When relying solely on human agents to provide support to your customers, there will arise some limitations that could negatively affect your customers’ experience.

This is where chatbots come to the rescue! 

As we’ve mentioned in a previous article about chatbot marketing, chatbots are no longer a luxury tool, but an integral one to the business, as they will form 85% of interactions with customers. We have previously discussed how they are used by companies in their marketing strategy to better engage and communicate with the audience. In this article, we will be discussing how chatbots can improve, and consequently transform your customer service.

Read more: What is chatbot marketing and why do you need it?

Why is customer service important?

Customer service is an essential component of any business. Great customer service:

  • Makes sure all customers are satisfied with the quality and service provided to them, which increases customers’ life-time value;
  • Enhances customer loyalty to the brand;
  • Creates positive word-of-mouth about the brand;
  • Boosts sales performance in the long run.

Uses of chatbots in customer service:

  • Direct people to the FAQs section or knowledge base of your website

Instead of repeatedly answering the same questions that people tend to frequently ask, a chatbot can easily direct people to the page where they will find an answer to their inquiry. For example, if you are always asked about your business’ email and number, a chatbot could immediately direct the inquirer to your Contact Us page. This way, you can efficiently answer a mass number of issues and inquiries in no time and with no effort.

  • Connect to human agents in situations when they’re needed only

Your customer support team does not have to get connected to every single interaction if it is not necessary. Chatbots have been said to be able to resolve 80% of customer service questions. If not, your chatbot can hand-over the conversation with the customer when the situation is too complex to be solved and requires human interference. That way, your human resources can focus on the bigger picture, rather than repetitive tasks.

  • Making a reservation/appointment quickly

If your business revolves around bookings and potential customers who need help with that, the process of making an appointment could be automated using a chatbot; so that it would require fewer resources from your side and less effort from your audience. Win-win situation.

  • Resolving a complaint/problem or connecting to the relevant department

Issues that your customers have can be automatically resolved and in no time, as long as they are within the chatbot’s capabilities. In other cases, your chatbot would connect the most suitable department that will be able to resolve the problem. In most cases, this means that your customers won’t have to wait for a long time before their issues are solved; thus keeping them satisfied with your service. Instead of waiting for hours on the phone in order to get ahold of customer support, your customers would get their complaints resolved within minutes using live-chat, which has been said to be the preferred channel for 73% of people for customer service.

People are generally curious, so if you get a lot of questions from your audience about your business, the products and services that you provide; then using a chatbot to answer all inquiries that arise will save you time and the effort of your customer support team. You can train a chatbot to answer the most frequented questions that you get about your company, with the answer that you want your customers to receive.

shell-messenger-bot

 

Humans VS chatbots VS hybrid

Human agents

Chatbots

Hybrid

Advantages
  • answers complex problems
  •  understands human emotions
  • convenience
  • speed
  • 24/7 service
  • saves resources (effort, time, cost, human resource)
  • automates work

Using both human agents and chatbots could be the ultimate solution for a business. Chatbots would handle and resolve all the incoming messages and inquiries; in case a situation requires the intervention of a human, then the bot will immediately handover the customer to the human agent. This complementary strategy utilizes the advantages of each to deliver unparalleled customer service.

Disadvantages
  • can’t scale the customer support system
  • can’t handle a huge number of requests
  • costly
  • does not work around the clock
  • might not be able  to handle certain complex questions from the audience

 

How chatbots improve customer service:

Problem #1:

Taking too long to respond to customers’ inquiries and interactions

Solution:

Because no one really likes late replies, if someone sends you an inquiry about the services that you provide and gets an answer only a couple of hours late, it would not really leave a good impression about your business. Imagine now if you are receiving hundreds of messages per day, how do you make sure that you are replying to all of them, within minutes? Chatbots provide quick responses to questions or requests directed to them, with the option to add a small buffer time (2-10 seconds for example) so that it would seem more humanly. That way, you can respond to hundreds of inquiries simultaneously, leaving no current or potential customer unattended. This decreases the response time from the customers’ side and enhances their experience.

Problem #2:

Not having enough staff to support customer service

Solution:

When employing a chatbot, you don’t need a big customer support team to handle your customers’ requests, since most inquiries can be handled by the chatbot. If the situation is too complex to solve, then your bot will hand it over to a human agent, when necessary.

Problem #3:

Your customers are in different time zones, so it is difficult to respond to all of them at appropriate times

Solution:

Working 24/7 is not possible a lot of times for a business. Instead of creating work shifts for your customer support team, chatbots provide by the minute service, so they will be working all around the clock, responding to any inquiry you may receive at any time of the day. Even during weekends or holidays, your chatbot can still answer any request or inquiry that comes its way.

“53% of people prefer using online chat before having to call customer service.”

Problem #4:

People dislike communication methods such as the IVR and email, which could be ineffective to solve customers’ issues.

Solution:

For an audience that does not like contacting support, chatting with a bot causes less stress than talking to human agents. 53% of people prefer using online chat before having to call customer support. So by employing customer support in the chat, your bot can provide accurate responses and solves your customers’ problems efficiently, as opposed to other communication methods.

Problem #5:

Not having sufficient data about your audience

Solution:

Chatbots provide an alternative for data-gathering forms, as they can usually ask the same questions you ask in a form, in a conversational way, such as the name, email and the company of your visitor. That way, you can gather more insight about your potential customers to better understand their needs and behaviors, and add them to your database.

Problem #6:

You can’t scale your customer service, as resources will be limited at one point or another

Solution:

Chatbots can respond to a mass number of customer requests at the same time. So instead of having to hire more agents the more your business scales, one chatbot can handle more and more requests than humans can usually handle. This compensates for having a huge customer support team; you can have your chatbot alongside a countable number of skilled human agents that only handle advanced requests.

Want to try it out for yourself? Head out to our website so that you can get started for free and build your own chatbot today!