Businesses are now expected to respond to and solve customer queries instantly to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Customers no longer wait for businesses to respond. They need their answers, and they need them now.
Businesses need to evolve to meet changing customer demands. They also need to scale their operations to cope with the increasing volume of customer engagement through digital channels.
The customer service industry has been revolutionized. The innovation responsible – conversational automation via chatbots.
Scaling customer conversations through automation is an essential business strategy to save costs, engage customers, and maximise revenue.
According to Userlike, 91% of consumers expect to engage with a business through a chatbot. With such an overwhelming demand for messaging, businesses can no longer delay chatbots as a priority.
Below we’ve shared why your business needs to make a chatbot its top customer service priority.
Consumer Readiness: Customers Want to
Engage With Chatbots
To quote Queen; “I want it all, and I want it now,” sums up how the modern consumer operates.
They want immediate and accurate responses to their queries and constant up-time no matter the time of day. They also want simplicity. In our VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world consumers simply have too many things competing for their attention.
Use of chatbots have grown by 92% since 2019, making it the communication channel with the largest growth in recent years. This is not surprising. 66% of consumers prefer communicating with brands via messaging applications, according to Twilio.
Much of this stems from the popularity of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s engaging. While originally a personal channel of communication, consumers expect to connect with businesses in the same way. Leading brands have been quick to adopt this approach – and they’re reaping the rewards.
Modern consumers will only deal with a human if they have to, or because they’ve been told to. The large majority are steering clear of call centres. Connecting with businesses through messaging channels, is a strong preference that is only growing. Businesses need to adjust to this change in behaviour. Failure to do so will propel adopters of new digital channels forward even further.
The best businesses don’t wait until they are ready to meet consumer demands. They make decisions and take action based on what their customers are telling them. They adapt, and move fast. Consumers are not only ready to use chatbots, they want to – they expect it. Leading businesses see this, take initiative and deliver early. Is that you?
The businesses that don’t prioritise a chatbot, or who constantly delay, will only see others rise above them. They’re essentially giving competitors an advantage that is difficult to claw back.
Organisational Squeeze: Chatbots Reduce Costs and Increase Revenue
Regardless of their business, somewhere in most organisational strategies you’ll find one of two things, decrease cost to serve and increase revenue.
Managing these successfully is the difference between life and death for businesses, so naturally these are a priority for any business leader
Decrease Cost to Serve
Chatbots enable businesses to decrease their cost to serve. They do this by automating conversations at scale. Where humans can only serve a single customer at once, a chatbot is capable of conversing with unlimited volumes of customers at any point in time.
Gartner suggests that over 40% of today’s live volume could be diverted to self-service channels such as chatbots. Research suggests customer service reps spend 80% of their time solving the same 20 enquiries. Most of these are low value, repetitive tasks that are costly for businesses to solve with a human. By automating these with a chatbot, businesses solve customer queries faster – reducing their cost to serve, and allow reps to spend more time on higher value tasks.
Example of a chatbot managing a return enquiry and using an address lookup feature to find the customers nearest store.
According to IBM, chatbots save businesses up to 30% in customer support costs. With customers expecting 24/7 support, staffing a contact centre around the clock is extremely costly for businesses. Chatbots are available 24/7 and provide an always-on framework to give customers the support they need, without the same level of expense.
Businesses who engage their customers with chatbots are benefiting from increases in sales and revenue. Forbes reports that chatbots have increased sales by 67% according to business leaders. They empower businesses to deliver additional sales channels and automate lead generation.
As consumers demand more personalised buying experiences, businesses are adopting AI to provide a deeply engaging experience that is tailored to each customer.
By taking into account previous buying and engagement history, chatbots can automatically identify which products and services are most relevant to up-sell or cross-sell for a particular customer.
Example of a chatbot upselling an additional item, and adding it to their ecommerce cart.
Businesses are increasing basket sizes, and maximising revenue as a result. Salesforce has reported that when shoppers follow AI-powered product recommendations, their average order value increases by 14%. The proof is there. As e-commerce volumes explode, chatbots act as a digital sales assistant, guiding buyers to their next purchase.
Chatbots also have high engagement rates of nearly 98%. Not only do consumers engage with this channel, they interact to a deeper level than with many others. High conversation completion rates mean consumers see more of what businesses are sharing with them. This gives businesses a greater chance to convert and close potential buyers.
Beyond the Hype Phase
Chatbots are not a new innovation, they’ve been around for years. Some of the early stage bots may have put companies off including them in their strategy as developers navigated the possibilities of this technology. Today’s bots are more mature. They’ve evolved and have proven themselves time and time again to be an integral piece of the customer service puzzle.
Gone is the hype-phase. Businesses can no longer overlook the importance of a chatbot to the success of their business. Customers expect them. The use cases are there. The value is undeniable. And it’s only going to increase.
Don’t delay. Make a chatbot a priority for your business today. All it takes is a conversation with an expert to set you on the right path.