Selling products or services online? Got steady web traffic? Don’t have a massive support team available around the clock? If you answered yes to at least one of these, sounds like it’s time for you to consider customer service chatbots.
In this article, we’ll cover the biggest benefits of customer service chatbots and present an alternative to AI-powered chatbots – one that might be just as good for what you need.
What is a clickable chatbot?
A common misconception about chabots is that all of them are built on artificial intelligence. If you’re like most people and don’t dabble with chatbots every day, you may think that all chatbots are the same, and that the tech behind a bot really doesn’t matter.
I don’t want to complicate the tech side too much for you. There are generally speaking two different types of chatbots around:
- AI-chatbots, which – you guessed it – are based on machine learning algorithms and natural language processing
- Clickable chatbots, which do not process language, but are based on predefined answer options and conversation paths
So, as opposed to AI-powered chatbots, a clickable chatbot does not process language. What this means is that the chatbot is built as a decision tree, where users are given answer options that determine how the conversation flows.
There’s a clear technological difference, but the potential benefits of both chatbot types are more or less the same. We’ll get to those later on.
What is a customer service chatbot?
First of all, chatbots are a versatile technology that serves multiple purposes. Good bots usually target more than one behavior. Therefore, the line between for example lead generation chatbots and customer service chatbots is, well, arbitrary.
That being said, customer service is one of the predominant focus areas for chatbots. Chatbots for customer service are primarily designed to:
- Automatically answer frequently asked questions
- Help people find the right page or content
- Provide contact information
- Connect customers with service reps
The aim of customer service chatbots is to resolve customer questions and issues quickly and efficiently. In doing so, customer service bots increase customer satisfaction and improve the overall customer experience.
How, you ask?
The perks of customer service chatbots
Whether you go the route of AI or clickable customer service chatbots, you’ll get very much the same benefits. And there’s plenty.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of automated customer service chatbots – whether businesses realize it or not – is that they serve customers 24/7. All day and every day, during and outside office hours.
It’s about time to accept that your customers are active around the clock. Not providing the support they’re looking for is a solid strategy for anyone who wants to see their business wither away.
Whether requests come during a busy Monday morning, prime time Wednesday evening, or over the weekend, automated customer service chabots always deliver immediate responses and support.
It’s true that chatbots can’t resolve issues with 100% certainty, but getting the wheels turning immediately can prevent a hesitant customer from getting frustrated or seeking help elsewhere. No human can beat a chatbot in taking first contact with a customer in need.
Automation of repetitive tasks
Automation is the force that pulls chatbots and customer service together. On top of running fast and 24/7, customer service chatbots remove repetitive tasks from the human agent’s table.
What could your team achieve if they never again had to give the same default answer, send over a phone number, or perform a similar task that could be done (faster) by a chatbot?
The best thing about automating repetitive tasks is that the customer doesn’t even care who resolves the issue. They just want an answer, like, now. Often people will actually prefer a chatbot to take care of the question, because talking to a service rep feels like a deeper commitment.
Ok, so customer service chatbots give immediate answers to common questions 24/7. Let’s add one more layer: there’s no limit to how many service encounters a chatbot can handle at once.
You could have 200 people on the website asking for the same question. Your customer service chatbot will be like: Is that all you got? I’ll go ahead and claim that the reaction of a human would be somewhat different.
High traffic numbers and an active customer base will only emphasise the value of chatbot automation. The benefits become more apparent with scale.
Savings in customer service costs
Technology is cheap compared to the time of customer service professionals. If you’re able to take workload off your service reps, they can focus on more demanding tasks.
Depending on your situation and the complexity of service encounters, customer service chatbots may permanently reduce the amount of resources you need tied to support.
Consistent service experience
With customer service chatbots, every customer gets equal treatment. You may think this is bad, because every customer should be treated as an individual.
But remember that a chatbot conversation can always be transferred to a human agent using live chat. Up until the customer chooses to do this, it’s completely fine to let the bot be in charge.
Also, who said chatbot conversations can’t be personal? Consistent and automated service doesn’t need to be boring. There’s a lot you can do to give the chatbot your brand voice and make it feel like customers are chatting with one of your team members.
When should you use customer service chatbots?
As I mentioned above, the value of customer service chatbots increases with business size. However, smaller companies often find bots irreplaceable, too. This is because there’s usually zero extra slack for anyone to handle service enquiries on top of their own work.
Here are a few situations where customer service chatbots are guaranteed to improve the speed and quality of your customer support:
- You have a global customer base
- Your website is a key information source for customers
- You don’t have a dedicated customer service team
- You’re unable to provide immediate human support 24/7
- You want to reduce customer service costs
- You want to increase customer satisfaction
You can also take this quick test to see if you’d need chatbots on your website.
Numbers that back up the use of automated chatbots
- Service leaders who use chatbots are 60% more likely to see improvements in resolution speed
- … and 30% more likely to report improvements in customer satisfaction
- 68% of customer support leaders who use chatbots plan to invest more in them over the coming year
- 50% of service leaders plan to invest more in automation to increase efficiency
- Companies that use chatbot technology are 35% more likely to be able to track their support ROI than those who don’t
Do you really need AI for your chatbot?
Even the most advanced AI can’t fully replace authentic human interaction.
This being the case, it’s reasonable to ask whether you really need to invest in artificial intelligence, or if a clickable chatbot would cover your customer service needs.
If you aren’t quite sure, hopefully this article gives you some guidance on choosing between AI and clickable customer service chatbots.
What are customer service chatbots good for?
There’s so much to be gained with the personalized automation of chatbots. The most important benefits of customer service chatbots include:
- 24/7 customer service and online support
- Immediate responses, no service delay
- Automation of repetitive tasks
- Unlimited scalability in service encounters
- Savings in money and resources
- Consistent service experience
Human service still has its place, but that should be in resolving the most demanding service encounters. For everything else, customer service chatbots present a pile of valuable perks in a cost effective package.