Chatbots are a common sight these days and an essential component in every good growth marketing strategy. Chatbots improve the customer experience. They are flexible and efficient. This AI allows your customers to access support services whenever they need help.
If you’re thinking about implementing chatbots across your online platforms, you’ve come to the right place. Explore nine unique ways chatbots can help you enhance customer engagement.
What Are Chatbots?
Chances are you’ve seen and interacted with chatbots online numerous times already, whether on a website, social media, or online meeting platform. Chatbots are automated assistants. They are designed to communicate with customers online. Chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. They allow your consumers to seek assistance without any human intervention.
A chatbot can understand and respond to basic human conversation and behavior. This allows businesses to save time and money spent on hiring live agents to assist with basic customer queries. In short, chatbots provide automated customer services across multiple channels. They allow you to streamline business-consumer interactions. Chatbots also promote business growth and enhance overall user experiences.
Benefits of Chatbots for Business
There are many benefits associated with integrating chatbot technology across your online platforms.
Chatbots help businesses increase their overall sales. 55% of businesses generate higher quality leads after implementing chatbots.
Chatbots help businesses reduce overheads and save money by streamlining the customer service experience. This reduces the number of human service agents on staff. As a result, it cuts back on associated operational expenses like rent and utility bills.
Chatbots can help customers resolve their issues quickly. They can automatically respond to and resolve most basic customer queries efficiently. That frees your live agents up to deal with more complex issues.
9 Ways Chatbots Enhance Customer Engagement
One reason chatbots have been so successful is their ability to enhance the quality of customer engagement across the board. Not only do they provide reliable customer support, they can also operate across multiple platforms, improving communication and broadening the scope of your services in the process. Let’s look at the ways in which they do this in more detail.
1. Providing Reliable Customer Support
One way chatbots improve customer engagement is by enhancing the customer support experience. Because they don’t need to be manned by a team of live support staff, support can easily remain available for customers to access at all hours of the day, 365 days of the year.
This means customers always have a communication line with your company, where they can receive immediate responses to their most pressing issues. On-demand support increases customer engagement and satisfaction by completely eliminating the frustration of long contact-center wait times.
2. Improving Communication
Chatbots offer straightforward and intuitive customer interactions. Customers can access support quickly and easily by clicking directly on the popup on your landing or product pages.
The chatbot will remain available to your customers at all touchpoints along the customer journey. Customers can communicate with your brand in this way for a whole host of reasons, including learning more about a particular product before purchase or asking about shipping options.
3. Offering Omnichannel Support
Instead of limiting your support to one or two channels (e.g. email and telephone), a chatbot allows you to expand across many platforms. They can be used with messaging apps, through SMS messaging, or on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
This means customers can reach you from their favorite, most used platforms and access the support they need in a more flexible and convenient manner.
4. Broadening Services
Chatbots help businesses broaden their overall service offerings. Unlike human customer service representatives, chatbots can work on multiple tasks simultaneously and do not require rigorous onboarding and training for them to perform optimally. They use AI technology and machine learning to offer customers targeted, data-driven services.
5. Saving Time
Chatbots save businesses tons of time each year by automating those time-consuming, repetitive tasks. Thanks to chatbots, customer service professionals can spend more time focussing on complex issues and leave the chatbot attendant to answer all of those more basic customer queries.
But not only this–as well as attending to repetitive tasks, chatbots constantly gather customer and performance data to ensure that operations are running optimally. They also retrieve data much faster than human agents, meaning that customers can access the information they need faster than ever before. It’s a win-win!
6. Going Global
By implementing chatbots you’ll be able to provide support to customers across the globe, even if they speak a different language. Chatbots are helping more and more brands expand internationally.
You won’t need to hire service agents with specialist language skills; instead, your automated chatbot will converse with your customers in their native language so that anyone, wherever they are, can start accessing your services.
7. Reducing Errors
Chatbots can significantly reduce error. A well-programmed bot will eliminate human error and consistently supply consumers with accurate data and correct answers to their questions. And that’s excellent news for your customer satisfaction scores!
8. Personalizing the Consumer Experience
Wondering how to personalize items with an automated chatbot? One of the best things about chatbots is their ability to generate personalized customer experiences. Switching doesn’t mean sacrificing on that all-important human touch–a well-programmed bot will create a bespoke, personalized experience for each customer based on each individual customer’s data.
9. Simplifying Service
Last, but by no means least, chatbots are great at simplifying the customer service experience both at the backend and for the customers themselves. They make building a quality culture, both within your company and for your customers, easy. Agents can manage their workloads better whilst consumers gain easy access to a range of different functions at just a click.
Chatbot Best Practices
Thinking of implementing chatbot services as part of your business’ online platforms? Great call!
Before you get started, take a moment to consider some of these best practices. These tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your new technology from day one, leading to optimum business growth and customer engagement.
Check That Your Bot Responds Intuitively
Before even launching, you need to test your bot to make sure it reacts and responds to customers intuitively. This is super important because any kind of inconvenience or glitch is going to result in poor customer experiences that could cause your clients to take their business elsewhere.
Adhere to Security Measures
Customer data must be kept secure at all times. Just like any other service platform your chatbot must adhere to relevant business security measures. In this way, managing a chatbot is no different from managing your VoIP or email marketing security.
Try to incorporate some CTAs into your chatbot responses. CTAs (Calls to Action) encourage customers to take direct action. For example, you could end each of your chat-bot conversations with a CTA that encourages users to provide feedback, access a deal, or check out a related product or landing page.
Asking for feedback from your customers is essential if you want to make targeted, customer-centric improvements. Luckily, chatbots make it super easy to access real-time customer testimonials, fast!
Forward to Talk to Human Agents
Finally, as fantastic as chatbots are, some very complex queries will need the attention of a human agent. Many customers will start their interaction on a chatbot, so it’s important that you are able to navigate them to a human agent quickly if this is needed.
Each enquiry should be automatically forwarded to a live agent on your existing VoIP intercoms, and each customer interaction should have the capacity to be integrated within your existing call tracking setup.
Enhance Customer Engagement
Chatbots offer businesses a simple and effective route to increased customer engagement and business growth. Thanks to chatbots, customers from all around the world can access 24/7 custom support from your business. To sum up, chatbots are fast making customer service operations faster. They make it more efficient and eminently more flexible than ever before. It’s time to implement chatbot technology on your website or online platform.
Severine Hierso is EMEA Senior Product Marketing Manager for RingCentral Office. This is the leader in cloud communications solutions like virtual PBX phone system. She is passionate about creating value, differentiation and messaging, ensuring a better experience for customers and partners. Meanwhile, she has gained extensive international Product Marketing, Market Research, Sales Enablement and Business development experience. Subsequently, this experience is across SaaS, Telecommunications, Video Conferencing and Technology sectors within companies such as Sony, Cisco, Cogeco Peer 1 and Dimension Data/NTT.