The meteoric rise in the number of companies that have employed chatbots to enhance their customer experiences has been staggering. Due to advances in chatbot development, the total market for them compounded annual growth rate of 24.3% and is expected to reach a global valuation of $1.23 billion by 2025. These AI-powered bots have quickly become indispensable for many customer-service applications, and their functionality is evolving in ways that will continue to improve customer experience. Several of the most notable forms include the following:
- Address Customer Requests Efficiently
Not too long ago, contacting customer service was a dreaded act, and these telephone queues were plagued with extremely long wait times, dropped calls, and transfers. Even e-mailing customer support proved to be less than ideal since the response is delayed. Chatbots deliver a better experience, immediately. The capabilities of natural language processing continue to advance exponentially, so much so that we are likely to experience the point in which chatbots are indistinguishable from human interactions within the next decade. Simply put, they can assist customers as well as humans in most instances, while doing it more cost-effectively and providing around the clock support. They can also retrieve archived data more quickly, often leading to a faster resolution.
- Employees Can Focus on More Complex Requests
Redirecting the majority of mundane customer service requests to chatbots frees up the time of other customer service agents, which then allows them to devote a more considerable amount of time and attention to the issues that chatbots are unable to address. This provides a better level of customer service to the customers who genuinely need it. It is no secret that improving customer service is one of the top predictors of customer loyalty, and the use of chatbots obviously improves this for easy requests, but it also indirectly creates an opportunity for better customer service on complicated requests.
- Achieve Greater Personalization
On websites, chatbots can frequently achieve higher engagement rates than a static page, but moreover, they can offer a voice and personality that will appeal to your target audience. During interactions, they can also include information on content that might catch the consumer’s attention (based upon how long they stay on a page, the content of previous interactions, or data on what they are currently searching for). These features often make navigating a site easier and more relevant for the consumer – and they enhance the overall customer experience.
- Screen Leads and Prospects
Generating quality leads has always been a challenge for nearly all businesses. Historically, this was accomplished using static data, but chatbots can deliver a better experience in real time. They do this by relaying details about inquiries and searches to the sales team. This means that when members of the sales team reach out, they know that they have a captive audience and that they can discuss details with someone who truly wants to engage with them. This streamlines the sales process and allows the sales team to provide better interaction with fewer individuals while also getting higher sales numbers.
As chatbot development continues to advance, their role in customer service will likely expand in more meaningful ways. However, in today’s market, we are already seeing chatbots demonstrate their value by enhancing the current customer service capabilities in these four areas.