The rise of AI bots may sound like a sci-fi horror scenario, but in reality, the bots ‘ growing industry is not at all scary — it’s a technology that brings real, tangible benefits to both businesses and customers. Bots are already a major part of the landscape of customer service. The bot market was worth $1.274 billion in 2018, and forecasts predict that it will reach $7.5 billion by 2024.
Customers come to the concept of communicating with bots quickly. In the last year, 60% of customers used bots to connect with a company, and 48% said they were willing to chat with a customer service bot. Here are the key things you need to know about using AI bots in customer service, if you’re still on the fence about whether or not bots make sense for your company.
What are bots for AI customer service?
Customer service bots are a software that provides real-time interactive answers to customer questions. Organizations send pre-written instructions to the bot for the most popular customer questions, and the bot provides conversational responses. AI (artificial intelligence) powered customer service bots use aggregated data from every customer service interaction they need to learn what works best and improve responses over time.
5 ways AI customer service bots help
Some companies may experience initial discomfort when it comes to replacing human interactions with robotic-powered conversations. Yet customer service bots are not about eliminating from the equation human agents. We are meant to be used in specific scenarios where agents and customers alike benefit from them. And we offer significant benefits when used in this way.
1. Agents spend less time with repeated questions
Bots can not provide instant resolution for every customer service issue, but there is a large category of customer service interactions that do not require human response complexity. If your agents spend hours answering simple questions such as “When will you open ?” Or “where is my order ?” That’s not a good time-use. Bots can take over responding to up to 80 percent of routine inquiries of this kind.
This is good for the morale of the agent. No one likes to spend the day providing tedious answers to the cut-and-paste style. In fact, 79% of customer service agents say that it improves their skills when their responsibilities are focused on dealing with complex issues, and 72% believe it makes them more valuable to the company.
2. Customers receive quicker responses
When self-service solutions increase in popularity—over two-thirds of consumers claim they prefer to speak to a representative about self-service—bots make it much easier for customers to find the answers they need on their own and quickly.
Agents face a queue of customers during peak hours. Before they can get to the next, they must help one. Bots are never dealing with it. They can provide answers simultaneously and with zero wait time to any number of customers.
89% of customers say that it is important to get a quick answer to their customer service questions when deciding which companies to buy from. And chatbots can provide faster customer service at all hours, while people have annoying needs such as eating and sleeping.
When consumers were asked what they considered to be the main benefits of bots in one survey, the top two responses were to get round – the-clock customer service (64%) and get instant answers to their questions (55%).
3. Bots operate on a number of channels
Today’s customer service is ubiquitous. Forrester reported that in a single customer service interaction, 95 percent of customers use three or more channels. Customers are increasingly turning to messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp in addition to the most familiar channels such as phone and email. That’s a lot of different platforms consumers are now expecting brands to be available on and who knows that additional outlets will be added to the mix in the years to come.
The good news is that bots can also be ubiquitous. You can deploy bots on your website, on Slack, and in your various messaging apps to answer the common questions that come in via email. The more places you set up your AI app, the more work your agents would have to take on otherwise.
Through linking your AI bots to the rest of your tech stack, you can use them to provide a self-service experience across all of your channels. In a shorter time, customers get the answers they’re looking for on their channel of choice.
4. Bots can help with customisation
At this point, the most obvious use for customer service bots is to deflect the simple, frequently asked questions that have an obvious answer. If the bot technology is integrated with your other systems, however, you can start customizing the information you provide to visitors.
A customer service bot can tap into your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database to determine whether an existing customer or prospect is someone visiting your website. For an e-commerce company, the bot may suggest relevant options when a current customer visits your site, such as, “Hey welcome back, would you like to view your recent orders ?
Instead, a brand new visitor would see another starting point on that same site: “First time here? Would you like to see our company story?”.
In addition to providing customized interactions right off the bat, when there is a bot-to-human hand-off, customer service bots will relay relevant information. The bot will monitor if your customer has already tried to solve their problem and let the agent know what the customer has visited to help center articles and web pages. Agents can avoid repeating the answers already seen by the customer, saving both the agent and the customer time.
5. AI bots are only getting smarter
A great aspect of AI bots is learning. A bot for AI customer service will track how customers respond to any response they provide. As data on customer interactions are collected over time, they will constantly analyze that information and turn it into meaningful insights.
Bots are getting better at understanding the feeling behind the language people use with each year. We learn new languages and pick up on the nuances of different ways of phrasing things. I have a perfect memory and use it to keep track of what works in every encounter I have and what doesn’t.
With the information gained by your customer service bot, it will learn which response to each situation is the best response. It will be better to determine which questions can be answered by linking to an article in the help center and which are best transferred to a human being.
AI bots are already good at learning, but they’re only going to get smarter with every year (and information worth that year). This will benefit you and your customers.
AI bots and agents: a collaboration in which everyone benefits
AI bots are not going to replace agents of customer service. Customers will always want to know that for things that benefit from that personal touch they can contact a real person. But for the easier solutions that don’t need a customer service agent, they provide a quicker solution that saves agents time and work AND gives consumers the answers they need faster than they can humanly.
If you are willing to consider integrating AI bots into your plan for customer service, start with Nurture Bot. It’s smart, omnichannel, and works with other Simplify Reality Products.