There are innumerable studies that highlight the future of CX, and how chatbots are one of the most common ways to improve your customer experience. The word chatbot can be a bit ambiguous, as it applies to many different applications… your Amazon Alexa could be thought of as a bot, or even SMS communication from your favorite retail brand. But one type of chatbot that has proven to help reduce costs and improve your CSAT scores are virtual agents. Those two reasons alone are beneficial enough to start leveraging chatbots today, right? But how do you actually do this, and what other value can they bring to your business?
Automate Low-Level Tasks With Chatbots
First and foremost, chatbots will help you automate repetitive or tedious tasks, respond faster than a human could, and eliminate the information gathering that takes place during the initial stages of a conversation. This alone will free up your actual agents to determine the root cause of the customer’s inquiry and help resolve their issue faster. In addition, utilizing chatbots can shift the workload of customer service agents from low level, menial tasks and allow them to focus more attention on more complex issues from customers. We believe this intrinsically links to improved CSAT due to the speed of resolution your customers will experience.
Kustomer surveyed over 525 U.S.-based consumers over the age of 18 to understand how this need for speed translates into customer experience preferences, and the results are staggering. A whopping 90% of respondents think contacting customer service should be easier, and 85% of respondents think customer service should be faster. Granted, chatbots are not for every industry. Companies should consider if their unique business is best served by a chatbot, and think strategically about the types of conversations they want to try and automate.
Chatbots & Agents … Unite!
Chatbots can be used to automate only parts of a conversation and can then be handed off to an agent after collecting pertinent information, or there can be no agent involvement at all. The latter can be focused on more straightforward requests. If someone is reaching out to understand what your shipping policy is, that seems easy enough for a chatbot to respond to rather than taking up your team’s time responding with simple information. For these types of inquiries, chatbots give you a huge advantage because, with the additional time your agents have, they have the freedom to be more empathetic and engaging with other customers who may require a bit more attention.
But other inquiries may need more attention. Perhaps your business is in the finance industry and there was fraud detected on a customer’s account. In this type of scenario, customers would likely prefer to speak to a human due to the sensitive nature, and your organization should be able to service both scenarios. When customer service agents are allowed to focus on more important cases, instead of the repetitive tasks that AI chatbots can handle, agents are able to have a stronger role in developing relationships with customers resulting in loyalty to the company by keeping customers satisfied.
AI-powered chatbots increase job satisfaction among customer service agents by helping introduce steady, more enjoyable working hours that create a good work-life balance.
Getting Started With Chatbots
So how do you begin? Start by looking at your total conversation volume, and taking the top 10 contact reasons. Map out which of those are typically responded to within 2 or 3 messages, or that use a canned response set up in your CX system. Those are most likely the easiest conversations to start automating as you introduce this process to your business. If you can automate those top 10 contact reasons, and they make up roughly 30% of all inbound conversations, in the future you may be able to close out that additional call center or BPO that you brought in to support your CX organization. This is one of the more straightforward ways that chatbots can help you reduce costs.
Chatbots also give your business the opportunity to provide customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which will dramatically improve the trust your customers have with your brand. Nothing is more important than ensuring your customers feel heard, no matter what time of day they contact your business for help.
By now, chatbots have become increasingly sophisticated and are starting to trend towards more intent-based interactions. As you see the value that automation can drive for your business, expanding your chatbot to more categories, contact reasons, or even other verticals within your business, is all easily executed with the right tool. So if you were ever thinking about when the right time to introduce this new functionality to your business would be, it’s now!
Want to know how switching to Kustomer chatbots can save your business money? Fill out our simple calculator here and see the savings roll in.