Omni-channel, self-service customer support is no longer a need, but a necessity.
A new generation of digital consumers is used to the instant gratification that comes from the next show, the next ride, the next meal all only being only a tap away.
And when it comes to customer service, the bar for instant and comprehensive support has never been higher.
Customers expect faster service for less, and they expect the experience to be accurate and frictionless. Most of all, though, they expect it everywhere. When customers have questions, comments, or issues, they have less time to spend and less patience for a complicated resolution.
Waiting in line is no longer acceptable. Waiting on hold is no longer acceptable. Waiting in a live chat queue is also no longer acceptable. This has created new challenges for organizations trying to balance timely service with personalized support.
While driving digital change to meet the modern day expectations can be intimidating, especially at the enterprise level, the latest generation of AI chatbots are easier than ever to configure, deploy and support.
As the expectations of self-service support continues to rise, organizations must seek out new ways of communicating with their clientele whenever and however they wish, whether it be via phone, laptop or mobile device.
The latest generation of AI chatbots are already solving these issues–and, in line with those stringent customer expectations, they’re deepening the level of personalized support provided. No longer automated basic FAQs, organizations are seeking out chatbot technology that automates both answers and actions with experiences and answers highly-customized to every customer.
For example, a Forrester Snapshot commissioned by Ada found that two-thirds of customer experience leaders surveyed are planning to introduce deeper levels of personalization over the next two years.
Highly-customized automated support isn’t just predicted to decrease operational costs, it can transform the experience for your customers and agents resulting in higher satisfaction for both parties. I’ve outlined the five benefits the right automation partner can bring to your business:
1. Give customers back their time and effort
The traditional support model is difficult for both customers and service agents. On the customer side, if you need something simple, like an update to account information, to pay a bill or track a shipment, you wait in the same line as those who have complicated questions or requests.
A personalized chatbot enables customers to solve more than 70% of inquiries without waiting, without listening to hold music, and without the dreaded possibility of a disconnected phone call.
On the service side, those simple inquiries waste the time, effort and expertise of human agents, leading to burn-out and churn.
2. Have more human conversations
Once those repetitive queries are no longer bombarding agents’ inboxes, they can focus on the things at which humans excel: higher-value, empathetic work that can actually strengthen customer engagement at the same time as solving their problems.
This isn’t just good for customer loyalty; it’s also good for the bottom line. In the right hands, inquiries are turned into sales opportunities.
3. Streamline the chatbot to human experience
But even the strongest customer service representative is helpless if they’re dealt a losing hand. To make the best use of customer service, an automated platform has to be able to meet all of a customer’s needs before, during, and after the switch to human support.
In some of the biggest companies, service departments aren’t universal. There are departments for each language, each location, and even lines of business. Especially sophisticated platforms are able to not only know which language their customer speaks–and communicate in it–they’re also able to transfer them to the right agent to address all of their concerns.
4. Personalize Every Interaction
To truly differentiate their customer experience, businesses need a solution that does more than provide standard answers to frequently asked questions, and that treats each and every customer as a unique individual.
That’s why the chatbot platforms today offer personalized, proactive content tailored to every inquiry. When a customer asks a question, the automated agent should be able to provide responses specific based on customer information, history, and intent. This reduces unnecessary and potentially overwhelming information, and it also engages consumers in a way that surprises and delights them, leading to increased loyalty.
5. Ensure a Seamless Experience
Perhaps the most important reason a chatbot is a necessary investment in today’s market is also likely the least obvious — customers expect the same experience everywhere, every time.
An AI-driven chatbot platform should be able to work across mobile, online, and any other channel where an inquiry is received, and in exactly the same way. Gone are the days of calling back to get “a different agent” in case you will get a better response. Instead, a customer’s inquiry should be solved the first time, and it should be remembered if they return for another inquiry.
This omnichannel approach won’t just improve the way customers see your service. It will enhance their overall impression of your brand.
All this said, there is one element common to all these reasons for adopting an intelligent chatbot: intentional strategy. It’s not enough just to slap a pre-made solution, like a band-aid, onto a customer service problem. A chatbot shouldn’t be a point solution. Instead, every decision has to be made with clear intention, and a great platform will assist the business in doing so.
The time to do it, however, is now. Gartner predicts that by 2020 a customer will manage 85% of their relationship with a business without interacting with a human. It’s up to those businesses to make sure the automated interactions are benefiting them and their customers.