Chatbots are revolutionizing a wide range of industries. From cutting-edge technology firms to more traditional manufacturing, chatbots are being utilized across the board. However, perhaps no industry will feel as dramatic of an impact as the customer service industry.
Already, Facebook messenger is home to some 30,000 different chatbots, many of which are used to manage customer relations. Meanwhile, Pandorabots, which can be used to build bots, has been used to create some 285,000 different bots.
Chatbots make it easy to quickly interact with customers and consumers. Using natural language processing (NLP), chatbots are becoming human-like in their interactions with customers. This means bots can deliver quick and immediate results. For customers with questions or complaints, time is often of the essence. A good, timely response can help companies maintain good relationships.
Let’s dig into how chatbots will revolutionize the customer service industry.
1. Reduce the Costs Associated with Call Centers
Call centers are a major expense for many companies. Even when companies can effectively use outsourcing, the bill investment can still be quite hefty. A chatbot cannot completely eliminate the costs of call centers in most cases, but it can act as the “front line” or the first point of contact.
Chatbots can help direct people to the right department or customer service agents. They can also address basic concerns and questions. Instead of using up valuable time on simple questions, your human customer service representatives can focus on more important issues.
2. Reduce Labor Costs
Nearly 30% of customer service roles could be automated through chatbots. Staff can then focus on more important concerns or can be shifted to other vital functions within a company.
Employees are expensive. The costs of salaries, vacation days, sick days, and all the rest can quickly add up. However, chatbots don’t ask for raises and don’t call in sick. They work hard, and they can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
3. Make Q&A Easy and Automated
Ask your customer service representatives, and they’ll be quick to point out how much of their time is used up answering simple queries.
- Where is the nearest store? What are the hours of operation?
- Can I return this product? How do I do so?
- When will my order arrive?
In many cases, the information is already out there, but the person asking the question doesn’t know where to look. Sometimes that’s a company’s fault because it didn’t make the information easy to access. Other times, it’s customers’ fault. They didn’t bother looking very hard.
Regardless, it’s the customer service department’s burden. That is unless there’s a chatbot “on staff.” With NLP and the intelligent cloud, chatbots can quickly hunt down this information and present it to customers.
4. Improving Employee Productivity
By this point, you may have already realized that chatbots can greatly improve employee productivity. However, this point is important enough that we would like to flesh it out a bit further. People are human, and that means they aren’t always going to function at 100%.
Certainly, employees can’t work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Furthermore, the more hours employees work, the less productive they will be. It’s hard to blame them, we all get tired after awhile, but Chatbots don’t suffer from these problems. They won’t tire out; they won’t slow down. Occasionally, a chatbot might suffer from some error or code problems, but those are rare and can be quickly fixed.
Chatbots represent maximum efficiency. Think of how quick manufacturing machines are. Chatbots are the customer service equivalent. They are so efficient that there is rarely, if ever, a wasted movement.
Just like a manufacturing machine, chatbots also represent maximum consistency. Employees frequently have bad days. Chatbots almost never do. Furthermore, by providing for the completion of mundane chores through the use of chatbots, you won’t grind down human employees with long lists of simple tasks.
Chatbots Are More Than Cool—They Are Awesome
Chatbots are cool technologies. With advances in the intelligent cloud, artificial intelligence, NLP, and other related areas, they are becoming all the more intricate and human-like. Indeed, the best chatbots sound so natural with their language and responses that customers might not even realize they are talking to a bot.
Additionally, because this is increasingly becoming a “text-first” world. A lot of people would rather just send a message to a bot to find an answer than need to talk with a living human being. Essentially, dealing with customer service reps is an encounter many customers would rather avoid. Chatbots make it easy to function within this brave new world.
As chatbots are delivering all these advances and improvements, they are also delivering great returns-on-investment. More productive employees, 24/7 customer service, reduced costs, all of these aspects can contribute to a healthy bottom line for any company. Profits are something every company will always enjoy and appreciate. Intelligent automation via chatbots is the future for both companies and customers alike.