It’s no secret that consumers are more demanding yearly, and the traditional shopping experience simply isn’t enough anymore. Customer service is hugely important in 2020 and can really change your customers’ whole shopping experience. In fact, according to Microsoft, 90% of consumers believe customer service to be very important when they’re choosing a brand. In total, 55% of shoppers have higher expectations for customer support than they did a year ago.
So, in another year’s time, what will the customer service landscape look like? Well, it’ll be even more demanding, and with that, you’ll either need more staff or more technology.
That’s where chatbots come in.
Chatbots have become a total norm over the past four or five years. Almost every online business uses some level of a bot to help improve their services. If you’ve spoken to a customer service team through a ‘live chat’ on social media or a business website, you’ve probably been messaging with a chatbot.
Chatbots are very much a love-hate topic: Businesses love them, but customers… not so much. But that’s because chatbots are still in their infancy, and although they have very much developed since the days of simple, clunky bots, they are constantly developing and getting better.
What does your customer service look like now?
The first thing to think about before integrated chatbots into your business is what your customer service currently looks like. According to Statista, 79% of consumers who file a complaint about bad customer service have their complaint ignored. Ignoring complaints is one sure-fire way to get a bad rep and lose sales. Complaints should be used as a tool to improve your services for everyone!
Other customer frustrations include:
Lack of knowledge: Do your team really know what they’re talking about?
Lack of speed: Is your team dedicated to customer service day in day out, or are their priorities elsewhere? Do you have an out-of-hours customer service staff that can answer calls or inquiries at weekends or evenings?
Staff who are unable to resolve issues: Are your staff trained in resolving the most common problems such as shipping, returns, and payment processes?
Before adding chatbots to your team, it’s best to focus on your human team first: Get them trained in the simplest and more complex issues your customers might experience. That way, chatbots are a helpful addition to your workforce rather than the main option.
What are Chatbots & How Do They Work?
Chatbots are complex tools that can really benefit your business. They use a ‘natural language processing’ technology (NLP) to understand words and phrases. Higher quality chatbots also use artificial intelligence to make them seem even more human to the customer. Some bots are now so smart, customers barely notice a difference between the machine and real customer service teams.
Bots help your business work more efficiently. While your customer service team might be fully prepped and experienced in helping your customers with all of their questions and queries, couldn’t their time be used for more complex issues, rather than answering the same simple questions over and over again?
Well, this is why chatbots are really handy. Chatbots can help those customers with simple questions while directing more complex queries to the correct department for more help. They’re a bit like an online receptionist.
Why Should I Use Chatbots For My Business?
There are so many benefits to using a chatbot for your business. Below we’ve named just a few reasons why chatbots are a must-have for your business in 2020.
Although we don’t condone the modern-day nightmare of ‘robots taking over our jobs, which we are all inclined to worry about from time to time, chatbots do provide a level of cost efficiency that cannot be ignored.
Chatbots free up your staff to work on lead generation and other projects. They can help with orders, tracking and even returns. Bots can help with all the admin that your staff is struggling to keep on top of. These repetitive projects are easy for robots to follow, and if you are just starting up, they can keep your overheads low. Staff can be a huge cost when you’re just starting up your business, and therefore it can be very helpful to use chatbots to provide customer service while you’re focusing on running your business.
24/7 Help & Availability for your customers
E-Commerce is no 9–5. So unlike brick-and-mortar shop assistants, you need to be able to help your customers with their orders and inquiries at any time of day. Having a chatbot means your staff — or yourself — don’t have to work around the clock. After hours, chatbots can record queries and answer simple questions your customers have. Complex issues can be archived and filed into your system or email platform for staff to work through the next day.
Increase Your Sales
Programming a chatbot or using a platform that allows you to do so can help increase your sales. Bots are great for upselling products on your site or offering more detail about a certain item. If you can work with a technology firm that can build you a fully functioning bot, there’s a goldmine of sales waiting for you at the end.
This quick post highlights three major additions a chatbot can offer for your business. By reducing costs and increasing sales, your profits will be higher than ever. And these profits can be reinvested, advance the capabilities of your chatbot. By constantly reviewing your customer service and incorporating automated chatbots into the system, your team will be fully equipped for whatever issue your customer has. By offering 24/7 customer service, consumers will feel safer about shopping on your site, too, knowing they will be able to access help no matter when they need it.