Are you looking for ways to improve your customer service? If so, you may want to consider using an AI chatbot. Businesses are using AI chatbots to improve customer service in a variety of ways for a long now. They are using chatbots to provide 24/7 customer service, automate routine inquiries, and offer personalized recommendations. By offering instant responses to common queries, chatbots can help reduce wait times and encourage customer loyalty to the brand.
In addition, businesses are using chatbots to analyze customer sentiment and customer behavior. The collected by the chatbot first- and zero-party data can be used to improve the overall customer experience by making changes to the product or service offerings.
Chatbots can save businesses as much as 30% on customer support costs, according to IBM. This means that chatbots are very good at handling customers’ inquiries and help customer service agents a lot. The #1 benefit of chatbots is 24/7 support, customers say, according to Drift. Chatbot technology has many more benefits that we will share with you in the next paragraphs, so keep reading to learn how to improve your overall customer service and support.
Here are 5 ways businesses are using an AI chatbot to improve customer service:
1. Automating Repetitive Tasks with 24/7 Availability of the Business Site: Businesses are using AI chatbots to automate repetitive tasks such as scheduling appointments, answering common questions, and providing information about products and services. This helps representatives focus on more complicated tasks and provides customers with faster service.
Automations can be made also by redirecting users online and offline to the chatbot from anywhere: from all social media accounts, from emails, from SMS, offline via QR codes, from live chats and in the chatbot to different elements – from a card to another card, from conversational AI to form to fill out and others. That way users can easily be redirected to the place where the business wants them to be with 1 click on a link or 1 scan of a QR code – from all mentioned locations and more. If your social media accounts are full of customer questions and you cannot answer them all 24/7, you shall redirect users to the AI chatbot on your site – the traffic would increase, and customers will be served right away. You can redirect users to the chatbot via email campaigns so to automate your email marketing communication as well. Your company can automate offline communication with customers by placing a QR code to your products in your store or anywhere else where there is customer traffic – customers can scan it and find instantly the information they are looking for instead of waiting for an employee to come.
Live chat agents could be replaced by an AI chatbot when the question’s a routine one, so the employees would handle the more complex tasks. They are often overwhelmed with inquiries and a digital assistant would be very helpful in such situations.
Redirects in the chatbot to different elements – a customer asks a question, the conversational AI module answers it, and redirects him or her to fill out a form, make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, or do other business activities. Thus, customers will be more satisfied with the brand’s products and services, and it is more likely to stay loyal to the brand because they were assisted instantly and won’t search for other activities. For example, in the hotel AI chatbots on the Umni platform the conversational AI module is pretrained to answer over 6000 customer questions on over 600 topics and not only provide instant answers, but the answers further can open a form for hotel service inquiries, open an information section to provide more details and CTA, or guide to integration with the hotel reservation system for instant bookings – one click or question away of completing the desired action all in one place.
Customers often need assistance outside of regular business hours and AI chatbots can provide support 24/7, 365 days a year. On the Umni platform in the chatbots on average, the night chatting is 35% to 45% – it increased during the pandemic and remains a trend because of the need for 24/7 self-service. Do you have someone who will answer them in the middle of the night when they are most likely to make a decision? Or do you think that customers will wait till the morning for your team to contact them back and answer? They would search for other alternatives, and you just have missed an opportunity for a conversion. An AI chatbot on your site will be there to make sure that no opportunities are missed at any time of the day. You can relax after work and neither you nor your employees will work overtime to meet all customer needs – there will be a smart digital assistant that never sleeps. Check your website statistics when your customers visit your site, and we are pretty sure that many of them search on it after your team left the office.
Up to 65% of users leave a business website after viewing only one page, according to a report from April this year, 2022 Digital Experience Benchmark by analyst company Contentsquare. If they do not find what they are looking for quickly and easily, they most likely will continue their search on another site – with a well-planned and managed AI chatbot on your site your company has all chances to solve this issue.
54% of website visitors scroll down only to half of a webpage, according to the same report, and then leave it. Did you know if they received what they were looking for? You would not know unless you receive emails or phone calls from such customers (they would rarely do it) but catching these customers’ interest with an AI chatbot and having them interact with it would gather conversational history and behavior statistics for them. Your company would know what they were searching for and if they were satisfied with the information provided. In addition, by collecting first- and zero-party data for your company customers interacting with the AI chatbot, your website is gaining an alternative to cookies (and they are dying soon).
Using an AI chatbot for automating customer service and support will result in saving time, cost, and resources which will lead to more opportunities for business development and growth. Employees will have more time to develop their skills and when they do not know an answer to a question they will have a digital employee by their side, while the business will have an affordable digital team member to help with the daily tasks and improve overall customer experience.
