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Customer Experience Strategy: Is it Time You Considered Chatbots

As more and more businesses look towards digitalization and automation of processes as an effective means for growth, making improvements to the customer experience along the way has been an...

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As more and more businesses look towards digitalization and automation of processes as an effective means for growth, making improvements to the customer experience along the way has been an important consideration. Now, more than ever, customers use technology in nearly every aspect of their lives, especially when considering the purchase of products and services. In fact, a recent study by Gartner Research predicts that by 2020 consumers will handle 85% of their business engagement without ever interacting with another person. These statistics shed light on the need for companies to innovate how they communicate with their customers while providing a more enriching experience that's both useful and convenient. 

Today, many companies are utilizing automated text-based solutions to help meet the growing demand of their customers that expect quick turnaround times and more accessibility to useful information. Chatbots have been around for a while now, but in recent years, their technological advancements, usefulness, and limitless integration options have made they a sustainable solution for businesses wishing to improve their customer experience while optimizing their operational workflows.

But is chatbot adoption really necessary for businesses when competing in this dynamic digital landscape, or is the concept merely another technology fad doomed to fizzle out in the next year or two? Well, while it's hard to predict technology shifts year after year and their overall impact on businesses, it's safe to say that chatbots and the use of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) technology will only continue to develop as time goes by, creating even more innovative ways for companies to engage with their audience.

For now, here are five reasons why companies are investing in the deployment of chatbots into their current business infrastructures.

Reach a Broader Audience

Chatbots were designed to cater to the newest generation of consumers, providing self-service business options that are easily accessible and convenient to use. 60% of all millennials have already used chatbot services, and most of them find the automated solutions extremely beneficial. With the growing need for companies to provide instant gratification to their customer base, chatbots are an excellent way to manage this successfully. The potential of chatbots are nearly limitless and really help businesses create customized business solutions that help engage with a broader audience of users.

24/7 Customer Support

Overloaded call centers and under-resourced customer service departments can be the bane of existence for many customers who are just looking for answers to their questions when they need them. Unfortunately, we've all been trained over the years to use the telephone as our absolute last possible resort when requiring customer service, fearing that we will hear that dreaded sound of a voice-recorded message telling us about "heavy call volumes" or being "outside of normal business hours." To maintain an advantage over their competition, companies need to continuously invest in better solutions to improve their customer service experiences. Chatbots are not limited by the usual constraints of individual bandwidths and limited working hours. By utilizing intelligently preprogrammed platforms, chatbots can handle thousands of customer inquiries at once, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also aren't limited by core business hours or statutory holiday restrictions. This flexibility allows companies to hurdle many of the roadblocks they have to deal with when scaling their businesses and experiencing higher call demands over time.

Improve Your Operational Efficiency

Many of the processes associated with managing a successful customer service experience can be time-consuming and very repetitive. Chatbots provide an effective way to handle these tasks for the businesses, maintaining a higher level of accuracy than human operators while easing the load for internal bodies to focus on other core aspects of the company. Typically, most customer interactions can be adequately addressed through a well-developed first-level response that directs customers to appropriate resources, answers common questions, and provides assistance on products and services. Chatbots can seamlessly handle these interactions for businesses, allowing higher levels of support to be dealt with by internal staff resources. This efficient filtration of workflows dramatically reduces the amount of labor and costs associated with developing and maintaining an active customer service department and can significantly increase productivity at all levels.

Help Predict Customers Needs

Being able to help customers with what they're looking for is excellent, but predicting what they need before they tell you is powerful. Thanks to the developments in A.I. technology, chatbots can use predetermined criteria and machine-learning capabilities to anticipate the growing needs of your customers intelligently. This technology significantly improves inventory forecasts, reduces product return percentages, and helps to build stronger customer relationships. Having too many of the wrong products on hand can take a heavy toll on the profitability of a business, especially when inventory dollars are held up in all the wrong places. By accurately recording the purchasing habits of your customers and recognizing the seasonal demands of your products and services, businesses can ensure that they maintain healthy product lifecycles and achieve better ROIs. Chatbots are an excellent resource for collecting and analyzing massive amounts of data, including historical sales data, commonly visited pages on your site, customer service trends, and other pertinent information, all of which providing valuable business insights to help create better-informed decisions for the company.

Generate More Positive Business Reviews

Most businesses know that positive online reviews and customer testimonials are the lifeblood of organic business growth and sustainability, and companies work hard to achieve them. However, regardless of the efforts companies make to improve their customer experience, getting more reviews of products and services isn't always easy - until now. Chatbots are an excellent solution for companies wishing to enhance their online brand reputations by creating a call to action for customers to leave their feedback and walking them through the process to do so. This strategy has proven especially useful when deploying chatbots on social media platforms such as Facebook to help generate more reviews on company Business Pages. Facebook Messenger has enabled companies the ability to create digital business cards that are driven by review bots built to efficiently request feedback from customers to help improve business products and services. While this service results in a significant increase in the sheer volume of reviews generated, it also gives companies the ability to vet unsatisfied customers prior to them leaving negative reviews online.

As our society continues to heavily rely on technology to improve the way we live our lives, businesses are wise to adopt these innovations to enhance the experiences of their customer base. Chatbots provide the next level of automation and efficiency required to meet the growing demands of the newest generation of consumers. However, while chatbots are indeed designed to help companies scale their operations effectively, they don't eliminate the importance of having an active support team to help manage the operability of these automation solutions.

Helpware is a "People As A Service" company that was specifically designed to help plan, build, and execute customer experience strategies effectively. Acting as a back-office team for growing businesses, Helpware and its slew of services and solutions help companies to maintain the multiple stages of customer interactions, while driving higher levels of efficiency within the organization.

When it comes to working with and the management of chatbot services, Helpware's team of dedicated support teams can help to maximize the value of these automation solutions, ensuring they perform as expected. The net result of this collaboration is well-oiled customer service solutions that provide an unparalleled level of support to customers while significantly improving the scalability of the organization. Contact Helpware today for a free custom proposal of their services and solutions.

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Rigo Vega
Vice President Global Customer Success

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