In recent times mobile communication has taken over the business industry by storm especially the customer task force because it is fast, easy and convenient.
With the increase in its demand and due to its abundant advantages, every call center is trying to introduce messaging apps as one of the prime communication channels for increased customer engagement and for providing customized and timely services to their customers.
The one technology that can help a contact center to achieve all these benefits and deliver premium service is “chatbots”.
There is no doubt that telecalling is still the heart of customer service industry but with rising urge of the quick retort and self-service, the need of chatbots is increasing.
By using chatbots along with the best call center software a contact center can provide authentic, personalized experience to each of their customers in a hassle free manner.
Thus, in this article, we will learn more about chatbots and how to use them in a contact center to deliver the most effective and seamless customer experience.
What are chatbots?
Chatbots are also known as talkbots. These are automated computer programs which are mainly designed to conduct conversations with humans, especially over the Internet. It uses the AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology and operates based on the defined set and rules.
They are mostly used in dialog systems for the purpose of customer service or for gathering customer information.
How do they function?
A chatbot function in a similar way as a real customer representative will. When the user opens the chat box to ask for any assistance or a query then the chatbot acts as a response medium instead of a real customer service agent.
One very common and famous chatbot that we all have been using in our day to day activities is Siri from iPhone.
Benefits of using chatbots for customer service:
1. Instant response: No matter how hard a customer representative try, it is almost impossible to respond to every customer’s query instantly. But with the use of chatbot a contact center can ensure that their users are getting a correct and instant response for all their queries.
2. Reduced staffing: We all are aware of the fact that a contact center needs to invest a huge amount on their call center management software and the call center agents to provide their customers with a seamless service experience.
By adding the chatbots in a call center, the management can cut on their overhead and excess staffing cost and ultimately reduce the overall operating cost.
With increased automation, the call center does not need to worry about agent’s performance and customer experience as chatbots assure quality performance at all times.
This also means that the call center agents can take over the more complex or specialized activities that cannot be performed with the help of chatbots.
That also means that the agents need to be more knowledgeable about their product/service to ensure a better quality of service, which can be beneficial for both the contact center and the agent itself.
For example: If a customer wants to know the opening time of a store. Using the app they can type the question “what is the opening time of your store”? With the help of available information, the chatbot can immediately provide the response to the customer as “Our store opens at 9 am and closes at 7 pm.”
3. Round the clock availability: With the increase in competition every contact center tries to provide their customers quality service. And one the main constituent of a great service is full-time availability to be able to answer any customer query immediately, which is not possible for every contact center.
But, with the increasing use of chatbots in the field of customer service it is very much possible for every call center to be able to support their customers constantly. As by using chatbots the contact center does not require the taskforce working to assist clients with their questions.
4. Guarantee of accurate response all the time: One of the biggest concern that a customer service manager has is that, if the agents are providing customers with correct information or not? But this concern of the managers and the users of call center services can be easily resolved with the help of chatbots.
As the chatbots provide a response to the customers using the already fed system information, the call center management can make sure that the most appropriate response is supplied to chatbot and delivered to the customer thus enhancing user experience.
5. Provide convenience to users: Giving customers what they want in a fast and convenient way is defined as a great service experience. So, each and every contact center is always seeking various method of doing that to deliver good results and performance to their customers and that is possible through chatbots.
Since, by the means of chatbots, the customers are just one click away to get a response to their queries which results in a great service experience and increased productivity. So, it is always a win-win situation for both users and call centers.
Where to use chatbots in a call center?
1. To educate customers: To provide a more insightful view of the services or the products that a call center supports, many companies offer multiple tutorials on their website for their customers which help them in enhancing their service experience.
There is no doubt about the fact that this is a great way for product marketing and increasing their business reach but at the same time, it has a certain limitations as well.
For example, the customer can only get fixed information. There is hardly any interaction and if there is that, is also a canned response.
But, by the use of chatbots the contact center has a great opportunity to overcome on this shortcoming. As chatbots use the artificial intelligence technology they can automatically react to a customer’s questions to give a feel of actual interaction and provide a customized experience to every user based on their query.
2. For handling common queries: As a contact center manager you must be aware of the fact that most of the call center agents have to deal with numerous customer concerns throughout the day and most of the time there are similar nature of queries like compatibility questions, upgrade queries or procedure etc.
These frequent queries take up a lot of agent’s valuable time which can be utilized in handling more complicated issues that needs more time and skills to resolve the problem.
But providing customers with a solution to easy informational queries is also essential. Most of the call centers use knowledge base articles to give that information to their users. However, not every user is competent enough to get hold of those KBs, instead, they prefer to call in queue and get that information.
Thus, by using chatbots the customers get an alternate and more convenient method to get answers to their basic queries without waiting in queue for an agent to pick up the call.
3. Generating leads: Along with handling the complex queries, a chatbot can also help a contact center in generating leads for better sales. Using the self-respond feature of chatbots they can contact the user reviewing the company’s website and can contact them to gather more information about their requirements.
Not just that they also give the potential customers the opportunity to ask questions and clarify their doubts about the contact center’s services, thus converting them into actual clients of the contact center.
Now that we have seen the benefits of chatbots and how it can help a contact center in giving their best performance I am sure you must be considering using it in your call center as well.
But first, let’s take a look at one real-life situation where a company used chatbots and have seen exceptional improvement in their performance.
Today’s case study is about one of the India’s largest online flower and gifts retailer shop. They deliver various gift items, flowers, sweets etc across 93 cities in India. However, the biggest problem that they had to deal with in their call center is very high call volume.
They used the latest call center software solutions available in the market for better call handling but still, the problem persists. With the increase in latest online technologies, a lot of users have started using their service thus influencing the number of calls and customer service experience.
The management first thought of hiring new agents to reduce the workload and effective call management but that seemed like a temporary solution.
As the maximum number of call that they received were related to order tracking or modification in order that does not require any technical skills but required callers to wait in the queue to get simple information. Instead, they thought of investing in an automated tool as a permanent fix.
So, they decided to integrate the chatbots with their call center software as that appeared to be the one stop solution for resolving all their issues. After they added the chatbots in their application they saw the following changes in their performance:
• All the users utilized the chatbot feature for checking the order status. This not only helped the agents but the users of the service as well. As anybody would prefer getting an instant response without waiting in queue for a long time.
• Along with order status, the chatbots is capable of doing more complex tasks as well such as modifying orders, assist customers in placing orders etc. This reduced the overall call volume of the call center.
• With lowered incoming calls, the call center agents focused more on improving their technical skills which will be beneficial for their professional growth and improving the productivity of the contact center.
• Now that the customers were able to get a response anywhere anytime based on their preference and convenience the contact center showed a noticeable increase in their CSAT level.
• After the addition of chatbots, the company performed better compared to their business competitors as they were giving customers what they wanted.
• Their website also showed 29% increase in their web-traffic and gained new customers.
From this article, we can clearly see the reason in increased demand of chatbots in customer service industry. Because of its positive impact on customer service, it is a technology to look forward to.
With the increase in mobile messengers and use of artificial intelligence, it is showing the potential of becoming future of customer service industry.
If you also feel that chatbots are something that can help you in giving your customers with a great service experience and enhancing your productivity, then rethink your communication strategies and start using chatbots in your contact center.