However, no matter your industry or service, one thing remains true of conversational AI; its ability to reduce churn without engaging customers.
And it’s not just talk!
Let’s explore some customer experience facts and understand client churn, why customers leave businesses and how conversational AI can help.
What Is Conversational AI?
Conversational AI refers to systems that respond conversationally with users and behave like human beings when engaging customers. These systems respond naturally—and sometimes humorously—to typical human phrases and questions.
There are many uses for conversational AI, from scheduling appointments to processing payments. And while many businesses are still exploring how they can use these tools effectively, there’s no doubt that they have great potential.
Conversational commerce is becoming increasingly popular when it comes to improving customer service. It allows customers to interact immediately with your brand on their favourite channel, whether through messaging, chat, or voice. It also achieves this by bypassing the middleman, i.e. your sales and service team.
Before we discuss how conversational AI can help your business, let’s first understand what problems need fixing.
Why Are Businesses Losing Clients?
The number one reason why clients leave isn’t actually a client issue, it’s an issue with how businesses handle customer problems.
Harvard Business Review highlighted a vital component of customer service that too many businesses overlook. They say, “Two critical findings emerged that should affect every company’s customer service strategy. First, delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does. Second, acting deliberately on this insight can help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.”
So, there is no need to create a magical unicorn-style experience for your customers in order to keep them coming back. Certainly, great service and great products are important. But the real reason customers leave is that companies make it too hard to do business with them.
It’s as simple as that.
It is unclear whether they don’t care enough about customer retention or are simply unaware of the massive impact that loyal, repeat customers have on their bottom line. The problem is that their focus is on the wrong area.
If you’re still not convinced of the importance of excellent customer service and its role in customer retention, take a moment to read this article on 50 Stats That Prove The Value Of Customer Experience.
Exploring Your Customer Experience Statistics
Business owners can (and should) use customer experience statistics to evaluate and improve their businesses.
It’s the logical starting line.
When you have access to your business’s customer experience data, it’s easy to see what customers find valuable—and what they don’t.
Using customer experience data is the best way to get an unbiased perspective on your business. This allows you to make smart decisions based on facts rather than guesswork or assumptions about how clients feel about your business or its products or services.
The first logical step, then, is to ensure you’re tracking and measuring all customer communications and have useful, accurate data to work from.
Implementing Conversational Commerce
Successful businesses have always adapted to change, but conversational commerce takes it to a whole new level.
When customers can interact with your brand directly through an online chat or direct messaging, it’s a game-changer for client relations and client retention.
Let’s look at some high-level chatbot statistics.
- Chatbots can cut operational costs by up to 30%
- Chatbots can answer 80% of standard questions
- In 2017, 34% of consumers preferred to communicate with artificial intelligence in an online retail situation
- 64% of internet users say 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots
- 58% of users say chatbots have changed their expectations of customer service
- Bank systems will automate up to 90% of customer interactions using chatbots by 2022
After decades of focus on e-commerce sales and growing heavy and expensive teams of customer service agents, companies are now shifting their attention towards building better relationships with their clients - without actually speaking to them.
It may sound counterintuitive, but consumers are ready and eager for you to solve their problems faster.
And this is where conversational AI shines!
A Smart Strategy For Reducing Client Churn
If customer service is the holy grail of client retention, then we need to execute two key methods to maintain a brilliant customer experience.
The first is to implement better communication with clients directly and show them that you value their feedback, input, and - most importantly - their time.
Conversational AI does exactly this; making use of carefully curated customer data to create a seamless customer experience and give users what they want when they want it. The client goes away satisfied without you having to engage with them directly.
The second way is by establishing better internal communication between departments within the company. A dysfunctional partnership between one department and another can drive customers away from your business faster than you realise. (We’ve all experienced the frustration of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, and it’s not fun!)
Setting up and making use of enhanced customer service tools that push real-time customer data out to all the players and systems in your business eliminates client frustration - and makes you look good!
Making Conversational AI Work For You
Conversational bots don’t work like apps; you can’t simply install one, sit back and expect things to happen. The bot is just one part of a larger strategy that involves mobile, web and messaging channels. It should link into your CRM and any internal communication systems that you have in place for maximum efficiency.
If this suddenly feels like you’re creating a Behemoth when all you wanted was a friendly little chatbot, then just take a moment to ponder these questions:
- Can you afford to lose even a single loyal customer? It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer compared to keeping an existing one. Is that how you want to spend your budget?
- Is it more cost-effective to hire another customer service agent (including salaries, admin, training, leave, hiring costs, etc.) or to invest in always-on software that will continue to add value long after your team has gone home for the day?
- Would you prefer to solve the bulk of customer problems and queries immediately and accurately? Do you think they would prefer that too?
- Would you like to free up your human agents to work on creating real value for your customers and not simply putting out fires all day?
If you want your hard-earned customers to continue working with you, then eliminating the hard work for them is the best, cheapest, and easiest way to do this.
Not Just Talk
Conversational AI provides a platform for your business to engage with your customers, answer questions, and solve problems. Once it has been set up - based on your unique business requirements - your overwhelmed customer service and sales team can take a deep breath and focus on providing better service for those customers that still require a personal touch.
Enhanced customer experience and faster problem resolution will reduce client churn - without a doubt.
Can you offer these benefits to your customers? Will you?
Contact our team to get started.