When the idea of artificial intelligence for customer service was first introduced, many people were skeptical. The idea of chatbots assisting or possibly replacing human agents was exciting, but was it feasible? Would customers actually receive better service? While this technology continues to evolve, many industries—from banking to travel to retail—are indeed offering faster, richer experiences due to chatbot implementation. And customers are actively using AI support: According to Business Insider, 67% of consumers worldwide used chatbots for customer service in the past year. Here are five ways in which chatbots enable efficient customer service.
Many companies have made the chatbot experience a seamless one by integrating the technology with messaging apps. Since many customers already use apps such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and WhatsApp for their personal communications, offering chatbot assistance through these apps allows them to enjoy convenient service on the go.
Simple chatbots follow specific rules and are able to handle requests that follow those rules. For example, they may answer concrete questions such as the boarding time for a flight or the address of a store. In addition, they can send notifications to customers, such as flight changes or delivery updates. These chatbots are therefore excellent for enabling self-service and saving customers time.
Many companies are also using more sophisticated chatbots that learn from their interactions with customers. These chatbots are capable of handling more complex cases, processing language to offer more detailed responses. For example, if a customer seeks information about a product return, an AI-powered chatbot may look up the date of purchase and ask questions such as why the customer wishes to return the product. In addition, these chatbots may begin service interactions that will eventually require agent support. They may collect information that informs the agent and expedites the process once the agent takes over.
Chatbots help customers save time by routing them efficiently. When customers ask questions, chatbots are able to identify keywords and route customers to the most appropriate agents. For example, if a customer contacts his bank for support, a question about a recent check deposit may require a different agent than an order for a new checkbook. AI ensures that the customer wastes no time navigating long menus or waiting to be connected to the right person.
Lastly, artificial intelligence can help companies improve overall customer experiences by identifying problems in advance. By recognizing keywords that indicate customer issues, AI can propel brands to prevent difficulties before they occur. In addition, text analytics may reveal key information that can be used to personalize customer experiences. If a customer repeats a product name, for example, this data can be used to make targeted marketing offers in the future.Business Insider states that by 2020, over 80% of companies are expected to use some form of chatbots. When companies combine the power of artificial intelligence with the skills of their service agents, customers save time and enjoy richer overall experiences.
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