2. Improving First Call Resolution Rates: By providing instant responses to common queries, AI chatbots can help reduce hold times and improve first call resolution rates. This is important because it offers customers a positive experience and can encourage them to continue doing business with your company. When a customer is waiting for a long time for a response is more likely to not be satisfied with your service and go search for other alternatives. Here is an example of how hotel complex Izgreva improved its customer service with the hotel manager and her team being released from picking up the phone. The hotel AI chatbot succeed to serve over 13,0000 users for 9 months of work and successfully collected over 70 0 inquiries from customers from 13 countries when just a few team members speak English – aren’t these amazing results? The owner of the hotel Mariana Terzieva shared in an interview about their hotel AI chatbot that she is glad that their clients like very much the chatbot and use it frequently, and also that it is now available 24/7 instead of her and the team.
AI chatbots do not make customers wait, they respond instantly. If they are trained to answer to many topics, human agent assistance would not be required for the routine questions – the chatbot would handle this level of conversation with a customer. It depends on the business itself as to what topics the AI chatbot could answer. If it is properly trained, it can do “magic” tricks to keep customers happy with the answers. Chatbots also can handle multiple chats simultaneously, instantly and in various languages – which agents cannot do, to improve customer experience.
3. Reducing Customer Churn: Businesses are using first- and zero-party data from AI chatbots to analyze customer sentiment and customer behavior. This information can be used to make changes that will reduce customer churn. For example, if the team notices a trend of negative sentiments in the chatbot during a certain time period, the company can take steps to address the issue and improve the customer experience or if the company notices some new trends in searching, it can start providing such products and services to meet the real needs of the customers. Implementing a chatbot can also create additional business opportunities. For example, after adding the restaurant menu to its hotel AI chatbot (managed on the Umni platform), the small family hotel “Izgreva” start getting takeaway orders from local people and the customers of guesthouses in the area.
Chatbots are also mobile friendly – like a chat with the business on the business site. In 2021, 474 million people in Europe (86% of the population) subscribed to mobile services, and this is expected to grow to 480 million by 2025. Many people love chatting on their phones so AI chatbots are better for supporting mobile users. In the chatbots managed on the Umni platform, mobile usage is above 70%. Many people also use their mobile phones to search for and access customer service and support. AI chatbots can provide a great experience for mobile users by responding to their questions in their language, without the need to download and install an app which also helps with reducing customer churn.
4. More personalized Recommendations: AI chatbots collect data about customers’ searches and questions which provide the company with insights to offer more focused recommendations.
Here are some ideas. You can use a chatbot form to collect contact data, such as email addresses and phone numbers while offering customers to sign up for a newsletter, promotion, or for some other reason. You can also use it to collect other information, such as location, customer needs, interests, etc. Create a quiz for customers’ entertainment or to learn their needs and preferences. A form can be used as a questionnaire to collect customers’ opinion as well as to further analyze this data and use it for future marketing campaigns and sales. All these ideas on how to use the AI chatbot on your site would result in knowing better your customers, providing them with more personalized information and services.
Just to mention, chatbot forms are also used for marketing purposes to attract customer interest. Customers provide their information in a registration or other form (newsletter subscription or else) willingly (zero-party data) in exchange for receiving a whitepaper, a discount, an offer, an e-book, or something else that they want to have. The business forms can be used to collect emails to send customers more personalized offers, news, and useful information. Chatbot forms are also used for specific customer groups – personalized and accessible when a specific answer by the conversational AI module is triggered so only those that ask a certain question will access the form to fill it out. The business will collect this customer data for future analysis to target those groups with more personalized recommendations. Each form has its own link and QR code, which allows the company to collect the customer data really easily – with CTA 1 click or scan away for the customer.
5. Increasing Sales and Conversions: By automating the sales process and providing instant responses to common questions, businesses can increase sales and improve conversion rates. In addition, businesses can use data from AI chatbots to identify trends and make changes that will boost sales figures even further. Creating conversational marketing and sales funnels in your AI chatbot will help customers find what they need or are interested in fast and easy 24/7, instead of getting to a dead-end – information not found, a phone call that nobody picked up, e-mail sent to expect the answer in some time… therefore being more satisfied with the service and more interested in becoming a customer to a company that truly cares. The interaction with the chatbot, seeing something new and being satisfied by the speed and comfort of the communication would come with results – customers made a purchase, reservation, or registration, they scheduled an appointment, or read something very useful. That way you can be sure they will come back again; they will think of your brand as a trustworthy one and stay loyal to it. More happy customers, more direct sales, right?
The Future of AI Chatbots in Customer Service and Support
As conversational AI technology continues to evolve, so too do the ways in which businesses are using AI chatbots to improve customer service. Consumers and businesses will save over 2.5 billion customer service hours by 2023, according to Juniper Research, which means that AI chatbots save money for the business as well as time for the team which can be used for expanding on other markets and further company growth.
The use of chatbots in customer service is inevitable in the upcoming years as businesses strive to cut costs, save time, and solve many other business challenges. If your industry is customer service-driven, it’s important to start planning now to implement an AI chatbot on your business site. The sooner your business makes the decision, the more cost savings, and efficiency it can achieve. If you’re not sure where to start, contact us for a consultation on how an AI chatbot can benefit exactly your business. Start growing now!