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As the trend for chatbots surges forward, it is important to understand how they work and what they can do for your business. Perhaps one of the most helpful roles chatbots can fulfil, especially for small businesses, is customer service functionality.
To implement automated customer service, it is important to understand the consumer. Consumers have largely become technology savvy, and have chosen mobile devices and text based messaging as their main weapon of choice.
This is a generation of always on, information hungry consumers that do not want to wait. The consumer profile shows a distinct lack of patience and frustration with outdated communications. Consumers expect to deal with company on a two way street – they expect personalisation and acknowledgement of who they are, but they have no interest in customer service reps or the humans behind a company.
Chatbots are perfect for this generation.
Automated Customer Service
What customers do not want are queues and phone calls. Pressing 1 for this, and 2 for that, never was very popular. It might have helped businesses streamline their calls, but for the consumer it was just downright irritating.
Customers are more than happy to deal with chat based automated service and industry experts predict that by 2020, over 85% of transactions a person makes with businesses will be free from human involvement.
Chatbots offer this functionality in spades. They are instant and always on. There is never a need to wait in a queue, and when implemented correctly will be able to field that 85% of customer transactions – with ease. Their potential uses are pretty limitless.
What I mean by that, is you do not purchase a chatbot off the shelf and plug it in. Artificial intelligence means that chatbots are worth so much more than any off the shelf solutions. The onus is on the company to ensure that the chatbot they define and programme is fit for purpose, and must take care not to limit themselves.
Instant messaging is the future of all customer service interactions, so it is up to the company to determine how best to set their chatbot to work, but the possibilities are excitingly endless.
A chatbot could just offer answers to customer queries, or in the case of Domino’s ‘Dom, the pizza bot’ handle and process food orders, from first contact to point of delivery. The delivery guy is often the only human interaction link in the chain (until drones take over delivery duties!)
Another big want on our consumers list is a personalised service. They expect a company to remember their preferences and choices and treat them like individuals.
Well, chatbots are capable of learning things like preferences. Therefore they do not have to treat customers as a new interaction every time they contact.
My weather chatbot, part of my voice activated Alexa, remembers my location. I do not have to remind it where I live, I can simply ask for a weather update. The chatbot then begins the report with my location, in a human style sentence. ‘Currently, in London, the weather is…’. It actually goes a long way to promoting brand and image, no waiting for the agent to locate my record and load it, then read my location, and check for my local forecast.
No. Instead an impressive, personalised report instantly.
Chatbots can be better at customer service than people. They do not have bad days, feel grumpy or get angry.
My view is that chatbots really are the answer to impeccable customer service, and you would be mad to miss out.