chatbot | 7 min read

How To Use A Chatbot To Improve Customer Service?

Published by Khyati Badiyani on 01-Jun-2021

Introduction

Remember the days when we had to wait for several minutes in a never-ending queue for speaking to a customer service agent. Well! Thanks to chatbots, we now have a solution to this problem. Transformational solutions provided by chatbots are changing the way businesses work. With accelerating digitization, customer expectations have massively changed. They expect a faster resolution to their queries, 24/7 availability, hassle-free processes while purchasing or making a payment. Brands now compete based on the experiences that they provide to their customers. 80% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. In this blog, we will explore how chatbots can improve brand perception by enhancing customer experience.

Obstacles faced in providing good customer service

In an online world, at times, providing the right kind of experience becomes challenging. 56% of people around the world have ended their association with brands because of poor customer service. 

Customer service is a challenging responsibility and has to be dealt with the right strategy and patience. 

Let’s see some of the common challenges faced:

  1. Multitasking in the ‘true sense.’

    Customer service teams face this challenge almost every day where they have to deal with multiple customers simultaneously with various queries. This is not only an uphill task but can also have erroneous results. Organizations need to find a solution to this problem to create a loyal customer base.

  2. Responding under a time crunch

    When the customers want agents to reply quickly, they might take longer to understand the absolute requirement and need some customers’ information. Such situations might irate the customers creating a poor brand image for future interactions and develop a lot of pressure on executives.

  3. Getting lost in the data dump

    Situations arise where information might not be readily available with company executives; it can be over a particular query, information regarding pricing, complaints, appointments, etc. This wastes the time of the customer as well as the executive. Additional man-hours put in by executives is a burden on the company’s pockets.

  4. Being available at odd hours

    Executives cannot be present 24/7 to serve the clients. With the world moving online, customers expect companies to be present at their beck and call. Over 50% of people want businesses to operate 24/7.

Six ways in which Chatbots are changing customer service experience

  1. Understand your customer’s journey

    A bot is more effective when it knows the customer in detail. To ensure that the bot is efficient, it should be thoroughly trained on

    1. Most common problems that the customers face

    2. Which piece of information or request is most in demand

    3. What are the offerings/services that lack clarity and is difficult to understand

    Prepared with these details, a bot is more equipped to handle customers. Chatbots can answer up to 80% of standard questions. So you can train your bot on questions and answers that are helpful for your visitors. 
     

    For finding the most common queries, we need to understand a customer’s journey. It is the path taken by a customer from when it first interacted with the brand to every interaction they have with your brand.

    It is essential to understand how a customer goes through and recognize the touchpoint where a chatbot can pitch in. This chatbot can easily generate insights on where the customers are getting stuck, their expectations, and the most asked information. With these insights, chatbots can be trained to provide a better customer experience. 

    Find out how WotNot assisted Ozone Wallcam (leading security and surveillance solution provider) in reducing service time by 80% in 365 days.

  2. Build a Conversational bot for better customer engagement

    Customers want chatbots to talk like humans.73% of people say that live chat is the most desired form of communication. Conversational chatbots provide an enhanced experience to customers by providing continuous support and providing real-time solutions. They not only ensure better customer engagement but also generate more qualified leads and essential insights.

    To get a detailed overview of Why conversational bots are the need of the hour. Find it here  - https://wotnot.io/conversational-marketing/

  3. Ensures round-o-clock servicing for your customers

    Round-the-clock service by a ‘human agent only’ team can be an exhausting task for the executives and an expensive deal for the company. By deploying chatbots, businesses can be available 24/7. This is the most cost-efficient method of delivering instant responses without any human intervention.“More than 55% of the clients are interested in connecting with chatbots due to their 24*7 availability”.

    Check out how WotNot helped Symphony Pvt. Ltd., a leading air cooler company, in saving 3500+ hours and generating $3.2 Mn in business value.

  4. Your customers don’t have to fear the long queues

    Online market space gives freedom to customers to switch brands in an instant. 76% of customers say that it has become easier to switch brands, increasing the pressure on businesses to provide superior customer engagement. The bot can be trained to handle standard queries as well AI-powered chatbots can manage complex queries. Chatbots facilitate self-service to visitors, reducing the overall service cycle time. 

    WotNot worked with SmartSure, a leading insurance company, to generate 248 leads with an 83% response time reduction. Read it here.

  5. Your bot knows its boundaries, and hence handovers work efficiently

    As bots have successfully filled in the shoes of human agents, a large number of queries can be handled within seconds. Customers expect fast replies with little wait time. Chatbots are now catering to this demand for both businesses and consumers by resolving standard queries and routing complex customer queries to the appropriate human who can fix their issues.

