The World of Chatbots: Customer Service, Business Automation & Scalability
Chatbots are a classic manifestation of the sheer potential and promise that algorithms hold for driving efficiency and productivity. When you think of bots, you’re likely to conjure up an image of famous robots. But chatbots aren’t the same as R2-D2 or the Terminator.
They’re essentially computer programmed interfaces that stimulate interactions with customers through texts, based on a set of predefined conditions, trigger words, events, etc. These bots can actually have direct conversations with customers and ensure a fairly consistent and pleasant service experience.
A chatbot interface allows conversations with a user to resolve their queries in real-time. With the ability to be linked with almost all popular messaging apps of today and room for personalization, this technology serves all kinds of businesses. Chatbots are programmed to understand written and spoken text in different languages. But what’s amazing is that they are able to interpret and contextualize the conversations. They can even lookup relevant information to provide to the user and help them better.
Benefits of Using Chatbots for Reaching Your Customer Service Goals
Chatbots come embedded with a large number of beneficial features and use-cases. Be it business communication, automation, or simply ensuring a seamless customer journey, chatbots have the features and the flexibility to get it all done—and with great efficiency.
- They can be proactive or reactive – Chatbots can be designed to be proactive in determining and addressing customer needs. For example, they can pop up as soon as someone visits a website. Conversely, a reactive approach would be replying to a customer when they’ve reached out to you with a specific demand.
- Consistent, no matter what – Chatbots are designed for efficiency. Therefore, the responses they give out are consistent every single time, with no room for subjective mannerism at any point in the interaction.
- They require no downtime, ever – Given that these are programmed software applications with minimal to zero human intervention required, Chatbots can work 24×7, 365 days a year with no breaks in between. This comes very handy in various scenarios across sectors. For example, if your business involves delivering services, or if your clients are based out of multiple time zones, your chatbot can be reachable all the time. Even when you aren’t available.
- Compatible on a variety of mediums – This can be easily stated as one of the best aspects in an operational sense for chatbots. In a world where organizations have a wide variety of needs as far as servicing customer requests go, a large number of options in terms of platforms is paramount. The amount of flexibility that they provide in terms of integration with other platforms is very impressive. Be it SMS, Social Media, live chat or any other such relevant medium of contact, chatbots are more likely than not to support it.
- Automate repetitive tasks – This is their USP. A business can leave all these repetitive, low yield, and resource-intensive tasks to a chatbot and utilize their existing human resources a whole lot better. They can also avail of massively reduced costs in the due process while upgrading their quality of business communication as well.
- They gain you an edge in data use both ways – We’ve delved into aspects of how chatbots need to be programmed and supported with a lot of data initially for them to be able to deliver upon the expected tasks. However, an unsung aspect here is also that by virtue of their nonstop interaction and interface with customers, they tend to generate a lot of structured, frequent data as well which can be easily processed to gain serious business insights.
- Abundant efficiencies baked into them – If a business invests large amounts on customer service already, developing chatbots can help reduce operational costs, improve sales conversions, and encourage seamless interaction. More importantly, chatbots can help improve response rates to amplify efficiency.
“Never take even a single customer lightly. That’d be enough reason for them to take your entire business down, which they very well can these days.”
How to Extract Maximum Benefits from Chatbots?
Here are six primary ways a business can extract maximum productivity and efficiency from chatbots while fulfilling their customer service demands:
1. Ensure amazing business communication – All businesses are in a constant quest of getting to know their customers better. That can only be possible with a sufficiently large database on the customers and their preferences.
To ensure the perfect customer journey, chatbots help a business generate detailed insights by virtue of their constant interactions with consumers. These insights allow you to offer a more personalized service. Over the years, several businesses have innovated and ensured consistent business communication by leveraging some of these tools. You should too.
2. Be available 24×7 – These are times of intense competition. Plus, consumers are very well informed and aware of the multitude of options present to them in the market.
If you wish to gain an edge over your competitors, the old ways of restricting customer service to just 8-10 hours a day just doesn’t cut it. You need to be at the customer’s beck and call. If your business still uses legacy communication platforms instead of advanced cloud-based communication solutions, you’re bound to miss out entirely.
Chatbots don’t need sleep. They don’t fall sick. And they don’t need breaks. No matter how repetitive the message, this technology can help provide appropriate responses and thus help convert leads into customers.
3. Pocket-friendly solutions – It’s a fact that chatbots are highly cost-effective. They do not require massive installation and maintenance expenditures. Moreover, chatbots reduce the need for human agents and infrastructure to facilitate their work, leading to consistent financial savings for the organization.
4. A blend of the personal and the impersonal – It’s not that chatbots work in isolation, replacing all humans they possibly can. Not at all. Instead, they first take care of the lower quality, repetitive inquiries. If after that, the service request requires advanced levels of intervention, then a human agent can take over.
This ensures a seamless customer journey all the time. Hence, this technology allows a fabulous blend of the personal and the impersonal, leading to great overall efficiency.
5. Get rid of language barriers – This is the era of multinationals. Distance does not hold the same meaning anymore with the world coming closer every day. Your clients could reside anywhere on the globe, speaking any language. It’s important to maintain communications, regardless of such hindrances.
Chatbots can be programmed to interact in various languages with ease. Go global, or target local audiences at whim. By leveraging this feature, you can ensure perfect business communication and widen your consumer base.
6. Experience massive growth – What is a major constraint to a business’ growth? Steadily growing costs of operation and the incapacity to serve the ever-growing list of consumer requests.
Chatbots can help you overcome all these constraints in a jiffy while maintaining top-notch customer service quality. Your artificial intelligence buddy is available round-the-clock without tiring and delivers the exact same high level of service every time. With this service at hand, your business can get the boost that it needs.
Chatbots, in conjunction with modern and advanced business communications tools, can revolutionize the way you think about customer service. They can help you rapidly scale up or down while ensuring a top-class customer journey.
Olivia Trott is a technical writer at Acefone, prominent hosted phone system provider. Olivia is an outgoing person who enjoys writing, is an SEO enthusiast, and often interacts with others in intellectual conversations. She enjoys listening to music in her free time.