These days, customers expect instant responses to any questions they have, and if they don’t get them, they’re fairly likely to move on to some other business. This is particularly true of incoming phone calls, for which it is known that 77% of all consumers expect to receive instant responses. In the majority of cases, this would simply not be possible if only human personnel were available to take those calls. Fortunately, many businesses have learned that chatbots can more than fill the gap for responses to callers. Here is why your company should be using chatbots in order to maximize your customer service, and reduce the strain on your in-house employees.
Chatbots vs. live chat
Obviously there is a significant difference between chatbot conversation and conversation with a human. While it might be ideal for every single call to be routed to a human for response, in today’s business environment, that is very often not possible. Sales representatives and support personnel simply cannot respond to every incoming call within the standard 10 seconds.
This being the case, customers will not be receiving the best service, because when customers have to wait, bad things happen. Intelligent chatbots provide better customer service, and allow your sales funnel to scale as your business grows. Even a fairly simple chatbot can answer customer questions immediately, arrange for meetings with sales representatives, and route questions to the appropriate personnel.
Chatbots are also available around the clock, which is a service that would be very difficult for human employees to duplicate. This gives customers the kind of flexible service they expect and require, and over time, chatbots will also save your business money. Being far less expensive than human employees, chatbots can have a big impact on your bottom line. It is anticipated that by the year 2022, chatbots will provide a savings of $8 billion to businesses, over what they would have paid to human employees.
What chatbots do
Chatbots these days are capable of performing a wide variety of functions, all of which engage with people in different ways. Depending on the purpose of the chatbot, it might simply supplement interactions between humans, or it might serve as a complete replacement for the human voice. In some cases, a chatbot might ask a single question of a caller, and then route that caller to a human. It could be that the chatbot is incapable of more in-depth responses due to its design, or it could be that a business setup merely requires routing to humans.
Other chatbots are designed so intricately that they can intelligently carry on a conversation with a human. These types of chatbots generally have artificial intelligence built into them, which allows them to respond to keywords and various voice cues. The real value of chatbots is that they are capable of handling far more incoming phone calls than any human could ever adequately manage. When your business typically receives a high volume of incoming calls, and you don’t want to establish a call center, chatbots can definitely fill the bill.
Value of chatbots to your business
Chatbots can provide invaluable service to your business, beginning with the fact that they are capable of performing 24×7, 365 days per year. That fact alone would make them invaluable, but they are capable of much more. Most chatbots are capable of acting as intelligent virtual assistants, asking qualification questions, and even creating CRM leads, with no human intervention necessary.
Sales meetings can be booked by chatbots, simply by checking the calendars of your sales personnel. Because chatbots can be connected to your CRM system to evaluate routing rules, they can direct incoming calls to the right sales personnel. Many chatbots are also capable of responding to customer questions by consulting information on the back-end database.
This is especially true of chatbots designed with artificial intelligence, which are capable of learning from the same types of incoming calls. One more invaluable service provided by chatbots is that they can automatically save conversations. These conversations can then be used by your sales representatives in order to handle customer queries, or to nurture leads. The more your business can learn about customers, the better it will be able to satisfy their needs with products that you’re selling.
Common uses for chatbots
Businesses have found a tremendous number of uses for chatbots, ranging from the simple to the complex. One of the more sophisticated uses for chatbots is to replace your lead forms with a chatbot conversation. Very few potential customers are enthused about filling out a lead form with between six and 12 data fields. However, having a quick conversation with a chatbot is generally much more appealing, and most customers are far more willing to do this. If you don’t want to entirely do away with your lead forms, you can at least use chatbots as a second channel for generating these leads and qualifying them.
Some businesses use chatbots to book meetings for the sales team, ensuring that callers reach the right person every time. By automating the process of scheduling meetings, a great deal of time and effort can be saved. Customer service chatbots are exclusively dedicated to responding to income inquiries from customers. By integrating your chatbot with your company database, you’ll be able to answer a wide variety of questions, and to even send articles from your help center to the customer.
By providing immediate responses to your customer, you will also be building up great rapport, which in turn should promote loyalty. In those cases where a chatbot cannot adequately respond to a customer inquiry, the question can be routed to the appropriate customer service agent. Some chatbots are used for on-boarding, to establish that first meeting between the customer and a sales manager. All relevant questions can be asked ahead of time, so that the eventual meeting can be as productive as possible.
Many businesses have also found it convenient to use their chatbots for product promotion. This often involves informing new users or customers about a product launching or specific feature of an existing product, shortly after they set up their account. Product updates can also be announced, as well as any other kind of important company events which should be related to customers.
Interested in seeing one in action? Check out our Facebook chatbot by messaging our page.