5 Ways Your Business Can Leverage Customer Service Chatbots
Success in today’s competitive business world commands total efficiency. And to be highly efficient, your organization must show a commitment to investing in technology. This includes leveraging customer support chatbots to amplify efficiency and serve more customers in real time.
What is a Customer Service Chatbot?
A customer service chatbot, also known as a customer support chatbot, is a piece of advanced software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to answer customer queries via an online chat (like the Facebook messenger for small businesses) or business messenger (ai-powered service tools).
These chatbots for customer support are often given names and profile pictures as a way of humanizing automation and creating a more personal customer experience for users.
AI chatbots for customer service can answer basic questions, including queries like:
- Can you tell me about your return policy?
- What is your pricing?
- Where can I find the “XYZ” product on the website?
- How do I reset my password?
The average customer service chatbot is designed to answer simple customer questions by leveraging your existing resources. For example, the bot’s script may have access to your FAQs and other knowledge base articles.
However, these chatbots can get smarter over time. They lean on their AI and machine learning technology to learn from past questions and extract new information from recently published resources to improve response times and accuracy of information.
Customer support chatbots are programmed and trained to recognize various forms of the same question. This means the customer doesn’t have to type out a question in the exact format to get an answer. As an example, the bot
would see all of the following as being the same question:
- How do I change my password?
- How do I reset my password?
- How to change password?
- Password change instructions?
- Paswrd chnge?
Notice that the chatbot still understands the intent, even though the last item on this list is a misspelled and incomplete sentence. This is one of the more powerful advantages of a chatbot. It’s able to examine different permutations and group queries together based on similarity and proximity.
Contrary to what some might think, customer service chatbots are not designed to replace real-life customer service agents. Instead, they lend support by reducing pressure and shortening wait times. Bots help answer easy, low-hanging questions that don’t require the help of a human.
Whether it’s a password reset or finding basic information on the website, the bot’s role is to keep customers with simple, non-urgent needs from clogging up the phone lines or from filing unnecessary support tickets. In doing so, they free up the actual human customer service agents to focus on the customers that have significant needs requiring manual intervention.
There’s a lot of misconception in the industry that chatbots are out to replace customer service agents and take jobs away from people, but this is patently false. Instead, these bots are designed to support and empower customer service reps. The goal is to help them do their jobs better by saving time, reducing frustration, and limiting some of the repetitiveness that comes with the job.
For all of the good things that a chatbot can do, it’s important to remember that artificial intelligence can never replace real human intelligence on an emotional level. In other words, an automated chat script can’t say sorry like a human with feelings, emotions, and inflection can.
Here’s are some of the differences:
- Answering frequently asked questions very quickly.
- Quickly routing a customer to the correct place/person to find an answer to a specific question.
- Reducing hold times, phone line congestion, and unnecessary support tickets
- Answering complex and unique customer-specific questions
- Addressing complex situations that have never happened before
- Dealing with highly emotional situations that require finesse
Again, chatbots aren’t a replacement – they’re merely a support system that allows human agents to perform to the best of their abilities. If your chatbots are able to provide some quick answers for customers and help your human agents do their jobs better, that’s a win!
5 Benefits of Chatbots in Customer Service
Now that we understand what a customer service chatbot is, let’s check out some of the specific ways they can be used:
1. Automate Routine Tasks
As mentioned, one of a customer service chatbot’s primary responsibilities is to free up employees’ time by automating the routine, mundane and repeatable tasks that they would otherwise deal with on a daily basis. Examples of routine tasks include: retrieving account/login information; checking availability; scheduling an appointment; confirming an appointment; checking availability or inventory; etc.
2. Assist With Sales
A well-programmed customer service chatbot can also assist with the sales process by providing some basic lead qualification support. For example, if you’re selling software with tiered levels of the product, a chatbot can ask questions to funnel the customer to the appropriate sales rep and/or online resources (i.e. What industry do you work in? How many users do you anticipate having? How soon do you anticipate purchasing?)
3. Answer Basic Questions
In many cases, a good customer service chatbot can find answers to questions faster than a new sales rep or inexperienced customer support agent. They’re able to quickly tap into your knowledge base and extract the right information to answer a customer’s basic questions. In a best-case scenario, this prevents the need for the customer to speak with a human agent. In a worst-case scenario, it allows the bot to direct the customer to the appropriate live chat agent with some pre-existing context.
4. Triage Calls
You can think of a chatbot as an automated triage department for your customer service team. It helps direct calls to different parts of your customer service department based on customer need and level of urgency. This prevents customers from getting bounced around from one agent to the next (which is one of the biggest sources of frustration for a customer when they call a 1-800 support number).
5. Provide 24/7/365 Support
If your customer service department has specific hours – like 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. – a customer service chatbot can effectively give you off-hours support that’s fully functional and accessible 24 hours per day and seven days per week (including holidays). If nothing else, it can provide some quick answers to easy questions and schedule callbacks for issues that can’t be solved by the bot.
Expand Your Business Efficiency With Aisera
Aisera offers growing and established businesses access to the number one AI customer service chatbot in the industry. Our platform delivers flawless experiences for support teams that have a need for immediate customer self-service.
The Aisera AI customer service chatbot works with all of the existing tools and systems you’re already using and is intended to expand your capabilities and promote efficiency. If you’d like to learn more, please request a demo and we’ll show you how it works from the inside out!