5 Ways Chatbots Are Transforming Customer Service Strategy

February 5, 2018 - 5 minutes read

Chatbots are completely transforming the way business leaders think about their customer service strategy. As this technological advance continues to grow in popularity, we’re seeing companies across all industries use chatbots to take their customer satisfaction to a new level.

As Forbes contributor Murray Newlands notes, “Chatbots have revolutionized the customer service space: instantaneous, personalized customer response that not only meets customer expectations but also saves businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.”

Here are 5 ways chatbots are transforming and improving customer service strategy:

1. Instantaneous, Personalized Responses

If your client knows they can contact you at any time, via a channel they are very familiar with (i.e. Facebook Messenger), they are much more likely to reach out and connect with your company. And when they do reach out, chatbots will offer a personalized response tailored to their specific question or concern.

Whether they need to return an item or get an initial consult, a chatbot can kickstart the process and offer assistance in an instantaneous, personalized manner. By establishing this open line of communication, chatbots enable companies to connect with their customers at a scale and at an inexpensive cost.

2. Conduct Fast, Inexpensive Surveys

Are you dismayed at the open and click rate of your company’s recent email survey? You are not alone. According to a recent study, an average office worker receives 121 emails per day, and one of those was probably your survey.

Chatbots offer an alternative, personalized medium through which to conduct fast, inexpensive surveys. By reducing the friction required to participate in the survey, your business can expect more completed surveys and thus more data.

3. Make Online Shopping Seamless

One of the first chatbots on Facebook Messenger was the sales bot for 1-800-Flowers. Just two months after its launch, it was already showing great potential: Chris McCann, president of 1-800 Flowers, said “that over 70 percent of the company’s chatbot orders have been from new customers,” with the early adopters skewing younger than its typical audience.

“They are already using the Messenger platform, so it’s been easy to engage them. They’re able to place an order in a minute; it gives them that fluidity,” he said.

Chatbots give customers the opportunity to complete online transactions with just a few clicks, making shopping faster, easier, and more seamless than ever before.

4. Build Your Brand and Strengthen Customer Relations

Communicating with a chatbot is not like talking to a robot or navigating through automated screens. Chatbots are narrative-driven, with conversational trees laying out the pipeline process that dictates which questions elicit which response; this then allows companies to not only answer their questions, but also engage with their customers in a unique, witty, and intriguing manner at every step of the way.

In addition to serving as a tool for customer support, Chatbots give companies the opportunity to build their brand through a nontraditional channel. Using a chatbot, a company can turn what may typically be a negative customer experience into a chance to connect with individual customers and further establish their brand.

5. Improved Customer-Agent Conversations

An important thing to note about chatbots is that, although it is generally agreed that chatbots will reduce business costs, they will not replace human customer service agents. Instead, chatbots will improve customer-agent conversations and increase efficiency.

There is no doubt that some client inquiries will require a customer service agent who can express empathy and is fully capable of problem-solving. Likewise, there are many questions and processes that can be addressed through a chatbot. By addressing these frequent concerns and/or offering common services through a chatbot, not only do your customers receive an instantaneous response, but your customer service agents can then focus on offering individualized support to those who need it.

Chatbots provide companies with new opportunities to engage their customers and meet their needs through platforms which they are already using. Due to their accessibility, flexibility, and convenience, it’s no wonder chatbots are completely transforming the way companies think about the customer service strategy.