  6. Your bot makes sure that you give error-free deliveries

    To err is human, hence chatbots! Chatbots can keep important information readily available for use. Pre-defined codes and feed help them fetch the data with maximum accuracy, which might not be the case with human agents. Providing wrong information can create a bad experience for the customer, spoiling the overall brand image. 

    70% of business comes from 30% repeat customers; hence, customer retention becomes a crucial part of ensuring a profitable bottom line. Though it can be challenging, chatbot solutions have revolutionized the customer service segment and will continue to do so with rapidly growing technology.

Best Practices for Chatbots:

  1. Create a personalized experience by giving your bot a friendly name

    Chatbots work on the “customer-facing” side of the business and represent your business to the customer, so it becomes crucial that the chatbot is user-friendly and has a sense of approachability. The name of your chatbot is the first thing that the customer will notice, and giving a name to your chatbot makes it more humane and makes the customer feel more comfortable. However, at the same time, the name should encapsulate the bot’s persona or function, which should be in line with the objective of the chatbot.

  2. Your chatbot should understand its operational boundaries

    Chatbots can handle multiple queries from the customers simultaneously, but their primary role is to assist the company’s workforce. Hence, while defining the roles of the chatbot, the scenarios of redirection should be defined clearly, so that the chatbot understands when to forward the query to a human representative. Doing so will prevent the scenarios where customers don't get a proper solution to their questions and increase customer satisfaction.

  3. Train your bot to be a human counterpart

    Chatting with a bot is efficient, but the lack of human touch can drive away the customers and reduce engagement. So, as we transition towards a bot-led customer service approach, making the chatbots conversational makes the customer experience natural and more engaging, resulting in better customer satisfaction.

  4. Defining the KPIs for your Chatbot

    The chatbots usually are created with a definite purpose, i.e., to handle customer queries, generate sales leads, inventory management, etc. While defining the purpose of the chatbots, it is important to define the KPIs for the same as wallowing low the measurement of the chatbot’s success or various parameters and help understand required change.

  5. Making sure that your customers feel secure while sharing their data

    It is crucial to ensure that the users’ data shared with the chatbot is stored on the appropriate secure database and could be utilized for various business purposes. Hence, the data collected from the users should be structured well (for example: only accepting digits for phone numbers) and should be easy for users to understand and share.

Chatbots are known to provide better customer engagement and improved brand image but chatbots come with their own set of limitations. The restrictive nature of chatbots prohibits them from asking qualifying questions and create intelligent conversations.

At last, let’s look at some cons of using a chatbot -

  1. Chatbots need regular up-gradation of conversations and maintenance

    Maintaining chatbots for regular updates is highly critical. Optimizing the knowledge base is important for chatbots to answer queries or provide solutions for upcoming issues and requests. There has to be a constant analysis of most repetitive questions, and a chatbot has to be trained to answer them.

  2. Retaining a customer is tough for a chatbot

    AI-powered chatbots comprehend human words but not delicate emotions. We can train sophisticated bots in sentiment recognition, but we can't make them completely infallible. This is a significant gap that may result in an angry consumer. In complex situations when chatbots cannot handle such customers, client retention becomes an uphill battle.

  3. The initial set-up cost can be high, depending on the solutions required

    Chatbots help in saving money but in the longer run. They help save manhours by handling multiple queries at a time, but for all this to happen, every chatbot has to be programmed differently as per the purpose it has to serve. This increases the setup cost and it also increases the time needed to install a chatbot as it has to go under a certain set of programming.

  4. Chatbots cannot take a call on their own

    There are situations where customer service agents have to take on spot decisions to ensure customer satisfaction or customer retention. E.g - providing waive-off coupons, free service, etc. Chatbots don’t have the ability to process such information and take decisions as a human agent would do. This can hamper the image of your brand, resulting in a loss of customer loyalty.

  5. Chatbots might irritate the visitor by asking repetitive questions

    Chatbots can’t recall past conversations, prompting them to ask questions that the customer already answered during their last visit. This situation might agitate customers as no one wants to type the same thing again and again. 

    In situations where chatbots don’t understand the questions, they request the visitor to repeat or rephrase the question, this can happen a number of times and can be really frustrating for the customer.

  6. Customers don’t want to speak with a bot

    Companies are adopting chatbots to ease the pressure on their service teams but obviously, chatbots miss the human essence, and it’s challenging to gain the trust of the customer. Chatbots cannot be trained to be empathetic and that’s why people still want to talk to human agents and not to a bot while looking for solutions to complex issues.

Chatbot has been considered as a channel for improving customer service for the past 20 years. Chatbots have gone through substantial changes since their inception.  The interest in chatbots for customer service has been seen in phases. An earlier stage that used chatbots to answer frequently asked questions to speed up the processes, and then a later phase where we saw progress in artificial intelligence and natural language processing driven by conversational techniques. These technological advancements throw light on the potential of chatbots for customer service.

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