5 Ways Chatbots Can Improve Customer Experience Outcomes
Chatbots have created a new option for customers to access quick customer service on the go. How are they improving the customer experience (CX) overall?
Since its inception, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have changed the way we do business, the way we organize our day-to-day lives and even the way we chat with customer service when we need help.
AI has played an essential role in digital transformation and omnichannel strategy for most customer-facing organizations. At its core, AI creates greater efficiencies, quicker processes and a seamless journey for whoever interacts with its technology.
While AI is fueled by technology, it also serves to aid humans in their working roles — from manufacturing to healthcare and from finance to customer service. Tools powered by AI, such as chatbots, empower customer service associates to complete their work more effectively and efficiently, as they can address common questions before a customer ever picks up the phone.
With Salesforce reporting that 69% of consumers prefer to use chatbots when seeking answers to quick questions, it’s clear that companies will continue to adopt bots into their customer service strategies. Though as the modern customer seeks a more personal, humanized experience, how can tools like chatbots be best utilized to enhance the human aspect of CX?
Here, we’ll explore five ways that chatbots are improving customer service outcomes and how they can assist agents in providing better CX throughout the entire customer experience.
1. Reduces Hold Times
When a customer calls in with a question, they may need to wait a certain amount of time before a customer service agent can resolve their inquiry. If there is a higher-than-normal call volume that day, wait times can increase, leading to frustration on the customer’s end.
With a chatbot or virtual assistant in place, customers can get instant access to assistance at their convenience, greatly reducing hold times for consumers across the board and demonstrating how AI can improve CX. AI chatbots are developed to understand and address a wide range of concerns, like customers looking for quick access to shipping information, updates on a reservation or troubleshooting advice when setting up a new product or service.
Chatbots can handle multiple conversations at once, making them very efficient in identifying easy-to-resolve tasks. From printing labels to providing tracking updates, chatbots can automate simple tasks behind the scenes and often solve issues without further intervention.
2. Allows Customer Service to Be Available 24/7
For companies with operations in multiple countries, it can be challenging to staff customer service organizations to serve customers’ needs best. Chatbots allow companies to cover all time zones by making customer service available on-demand, around the clock. With HubSpot Research stating that 90% of customers value an “immediate” response from customer service, this availability is key.
Chatbots can also be programmed to serve multiple languages, which further expands the convenience factor for your customers — and improves overall satisfaction.
3. Provides Agents with Information Upfront
Suppose a customer interacts with a chatbot and requires further assistance from a human customer service agent. In that case, the chatbot can provide rich insights to ensure a seamless transition and a higher likelihood of quick resolution. Before picking up the call, the customer service agent can see a detailed record of what the customer talked about to the chatbot, what attempts were made to resolve the problem and other details regarding the customer’s journey so far.
This type of customer service chatbot experience can be referred to as a hybrid chatbot. The hybrid chatbot first attempts to resolve customer service issues on its own. Still, it can identify when the situation is more complex and needs to be escalated to a customer service agent. In this scenario, humans and technology are truly working together — and customers directly benefit from the cohesiveness and commitment of the brand.
4. Personalizes the Customer Experience
The beauty of the chatbot comes from the data it provides, which can formulate long-term strategies for customer service. AI technologies intrinsically deliver insights that allow agents and managers to recognize common issues and opportunities for improvement. Once these items are identified, chatbots can be trained based on customer-provided feedback or simply from data patterns that surfaced along the way. Over time, the chatbot will improve its ability to understand the context and intention to enhance CX outcomes.
CX chatbots can also give insights that can be turned into agent training, mainly if customers frequently write about a specific topic, product feature or a complex technical issue.
5. Creates a More Seamless Customer Journey
Particularly in the age of multiexperience, customers are looking for a seamless brand journey from start to finish. Chatbots help smooth the path by ensuring message consistency by adopting the brand’s tone and voice. In addition, the AI engine works in the background to improve outcomes based on data gathered in each chatbot interaction.
Customers who feel supported throughout the journey are more likely to return, make repeat purchases and recommend a brand to others. Reducing customer effort is critical to achieving a successful multiexperience, and chatbots can play an important role in facilitating better CX outcomes while working in harmony with human agents.
How Chatbots and Humans Can Work Together for Better CX
While chatbots have been in existence for many years and serve many different functions in sales, marketing and customer service, they will continue to serve customers in the digital era by providing up-to-the-minute assistance and quick resolutions to common issues. The data they provide will empower customer service agents to assist customers more intuitively. Their ability to learn and adapt continuously will serve customer service organizations focused on improvement and growth.
To learn more, check out this comprehensive guide on artificial intelligence chatbots from Sitel Group®.