If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ll know that customer service chatbots are all the rage. It seems you can’t go a week without hearing about another company using chatbots to engage customers and even employees.
So what are they?
Simply put, chatbots are artificial intelligence computer programs that are designed to mimic a human. The same way a service representative would talk with a customer through an instant messaging platform, chatbots are computerized company representatives.
Chatbots aren’t relegated to the world of hyper-niche technology companies, and in fact, are becoming more mainstream as they are adopted by large corporations like Disney, Taco Bell and Sephora.
Despite criticisms about customers encountering technical bugs while using them, bots have tremendous potential to drive your customer service goals in a more efficient way. Here are three reasons your business should consider using them.
They’ll save you money and time
Dedicating your employees’ time to instant messaging with customers can be costly for routine questions and asks. If you train your bot well enough, it will be able to field all kinds of questions from customers and present answers in the form of text, links, pictures and videos. Throw in the fact that chatbots are faster at finding these assets from your website or external websites, and you have a powerful combination.
Customers like them
Reception to chatbots is still relatively new, but there are a few things we know about how customers feel about about them and similar types of technology. Firstly, millennials surveyed are eager to try bots but quick to abandon them if the user experience isn’t top notch. So before you launch any type of chatbot service for your company, ensure you’ve worked out all the bugs.
Secondly, research shows that 40 percent of customers prefer self-service to interacting with a human and 64 percent of customers would rather text than call a business. Both these stats bode well for the future of chatbots, and the truth is the more positive experiences customers have interacting with them, the more customers will come to expect them.
They’re smarter and reduce error
Chatbots should theoretically have the vocabulary of a genius, and if programmed properly will be able to send messages that are virtually indistinguishable from a human. Furthermore, they reduce the chance of human error. For example, if a customer asks a complicated question to a newbie employee over chat, the representative may freeze and give the wrong information. But if that same customer asks a bot, it should be able to scan its vast library of company documents and locate the right information to provide a speedy and accurate response.
All of the above benefits of using chatbots are, of course, contingent upon the bots being programmed accurately and with minimal bugs. If you are looking for a software company to get you started, consider referring to this list of top 100 chatbot companies.