Customer service—or the lack thereof—is one of the main factors contributing to loosing consumers trust. Salesforce found that 47% of customers said that they will stop buying from a company that gives them subpar experience. The same study also found that 76% of customers are confident of taking their business elsewhere. Yikes.
Customer service errors vary in degree, with some being minor annoyances while others are persistent enough to fully damage a brand's reputation. In this digital age, being responsive is extremely important if one wants to keep his reputation intact. According to HubSpot, 90% of customers define immediate response as important to customer service, and by "immediate" they meant being responsive within 10 minutes or less. This incredible demand is resulting in the surge in the utilization of chatbots.
Customer Service Chatbots
Chatbots are increasingly becoming popular in the field of customer service owing to their capability to mimic natural human responses. Through AI and natural language processing, a custom chatbot can "converse" and "interact" like a real person. And while they are conversing with a user, these AI-powered applications can gather data, providing the real people behind the company with invaluable data in which to derive insights to improve their operations.
There is a multitude of surveys from companies pointing to the rise of chatbot use among consumers. Econsultancy found that 79% of consumers prefer live chat functions because they don't have to wait on hold and they can get their questions answered immediately. Tidio, in a separate study, found that over 43% of e-commerce shoppers prefer talking to a chatbot over other forms of communicating with the company like email or a website's contact form.
Chatbots also make a lot of business sense. According to IBM, chatbots can help reduce customer service costs by 30%. This is because unlike their human counterparts chatbots don't need breaks, they don't get sick, and they are present even during times of emergencies--times when the presence of a customer service representative is even more important. According to one Statista survey, getting a quick answer during an emergency is one of the top expected uses of chatbots (37%), while resolving a complaint is only at second place (35%).
So are humans at risk of being completely replaced by these AI creations? Not at all. Chatbots are still in their infancy and expecting them to handle all sorts of customer service tasks is unrealistic. Complex questions, for instance, are best left for a real manager to answer as chatbots are limited by their programming. This calls for a hybrid approach, where chatbots handle the repetitive queries, while the more complex ones are transferred to a real customer service representative.
The unique capabilities afforded by chatbots to customer service teams are too good to ignore, and resistance to this technology is futile. Numerous sources forecast the exponential growth chatbots will experience in the coming years, with some predicting that the market size of chatbots will surpass an annual growth rate of 29%—a huge figure compared to the single-digit growth of other industries. This growth is expected to be fueled by the rising customer demand for round-the-clock customer assistance, in addition to self-service options.
The good news is that a company does not have to be a big business to take advantage of this increasingly important technology.
In Need of a Customer Service Chatbot?
Chatbots do not require years of coding experience to create. Guides on how to create a simple one can be found online. But if your business requires a sophisticated customer service chatbot but have no idea where or how to start, let's chat