Customer service bot: everything you need to know (and why they’re essential)
In this article, I’m going to talk about what is a customer service bot and why you should need one.
We all know how important customer support is – from helping customers place their orders, through to assistance when customers experience glitches with products or services.
Companies must get customer service right because the cost of not doing so is simply too high – customers will switch.
In fact, a recent Accenture survey found that in the US alone businesses lose $1.6 trillion because of poor customer service.
However, consistently getting customer support just right is very difficult. Thankfully, customer support chatbots can lend a helping hand.
How do customer support chatbots work?
Live support chat has been around for a while, it’s common to see a box at the bottom right of a website where customers can talk to a real human to get order or product support. Customer support chatbots work differently.
A customer service bot is an autonomous tool that can answer many customer queries on its own, without the need for human assistance.
Support chatbots use existing customer support information such as FAQs and combine it with pre-programmed chat flows and artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, a customer support chatbot can understand many common queries, and answer these queries completely autonomously.
It’s worth noting that customer support chatbots are excellent at doing two things:
- AI customer support bots can answer many standard, repetitive queries and accomplish basic tasks on a fully autonomous basis – however, chatbots cannot resolve all customer support cases
- A customer support chatbot can prepare the way for a human, collecting essential information and making sure customers talk to the right support person, who will be equipped to readily answer customer support questions
So, you can see customer support chatbots as a terrific tool to augment your existing customer support efforts.
A bot won’t replace customer support – but there are many benefits
We’ve established how important it is to keep your customer support efforts tip-top. Chatbots can be of real help. Here’s how:
Instant resolution of queries
Customers like getting their queries resolved quickly. We all know the frustration of waiting in a queue at a contact center for what feels like hours on end, or the frustrating waits for a live chat session.
Chatbots are infinitely scalable and can handle as many customer support sessions as there are customers.
For that reason, customers can find instant help for many of their common queries. Chatbots can clearly reduce the wait time for customers, boosting customer satisfaction.
Available around the clock
Alongside quick resolution comes another benefit – customer support chatbots are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your chatbot never takes time off.
Large companies can afford to hire customer care staff 24/7, but for most smaller and medium-sized businesses around the clock customer support is not an option.
Chatbots can provide a degree of customer care even when your human customer service agents are not on duty.
Customers might not always be able to resolve their problems, but much of the time they would be able to do so just fine – and your customers will thank you for it.
A head start for customer support
It’s true, chatbots won’t be able to answer every customer support query. But your customer service bot can give your human customer support staff an advantage.
The best chatbots for customer service will ask key questions and collect the most essential information, presenting this to customer care staff who can then more rapidly resolve a customer support problem.
In turn, your customers will appreciate the personal touch, not to mention the speedier resolution of their concerns.
Chatbots can learn
It is worth noting that the best chatbots are not static, rigid instruments. Thanks to AI, chatbots can learn as they serve your customers.
Over time your customer service bot can teach itself to offer improved responses to customer care questions and to answer more concerns more quickly.
Learning occurs through simpler means too, in fact, your customer can teach your chatbots – just by reviewing their chatbot support experience customers give valuable feedback that informs future chatbot responses.
When do companies need AI customer support bot?
A chatbot for customer care can make a terrific contribution to most company’s support efforts, but there are cases where customer care chatbots are particularly useful:
- Can’t afford 24/7 support. If your customer support budget is tight you might want to consider a chatbot to provide a layer of customer care service when your human agents are taking a rest.
- Scaling customer support is problematic. Finding that you can’t scale your customer support team quickly enough and that customers are waiting too long? Unable to deal with peaks in demand? Chatbots can relieve the pressure.
- Customers are around the globe. If your customers are only in your host country, 24/7 support may be less essential. However, if you have customers around the world chatbots can help you deliver 24/7 support.
- Multi-channel chat support. Chatbots can easily be deployed beyond your website, so if you find that your business needs to deliver support on messaging apps or social media you might want to consider a flexible chatbot that can service a range of channels.
That said, any company that wants to offer faster support responses and that wishes to reduce customer support expenditure without impacting the customer experience should consider a customer support chatbot to deal with at least some customer care cases.
Give your customer support a boost
Sometimes only a human touch will do, but in many cases, a customer care chatbot can deliver excellent if not better results than a customer support agent.
Chatbots can readily augment your existing customer care efforts.
Convinced of the benefits but not sure where to start? Just get in touch with the experts here at Xenioo.
Xenioo has delivered effective chatbots serving hundreds of companies across multiple channels – we know how to train chatbots, and we know how to ensure that customers have a great chatbot customer support experience.
Get in touch and we’ll demonstrate how a customer support chatbot can give your customer support efforts a huge boost