chatbots can suggest products to customers based on their queries, provide offers based on their buyer’s journey, and even suggest the best possible next source of action depending on their needs.
Deciding to leverage chatbots in your customer experience strategy depends entirely on your business needs. If you choose to do so, you’ll likely find your support reps being able to spend more time on time-sensitive issues, satisfied customers that find quick solutions, and you’ll generate an in-depth understanding of your audience that can help you better serve them.