Chatbots are the rage now, creating amazing opportunities in ecommerce as brands keep looking for ways to engage, delight, and sell to their audience.
Recently, Oracle carried out a survey about chatbots among over 800 business owners. Here are two stand-out results from this survey. 80% of businesses were planning on using Chatbots in their customer service within 3 years. Over 36% of these business owners were already using chatbots in customer service.
What are chatbots and why are they so important?
According to Learn.g2.com, a chatbot is
“either powered by pre-programmed responses or artificial intelligence to answer a user’s questions without the need of a human operator.”
In business, chatbots are often used for simple customer service. They are also used for marketing applications that touch frequently with social networks and instant messaging (IM) clients. They are usually in operating systems as well in form of Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA).
How chatbots can transform customer service
1. 24/7 customer service
A major appeal of Chatbots is that they provide the opportunity for customers to get responses to their queries at any time. So annoying email forwarder responses or voicemail are eliminated. While the chatbot responses can feel mechanical and too generalised when it comes to some questions, AI chatbots are breaking ground in providing more humanised communication.
2. Engaging data collection
Like me, a lot of people hate filling forms! 76.9% of users abandon shopping cart forms for example. And the longer the forms, the higher the chances of form abandonment. Of course there are alternative means to manage such forms; one is breaking them into various sections like so. However chatbots can both break the monotony of long forms and make your whole data collection process a lot more exciting. A chatbot can get the same information a lengthy form would, by avoiding the cognitive load and repetitiveness of traditional forms.
3. Endless support
A chatbot won’t get cranky or irritated because of endless queries from a customer. We know how a repetitive issue like password change requests from a customer can deflate the most courageous of customer advisers. A chatbot is a fantastic option for dull repetitive tasks such as password change or information retrieval.
4. Seamless journey
Chatbots are now used to provide smooth user journeys. They can be programmed to pop up on every page connected to a customer’s purchase or store search and provide helpful actions (like offering voucher discounts) or helpful information on the purchase.
5. No IVR
IVRs can be a real pain to deal with – so it’s no surprise they are top of list of customers’ complaints about customer service processes. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems ask the customer questions and direct the customer’s call to relevant departments based on voice responses. Asides the mechanic feel of the whole process, there’s a lot more to gripe about. Too much verification, too many menus, poor speech recognition and — did I say too many menus??
A chatbot, on the other hand, is a lot more humanised in comparison and the friction from navigating through needless options and verification is often absent. A chatbot can even pick up from a previous experience you’ve had with it and further shorten the process to resolving your queries.
There are a lot more advantages to using chatbots to revolutionise your customer service experience. Have you got a positive or negative experience with chatbots? I’d like to hear all about it below!