By Valerie Faguet, Head of Marketing at DigitalGenius
Chatbot: Sorry, I can’t help you with your problem.
AI: Don’t worry, I can.
We live in a world run by data, so people might look at and be intrigued by artificial intelligence (AI). With AI, tasks can be performed, decisions can be made, and problems can be solved by computers at a level as complex as a human but faster.
When it comes to shopping online, eCommerce continues to deal with ever-increasing customer expectations, which is why many brands have implemented chatbots into their customer experience strategy.
What are the benefits of chatbots?
- Provide an immediate response
According to a survey by Hubspot, an ‘immediate response’ is now 10 minutes or less, which can be difficult to achieve, especially during peak times.
- Answer common customer questions
DigitalGenius’ research shows that 40% of customers’ queries are mind-numbingly repetitive. A chatbot can do the talking.
But traditional chatbots don’t solve everything. Sometimes, they can create poor customer experiences.
Problems that traditional chatbots don’t solve:
- Traditional chatbots don’t take action
They struggle to complete the backend processes that a human could, so they often rely on the end user to take action themselves. This doesn’t typically sit well with most customers and could significantly impact their experience, making them less likely to repeat purchases and leave good reviews.
- Traditional chatbots are not as personal as it seems
Despite chatbots being designed to have an on-brand personality, according to Acquia, 75% of customers feel these experiences are impersonal. Having access to customer relationship management (CRM) could invite a more personable interaction.
- Traditional chatbots are limited by keywords and fixed responses
Fixed responses mean that the customers are limited in their ability to explain their issues, leading to frustration and the need to speak to a human.
For traditional chatbots to have a real impact on both customer experience and customer service, businesses could pair them with AI workflows and process automation.
The introduction of AI bots and machine learning has streamlined customer engagements with brands; it filters out those that require attention and effectively deals with the ones that don’t.
This can be achieved in two different ways:
- Instant messaging
If AI isn’t giving a helping hand with this, customers could be waiting hours for a simple response. This isn’t great for customer experience and customer satisfaction. Implementing an AI model often helps businesses become more efficient by managing a much higher percentage of customer queries.
- Process automation
Having to use multiple back-end systems significantly drags out the interaction times, leaving many customers disheartened. Returns and refunds are a particular area where customers expect quick responses and efficient solutions, so implementing automated capabilities in these processes aims to reduce stress and frustration for customers.
Online shopping is consistently on the rise, which inevitably results in a higher return rate of unwanted items. If online stores are not prepared to handle this, then they run the risk of having seriously dissatisfied customers and, subsequently, lost t business opportunities. Automating these processes with an AI solution ensures that customers’ concerns are addressed immediately, improving customer experience.
Customer experience and satisfaction are essential metrics to look at when measuring the success of a brand. Not only does an AI bot improve both of these metrics, but it is also designed to relieve pressure off of a business and its employees. It allows more time to focus on selling products and provides more effective communication with customers when human support is required.
When it comes to optimising customer experience, offering a proactive approach to customers when they are interacting with a business is a strong key differentiator.
Proactive automation is where AI and machine learning are working together to identify problems that might occur and generally offer quick and effective solutions.
How can customers benefit from proactive automation?
- Better insights – save costs
Proactive automation allows a business to identify patterns that are arising and make the necessary changes to stop patterns that are problematic. Enhanced insights mean that businesses are broadly making better decisions, and are consequently more time and cost-efficient.
- Better brand reputation – retain happy customers
Delivering excellent customer experience and service is key to a business’ reputation, increasing the likelihood of retaining existing customers and gaining new ones. 78% of customers have actually said they would forgive a company’s mistake if they received great customer service and 92% of them would even make another purchase afterward.
- Reduce time spent on support tickets
Businesses are able to recognise when there are problems or delays in an order before customers reach out for help. Customers will be contacted and informed of any potential issues, meaning that they will be less likely to raise a ticket.
Increasing complexity in the buyer journey increases the number of touchpoints between the customer and the business, meaning more opportunities for something to go wrong. The sheer volume and complexity of orders, queries, and returns also make personalisation a difficult task for brands.
AI widgets with proactive automation functions and machine learning are here to help businesses engage with customers, delivering seamless experiences. Watch customer satisfaction sky-rocket.