The fast adoption of artificial intelligence or AI technology has led to many benefits in various business sectors. AI has experienced a growing popularity in contact centers, but it is also becoming increasingly popular in customer service. In fact, according to the 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey, 55% of retailers are planning to use artificial intelligence to improve their customer service within three years.
Unfortunately, despite the benefits and advantages that bots bring to the table, they are still considered a controversial topic. AI, as a whole, is not entirely trusted by businesses because we do not understand how they work. What we all know is that they are running on a certain algorithm that allows them to complete tasks and produce results the way they were designed to do. Sadly, it is human nature to fear the unknown. This is why the potential of AI and bots are not maximized.
Here are some statistics to show bot usage in the customer service industry:
- According to Drift’s latest State of Chatbots report, only 15% of consumers have used bots to communicate with companies last year.
- A CGS survey revealed that many consumers still prefer to communicate with human agents rather than chatbots.
- Around 50% of U.K. respondents and about 40% of U.S. respondents said they’d rather deal with an actual person.
- A UJET poll found that 58% of respondents believe that chatbots were not as useful as they expected.
Due to the controversy behind chatbots, businesses are taking their time in adopting this new technology so that customers won’t notice that they’re dealing with artificial intelligence.
First of all, what are customer service chatbots?
Customer service bots are computer software or applications that are able to perform basic tasks. For instance, they can fill out a form, answer a query, email a customer, call a phone number, or respond to a simple request. There are many things that you can do with customer service chatbots, depending on how you program them to be.
For businesses, some chatbots are used to processed orders and complete tasks that are repetitive and boring. For example, in processing online orders, the chatbot just needs to send the form for the customer to fill out, gather filled up forms, categorize the responses, and send the order form to the backend for fulfillment. It takes a lot of work off the business owner’s shoulders.
Customer chatbots can also be used to answer frequently asked questions from customers. It works just like your FAQ page. It saves you the trouble of having to answer the same questions over and over again, so you can focus on those that require special attention.
What are the benefits of using chatbots in Customer Service?
Although businesses are slowly and thoughtfully transitioning to AI-powered customer service chatbots, the rise of AI is inevitable. Some fear that chatbots will soon replace actual human interaction, but that possibility is far from happening. What businesses should do is learn how to integrate chatbots into their customer service campaign to ensure that your customers are enjoying the benefits of using both chatbots and real live agents.
Here are some of the benefits of incorporating chatbots into your customer service:
Chatbots can process tedious and repetitive tasks quickly and efficiently. They don’t get bored and they don’t commit mistakes (except for when there’s something wrong with the algorithm or software.
Let’s face it. Machines get more accurate results than human. People are more prone to commit mistakes, which can be devastating in some cases.
What gives chatbots the edge is its ability to gather data and analyze it to help business owners come up with informed decisions. AI can track trends in consumer behavior by analyzing readily-available transaction and browsing data, so businesses can refine their product recommendations and customize their purchase suggestion.
Reduced average handling time (AHT)
When a customer sends an inquiry or feedback, they expect to get a response as soon as possible. But with customer service handling hundreds or thousands of emails, messages, calls, or comments, it might take a while for them to resolve everything. Using an AI streamlines the customer service process because it is able to classify the inquiries into different categories so they can be dealt with faster and easier. In the end, reduced AHT leads to higher customer satisfaction.
Bots are extremely useful because it can automate mundane and repetitive tasks that agents used to handle. With the help of bot, customer service agents can focus on providing more personal interactions with customers and deal with more critical issues. But in the end, bots can’t do everything and a human agent has to be part of the picture. With the integration of bots and the help of human agents, customer service will only continue to improve.