Customer service is rapidly changing
The digitalisation of society has given companies amazing opportunities to better connect with their customers and improve customer retention.
The usage of messaging platforms as a customer service channel has surged over the last couple of years. They're a fast and easy way for both businesses and customers to reach each other quickly and efficiently, so are perfect for solving customer issues at speed.
The shift in customer service channels has had a marked and long-lasting effect on the customer service industry as a whole. This ‘quick and easy way’ to communicate with customers via their preferred messaging platform has disrupted customers’ perception of quality service.
The biggest factor: They expect companies to respond as fast as friends or family on a messaging platform.
Delivering consistently fast responses positively affects customer perception of your business and customers give a higher ranking to businesses that are available online to respond to queries quickly, resulting in improved customer retention, advocacy and, ultimately, more customers.
And the fastest average response time in the industry? 2.5 seconds.
‘Seriously? Responding within 2.5 seconds? On average?!’
It may sound – at best – unnecessary and at worst impossible. Surely a 2.5-second response time would require an enormous customer service department to handle every incoming message?
But it is possible. And, even better, it’s possible without having to hire 200 new CS agents.
How do I do it?
Companies who successfully maintain a consistently low average response time will undoubtedly make use of a chatbot in their customer service flow. A chatbot helps to accommodate incoming customers quickly. For starters, it can send a confirmation to customers informing them that you've received their query. In addition, simple or frequently asked questions can often be answered immediately by the chatbot. And when questions get more complex, the chatbot can direct the conversation to a human agent and can request useful background information before the agent takes over.
Never fully automate your customer service
Customers always prefer a personal approach. Especially when those customers have complaints or complex questions. In these situations, you should never handle issues by chatbot alone.
That said, a chatbot can be very helpful even in this context…
- Background information. As we’ve already said, the chatbot can help to retrieve useful information before your employee takes over. This helps employees focus on the complaint or question with all the relevant information at their fingertips. As a result, your team can more effectively handle queries and focus their time on customer retention.
- Logistics support. If, for example, it becomes clear during the (human) conversation that the product doesn’t meet your customer's expectations, the customer may want to return the product. Rather than take up valuable employee time, the chatbot can take over again and handle return logistics.
Other chatbot use cases
Chatbots are a very cost-effective way for businesses to manage incoming queries. As a result, more and more businesses are using them, but the scenarios in which they're deployed can vary greatly from business to business. Here are some examples of where a chatbot can help to lessen the customer service load.
- Formal organisations: hospitals, for example
In this situation, a chatbot can be very helpful for scheduling appointments or for patients to ask questions prior to their visit. Depending on their treatment, different patients may have the same question. A customer service chatbot can easily answer frequently asked questions or direct the patient to the correct page on a website for more information, saving human agents' time. This not only improves the efficiency of the hospital's customer service, but can also help to reduce time-consuming phone calls.
Some businesses or organisations have to deal with periodic customer service upticks – during holidays, for example. At these times, they can scale up their customer service team and save money by using a customer care chatbot. They can handle exponentially more incoming queries, while the chatbot also provides them with additional customer data. The chatbot can also learn from interactions and measure customer sentiment, allowing for more personalised communication.
‘But doesn't this all require a lot of technical knowledge?’
The simple answer: not at all.
Nowadays, modern customer care solutions such as Mobile Service Cloud make it very easy for companies to manage their customer service on any channel. In addition, chatbots can be deployed with no technical knowledge whatsoever.
As all customer service channels can be managed within one tool, all customer data can be stored within the tool as well. This helps you collate customer data and allows for rich customer profiles. You can gain more insight into your customers, which in turn makes your business more able to cater for their needs and desires.
Mobile Service Cloud provides you with all the channels, tools and features you need in order to deliver an outstanding customer experience, reduce the pressure on your customer service team, and improve customer retention and business results.