Chatbots for customer service are popular today. Only 38% of customers actually want to talk to a human when interacting with a brand, according to research from Survey Monkey and Drift, while organizations that expect to move from human to chatbot customer care have been increased by 136%.
What there is behind the success of a technology that once was felt as something clumsy and cumbersome? The reason is the rise of Artificial Intelligence.
AI customer service bots have reached a market share of 40% among customer support chatbots; they could become the leading technology in the industry of support chatbots and replace non-AI chatbots soon.
AI chatbots have greatly improved not only the user experience but also customer outreach which is considered to be the most powerful factor of success in today’s digital marketing; these are the two key-factors of their success.
I am going to analyze deeper how can a chatbot for customer service (and an AI customer service chatbot in particular) improves customer services in the next paragraphs. But first, let us see what a customer service chatbot is.
What is a customer service chatbot?
Chatbots Magazine gives the following definition of a chatbot for customer service: “A service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, that you interact with via a chat interface.”
Customer support chatbots can be vocal or textual. Textual chatbots are still slightly more common than vocal chatbots, as their implementation is easier and less expensive.
In any case, the reason to opt for a chatbot for customer service is the same: making the answering to customers’ questions faster, easier, and smoother.
Why? The web user wants speed, as users have lesser and lesser time and more and more content to surf. So, they want just the right answer at the right moment.
A company that is not able to do that makes its clients lose time, which they hate. And the final bad end is that customers change suppliers.
The importance of conversational ai in a chatbot for customer service
The definition that was given above contains the word: “artificial intelligence”. But, to be honest, AI is not strictly necessary to build a chatbot for customer service.
Virtual customer care services that are not based on conversational AI and deep learning are still present today. However, they cannot perform as well as customer service AI chatbots.
What makes the difference? Conversational AI is a technology that can understand the needs and the questions of customers through deep learning. Consequently, the most appropriate answer to any customer’s question can be crafted at the moment.
This feature gives companies the unique opportunity to implement an effective chatbot marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, the old, outdated chatbots have not this ability and make a company lose most advantages of conversational marketing. AI is what really makes the difference.
Benefits of customer service chatbots
Apart from the ability to implement an effective conversational marketing strategy, a chatbot for customer service brings many benefits to any organization and its users.
According to Forbes, there are at least three basic reasons to utilize customer a chatbot for customer service:
- No waiting time: People hate queues, to the point that a good 37% of Americans prefer the bot to wait three minutes.
- Always available: a bot can be programmed to serve customers night and day and without holidays or other interruptions. Half of the American consumers appreciate 24/7 services.
- Personalization of the service: customer service chatbots can drill data, profile customers, and deliver them the most tailored and appropriate answer in a lightning time, while human operators need to spend time to understand customers’ needs and questions.
However, the simplest answer is that customer service chatbots offer better and quicker services and at a lower cost than human operators, at least in the case of simple and routine questions.
This does not come as a surprise, especially if we consider the common complaints of consumers about human customer support:
- Long waiting times
- Being transferred around and having to repeat the problem over and over
- Frustrating automated self-menu
- Being transferred to a human operator abroad with poor English
Customer service chatbots can solve each of these problems.
Chatbot marketing and its importance
Another good reason to shift to chatbots for customer service is the possibility to implement an effective chatbot marketing system.
In simple terms, chatbot marketing uses conversations through social networks to increase customer outreach and sales through conversational AI. In our article: “Why conversational marketing is essential for your business”, you are going to find a detailed explanation of conversational marketing.
To give you an idea of the increasing importance of chatbot marketing, consider that it is expected to grow by 25% in the next seven years, according to the market research company Grand View Research.
Customer service chatbots for websites
Customer services can be offline or online. The growth of the web has led to fast growth of customer service chatbots for websites in the last few years.
Despite the technical differences, the benefits of online and offline chatbots are similar. However, there is a difference. Implementing a customer service chatbot for websites is easier (and less expensive), as it is not necessary to have the answering voice.
In other words, the web is a powerful pivot for the growth of customer service chatbots.
So, what is to remember about customer service chatbots? Let us summarize the main points of the articles in this quick list:
· Customer service chatbots can bring several benefits to any organization and its customers because they greatly improve customer service in terms of availability, speed, and personalization.
- Other benefits are cost reductions and the possibility to exploit conversational marketing strategies to increase customer reach and sales.
- Website customer service chatbots are easier to implement and more effective, as they can avoid the problems connected with the answering voice.
- In any case, it is important to utilize some technologies, like deep learning and artificial intelligence, in order to bring real good results home.