The changing paradigm of customer service is a testimony to how dramatically different our businesses have become. From humans solving issues of humans, now we have automated bots taking care of concerns raised by customers of many businesses around the world.
When you last chatted with a customer service executive to get your query resolved, wereyou sure your queries were being addressed by a human being in flesh and blood?Or, was it a pre-programmed bot thatanswered all your queries?
If a bot handling customer queries sounds weird, it is not.
Welcome to the digital world of Chat bots, where companies are increasingly using them for their efficiency and ability to delight customers.
What are Chat bots?
These Artificial Intelligence based computer programs are increasingly being deployed by top brands around the world to cater to customer requirements.
Chat bots—also referred as Talkbots, Bots, and Artificial Conversational Entities—are computer programs that can converse via text or voice medium with people through Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chatbots. While they are used to answer basic queries, they are getting smarter by the day.For instance, they can also analyse archived conversations and predict customer behavior.
These types of computer programs are not new, though. Chat bots such as ELIZA and PARRY existed back in 1966 and 1972 respectively. Today,enterprisesacross the globe are increasingly deploying these intelligent entities. Brands like Starbucks, British Airways, Unilever, Pernod Ricard, eBay, Uber, Sephora, Kik, Pizza Hut, HDFC Bank,etc, all are successfully leveraging these bots to further their business objectives.
Let us look at 6 ways a brand can drive loyalty and growth through these chat bots.
- Engage digitally, engage in style
With the rise of e-commerce, where interaction with an interface or an App takes centre stage, digital engagement becomes important. Hence, the need to create a bot with a personality becomes real. The brands of today have their own versions of chat bots in the form of fictional characters that engage with customers in their own unique style.
- Sell your products & services more effectively
Chat bots can actually clone human personalities and simultaneously answer queries through multiple touch points. Their 24/7 presence also is an inimitable value proposition to customers. With e-commerce having global relevance across timezones, your bots help you to “make money while you sleep”.Literally!
3.Process online payments
A vital utility of these Bots are to handle the entire payment process, all through a pre-programmed arrangement. If your customer is making a payment and gets stuck in the payment process or has a payment-related enquiry,there is no need to break a sweat. These tasks can be easily handled by chat bots, many a time more efficiently than human handlers.
- Get customer insights
Customer data is the lifeline of any brand’s relevance in the market.Chat bots can be handy in collecting and analyzing purchase behavior of customers. They can record and track the demographics, purchase pattern, nature of complaints, and purchase habits.With the aid of AI,they can successfully predict their future pattern through analysis of past behavioral data. These data points can help marketers devise superior marketing strategiesfor the brand and thereby have a competitive edge in the marketplace.
- Personalized offerings
Brands that offerpersonalized products and services are closer to customers’ hearts.In fact, personalization drives conversion of a normal customer into a loyal customer.Chat bots can help do this with ease – not only by using customer’s first name when addressing them, but by giving a “human” touch to the brand while engaging with them. Based on the information gathered from previous interactions, chat bots are better placed to suggest and advertise other offerings by the brand that may also be of interest to the customers.
- Qualifying Leads
One of the key challenges in marketing is to convert a prospect into a buyer. Without automation, getting leads is an uphill task where brands mostly end up focusing on leads who don’t even need what is being offered. Chatbots can help qualify leads by virtue of their customer data analysing power.They can elicit required responses and offer the best suited solution for the customer, thereby providing the sales team a list of prospects that can then be pursued to closure. This not only increases the business’ productivity but also saves on costs.
Clearly,chat bots will be the game changer in the e-commerce market place. Software developers are making chat bots more user friendly, so that they can run on any server or platform.