The customer service landscape is more dynamic now than ever. New technologies have emerged due to customer demand and digital disruption such as chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI). It is time for businesses to rethink their customer engagement strategy and how to best leverage these tools.
Whether the focus is inbound support, proactive outreach or a blend of the two brands are looking for ways to enable customers to handle things on their own while creating more engaging experiences as they interact with their customers. The good news is businesses are realizing the benefits of virtual concierges/assistance, chatbots; and chatbots are no longer exclusive to Fortune 500 companies.
According to a new report from Juniper Research, by 2023, the use of chatbots will bring $11 billion in combined cost savings for the retail, banking, and healthcare business sectors as a replacement for customer service representatives.
Businesses of all sizes are using chatbots to handle transactional requests such as order tracking, payment and appointment scheduling which takes the strain off live agents and improves the overall customer experience. Recent chatbots such as Lidl’s Margot and NAB’s virtual banker are living proof that chatbots have come a long way when it comes to time, investment and cost savings. Chatbots have proven to show immediate ROI for businesses especially when it comes to handling transactions, answering customer questions and directing them (customers) to resources. And the same Juniper study found that chatbots will save 2.5 billion customer hours by cutting interaction and hold times.
Take what a live operator can do for a customer over the phone–verify their identity, block a stolen credit card, provide ATM location and bank info, and confirm outgoing transfers, payments and deposits. Chatbots are designed to handle these processes and more to offload transactions from live reps—making it a lot easier for businesses to wrap their head around the value and need for this type of technology.
However, businesses should not see the chatbot as a replacement to live agents, but more as an add-on that enhances the overall customer experience. With chatbots in place there will be a drastic reduction in incoming calls or inquiries making things easier for agents, and chatbots grow more intelligent through each interaction making things easier for customers. The end result, better customer ratings and more interactions—at a lower cost.
By automating low-touch customer interactions through chatbots businesses can ensure that their high-skilled employees can invest their time where it truly matters.