Bots to the rescue: How chatbots will save businesses in remote customer support
Consumer behavior is changing. Gone are the days where all a business had to do to grow was to have the best product in the market. Surveys show that 86% of consumers choose “better buying experience” over “product quality” today; this was 12% in 2012. They prefer a brand or business which gives the most comforting experience and clearest solution to their problem.
Customer support personnel were the flag-bearers in ensuring this happened for the brand. However, customers today want instant answers to their queries. They prefer to have a quick chat with a smart virtual assistant, rather than wait for a support representative to attend to them. That is where intelligent chatbots come into the picture.
In recent years, starting from healthcare websites to food delivery apps, chatbots have become a crucial point of contact between millions of customers and brands. The pandemic has also promoted the use of chatbots. Analytics shows us that during the lockdowns, chat sessions increased by 22%, and phone calls dipped by 24%. Moreover, projections reveal that in the next 6-9 months, this behavior will increase by 57%. Is your business ready for this environment?
Where & How to Use Chatbots
By 2022, 80% of the world’s businesses plan to use chatbots. This means a reduction in training costs, workforce optimization, and 24/7 service opportunities. Overall, virtual assistance could save businesses close to $8 billion.
However, inserting them in every step of the customer lifecycle is also not recommended. The most effective use of chatbots lies at the following touchpoints:
- Customer service and analytics
- Feedback monitoring and collection
- Lead nurturing and retention
Now, chatbots are aplenty in the marketplace. So what sets yours apart? We are huge fans of personalization. True value comes from understanding customer behavior and queries, and adapting answers accordingly.
Chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence have also proven to be quite effective in this regard. But the need for AI in such channels calls for a cost-benefit analysis. They may deliver high value for industries such as e-commerce and retail, while a more basic chatbot may suffice for the telecom industry.
Does that mean any chatbot platform will do?
The answer is no. Faulty or unprotected assistant platforms have shown to be damaging to the business rather than profitable.
What makes a good chatbot?
Characteristics that define good virtual assistants like chatbots are:
- Data Security
- Consistency in customer handling
- Accurate data reporting
- Learning capability, and
- Omni-channel application
Bots with these characteristics and the right integration across your platforms are a recipe to success. Not only will customers be greeted with a conversational, personalized interface, but barriers of language, accent, and accessibility will also vanish.
The Digital future ahead…
Globally, 47% of the population use digital touchpoints and the number will increase exponentially in the coming months. Moreover, with the majority of customer support personnel working remotely, bots will be the go-to option for potential customers.
Businesses that are in the banking, healthcare, telecom, and insurance sectors are going to have a huge surge in customers preferring to interact with online assistants.
Today customers prefer to get their queries solved from chatbots; going forward customers may even start buying directly without human intervention. This will happen when the customer is completely satisfied with the assistance provided. Only a well-designed platform that evolves based on your business requirements can execute this task.
Therefore, before implementing any chatbot platform, it is crucial to lay down the business objectives and goals you want to achieve from the platform. It should be designed, configured, and commissioned based on the requirements of your customers and must be compatible across all your existing systems. This will ensure you get sufficient ROI and profit from its implementation.
Allsec successfully deploys digital interventions with varying degrees of complexity across the range of Digital Business Solutions and HR Outsourcing. For more information, reach out to us.