Chatbots in Customer Service – What Is It, Benefits & Use Cases
According to a Gartner report, chatbots will become the primary customer service channel for roughly a quarter of the organizations in the next five years.
Chatbots and virtual customer assistants have evolved over the past decade to become a critical technology component of a service organization’s strategy.
A recent Gartner survey revealed that 54% of the respondents use some form of a chatbot, VCA, or other conversational AI platform for customer-facing applications.
Sounds interesting! Let us dive deep into what can be a part of chatbot apps.
Benefits of Chatbots in Customer Service
70 to 80% of a customer service agent’s day is spent answering basic questions on the phone with customers. This makes it cumbersome for the agents, and if chatbots take over these quick fixes, customers would be happier with the self-service options, while the agents would have more time for proactive customer support.
With this, the debate on the need for chatbots is settled, and our focus should be to figure out the use cases where chatbots can be used.
Before that, let us look at what chatbots are.
What Are Chatbots?
Chatbots are bots that use a combination of AI and ML to answer basic customer questions via a business messenger.
Some Examples of Queries Include:
- What is my account balance?
- What are my last five transactions?
- I need an appointment for this time and date
- I need to add more users to this service
- I want to subscribe to a service
- What is your pricing?
- When is my shipment expected?
Do these questions sound familiar? Most of what we need support is for transactional questions like these, which can be enabled without adding more agents, and they can be live 24×7.
Chatbots AI leans on resources like FAQs, knowledge bases, and CRMs to help answer customer questions. They can recognize and answer multiple forms of the same question and can be trained to give instant responses.
Use Cases of Customer Service Chatbot
- Chat Widget – you can add a chat widget to your website, where you can quickly answer simple questions of your customers that are typed as text by your customers. You can have the chatbot integrated with FAQs, knowledge base, and CRM to offer immediate responses to queries. You can offer them a seamless option to connect to your agents for more complex queries.
- Pre-defined Menus– once a customer provides the basic information on the chatbot, you can automatically provide them with options to choose from. For example, if it is a healthcare facility, you can select appointment setting, doctor’s availability, appointment rescheduling, scheduling a test, or custom query option. Based on what you choose, it can provide you with additional options.
- Customer Support Chatbot – a user can type in their query, and based on the keywords, your chatbot would show them relevant contextual information to the customers. 80% of the queries would be solved this way, and for the remaining 20%, you can ask additional questions and get them resolved. Connection to a live agent happens when the user isn’t satisfied with automated support.
- Chatbot as an IVR – your chatbot can understand customer queries and direct them to the right agents for the response. This would be even more contextual than your phone IVR, as a lot of processing happens here in real-time.
- Bot as the Front-End – your bot responds to all simple queries positively. Anything more complex, your bot provides multiple options – prompt the customer to send an email, create a support ticket, and transfer to an available agent with the right skills to address your query.
- Chatbot as the Ordering Platform – your bot can help you take orders from your customers. For instance, if I am ordering a sandwich, it provides me options for bread, fillings, sauce, and size. Once all that is done, it helps you make the payment, and your order will be on the way.
Chatbots can come up with multiple other use cases over and above what is written. We are already seeing a bunch of rule-based and conversational bots helping organizations with customer service. This will only grow and will become mainstream in the years to come.
If you ask me whether organizations have the choice of implementing chatbots, then the answer is a clear YES. After all, it helps you improve customer service and improve the experience of your most essential assets, YOUR CUSTOMERS.