When it comes to “winning the CX game,” perhaps no factor is as crucial as time for both consumers and brands, as time is the single greatest indicator of an issue’s severity. According to Forrester, 73% of customers say that the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service is to value their time. In looking to reduce customer hold time, as well as care center employee workloads, skillful deployment of chatbots offers a gold medal strategy.
Customer experiences are segmented into three distinct groups that follow the CX journey, each with an individual approach for chatbot usage: front-line, requires follow-up, and customer critical.
Front-line chatbots offer brands a chance to quickly address “short duration resolutions,” defined as any concern solvable in 15 minutes or less. Answering simple questions, resetting passwords, and resolving billing issues are just some examples of successful front-line chatbot deployments. According to Tidio, over half of consumers (62%) would rather “talk” to a chatbot than a human agent because of the wait time reduction. Front-line chatbots are also helpful for off-hour, FAQ, and on-the-go deployments.
While a chatbot cannot always answer a question or solve an issue, it can reduce wait time for the customer while providing a path to the proper live agent who can solve the issue on the next touch. These instances are categorized as “requires follow-up,” with the caveat of specific, not general, care. Whenever a process requiring additional support has been initiated via chatbot, the AI system must deliver clear and concise instructions for next steps and follow through, and organizations must evaluate how follow-up support channels can be customized to customer needs when considering deployment for these scenarios.
Customer critical scenarios, such as breached accounts, missing or defective products, or failed refunds, require special care, and the bot journey should be able to swiftly move a customer from the chat conversation to a live agent. Emphasis must be placed on the learning and development not just of the human escalation agent, but the learning AI solution behind the chatbot as well. A well-orchestrated customer critical situation will undoubtedly highlight a brand’s commitment to understanding AI-to-human synergy, and a poorly orchestrated one will have the very opposite effect.
Commitment to Chatbots
Chatbots personify the ever-evolving synergy between AI and humans. Customers on the receiving end of chatbot service gain control over their resolution journey via shortened experience times and greater satisfaction in resolution outcomes, which has been shown to lead to longer-term brand loyalty. For brands, chatbot tools deployed smartly will bring a reduction of contact center operation costs, an increase in CSAT scores, and enhanced operational efficiencies. As an added bonus, showcasing a well-rounded AI-to-human balance in recruitment efforts can even lead to better-trained, longer-retained contact center employees. Ultimately, the marriage of chatbot tools to traditional human interactions will be the key to revolutionizing the field of CX.