Chatbots today should not be conflated with chatbots of the past: the technology is more advanced and the customer experience is likewise enhanced. Historically, the opportunity cost of a poor experience due to chatbots often outweighed the cost reduction component due to ticket deflection. But thanks to improved artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, chatbots today are instrumental for streamlining and optimizing customer service operations. Here are the five main reasons why:
1. No Wait Time
This is probably the most obvious benefit of chatbots, but it remains vitally important nonetheless when it comes to optimizing the customer experience. Customers simply do not like to wait for help—any wait time can lead to frustration and potentially churn. At the same time, it does not make fiscal sense to have an oversupply of live agents waiting to respond to each incoming chat instantaneously. Chatbots are a smarter way to ensure that customers receive the instant response that they demand.
2. Minimized Agent Transfers
An additional benefit of chatbots is that they classify issues to help route tickets to right agent the first time. Having a live person answer the initial query and then manually categorizing (and especially assigning) the ticket takes time. A chatbot combined with automated routing can take care of this process accurately and instantaneously, thus reducing the time and cost associated with transferring a customer between different departments.
3. Quicker Issue Resolution
Providing an immediate response is valuable, but having an expedited resolution is arguably even more important to the customer. Customers don’t just want to be heard, they want action—quickly. With chatbots collecting information about the customer and issue ahead of time, agents will be armed with all the data they need to most efficiently resolve the issue. An additional benefit is that if the agent has follow-up questions, the customer can answer in real time as well (as opposed to having to wait around if they are inquiring through a different channel like email).
4. Improved Self-Service
Self-service is nothing new, but when layered with machine learning and the chatbot interface, it adds a new level of incredible value. Historically, chatbots have received a bad rap for inaccurately routing and responding to customers. But with machine learning and improved data, chatbots can more efficiently direct customers to answers that will actually help them. This will simultaneously increase both ticket deflection rates and customer satisfaction.
5. Cost optimization
Yes, chatbots help reduce costs by reducing manpower. But it goes beyond cost reduction. According to a recent Forrester report, enterprises should focus on cost optimization instead, as “companies that take advantage of chatbots’ larger cost optimization opportunities can”:
- Bring scale with chat concurrency
- Automate end-to-end business processes
- Enable new customer service models
Ultimately, chatbots can and should be utilized to create a better experience for the customer, agent—and brand as a whole. To get started with chatbots, learn more here.