Chatbots and messenger apps are a hot topic at the moment. But why are they becoming so popular? Here are the three main reasons that I thought of:
1. Chat is simply a great CX tool
No one likes spending ages on the phone listening to hold music. And emailing back and forth isn’t particularly satisfying either. Being able to multitask while keeping a chat window open is a breath of fresh air in comparison. Webchat has made life a lot easier for customers: advisors can now send links, guide users around websites and generally promote self-service. Tools like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger make this even simpler – customers can have these conversations on their smartphones, or switch seamlessly between devices as needed.
Facebook Messenger in particular has now become so popular that the team behind it has rolled out a host of new features, including a polling system for making plans with friends and a peer-to- peer payment tool that allows users to send money through the app.
2. Chatbots and Messenger apps work perfectly together
Many CX professionals are wary about the customer response to bots – they fear AI will become a point of contention for those who want to talk to a “real person”. Surprisingly, however, research from Zendesk shows that around half of customers prefer to solve their own problems. Facilitating self-service with a bot is a good compromise for customers who would prefer to avoid the pleasantries when performing routine tasks.
However, that doesn’t put people out of the equation. Chatbots conduct in-depth analysis on the information they receive from customers. When the interaction has the potential to be complex, a bot will transfer it to an advisor, while keeping the conversation on the chat platform.
Read more: Chatbots to support your agents online!
3. Chat and AI offer substantial business benefits
Even without the use of bots, an advisor can carry on around three concurrent chats without a negative impact on the customer experience. A chat interaction can be, on average, up to 30% cheaper than a voice call.
Of course, bots can reduce staffing costs by lowering the demand for people to answer queries. But this shouldn’t be interpreted as a suggestion that we can replace the teams in our contact centres. At the moment, bots are here to supplement the work of customer advisors, and allow them to spend more time and energy handling complex interactions.
Customers now expect speed and personalisation in every element of service. Shorter wait times – or, even better, assisted self-service – create greater customer satisfaction. And when customers are happy, they like to share – 72% of customers will share good experiences with six or more other people. With 25% of millennials alone likely to consult social media before making a purchase, good feedback is excellent for business.
Bots represent a promising development for customer experience, and one which extends across multiple complex sectors, including health and technology. We haven’t quite entered the realms of science fiction yet when it comes to AI, but chatbots are very much here to stay – and they’re getting better all the time.
This article has been written by Dave Pattman, Global Director of R&D at Webhelp.
Webhelp is a global business process outsourcer (BPO), specialising in customer experience and payment management in addition to sales and marketing services across voice, social and digital channels. More information can be found at www.webhelp.com.