The Time is Right for a Customer Support Chatbot
In 2020 it’s become more important than ever to provide your customers with fast, effective, and personalized support. Even in the face of challenges like smaller budgets, reduced agent headcount, and the move to fully-remote workforce models, customers still expect a higher level of service than ever before. A survey from the Harvard Business Review found that customer support hold times have increased by 34% and escalations have increased by 68% during the recent pandemic.
Top companies need to be able to handle increased volumes and customer expectations with fewer resources. Your company website can provide answers to many of your customers’ general questions. A well-developed FAQ or help center makes that information more accessible. The real difference, however, comes from encouraging customers to self-service with a conversational, next-gen customer support chatbot – far and away the best and most cost-effective way to resolve issues quickly and accurately without bogging down your support team.
What is a Next-Gen Chatbot?
Next-gen chatbots (as opposed to the somewhat flawed ‘traditional’, rule-based chatbots from the 2010’s) leverage tools like AI, natural language processing, machine learning, and automation to deliver fast, easy, and high-quality self-service to your customers with a far lower cost-to-serve. There are 5 reasons next-gen chatbots are the real deal and will soon become table-stakes in the best support organizations:
- 1. Next-gen chatbots provide 24/7 customer support
- 2. Next-gen chatbots improve your customer experience
- 3. Technology in next-gen chatbots is far better than traditional bots
- 4. Next-gen chatbots are a strong investment
- 5. Next-gen chatbots provide support analytics and customer insights
Let’s dive into each in a bit more detail:
Your website is available all the time, so customers must always be able to find answers. Support pages and FAQ sections are helpful, but many users avoid browsing your help center to find what they need. Instead, they go straight to creating a ticket or contact your company directly by phone. In many cases, they may abandon their efforts in frustration.
A next-gen chatbot provides a user-friendly way for customers to get the fast, specific answers. Users can solve their own problems without creating tickets or hopping on the phone with you. Best of all, next-gen chatbots are always available regardless of time or day. They handle unexpected surges, ensuring agents are free to handle tough issues that require human intervention.
The support experience that your customers have when interacting with your business has a direct link to your company’s future revenue – in fact a study from Dimensional Research found that 62% of B2B and 42% of B2C customers purchased more after a positive support interaction. Great customer experiences are fast, accurate, personalized, and friendly. Traditional chatbots have frequently missed the mark in several of these categories by delivering incorrect information or robotic, non-personalized responses.
Next-gen chatbots are finally able to deliver on the promise that traditional chatbots failed to live up to. New chatbots like Solvvy’s Conversational Concierge can understand a given customer’s persona and detect the intent behind a particular question asked. The chatbot then immediately delivers the right reply or intelligently routes the customer to the proper support channel. Next-gen chatbots are also more customizable than their predecessors. They can be customized to be ‘on-brand’ in terms of look and feel, as well as tone. The result is a chatbot that’s not only fast, but also delivers accurate, personalized, and friendly service.
For years, automated customer service has had a bad reputation among consumers. The traditional chatbots found on company websites mostly fail to deliver good accuracy or customer experience. This isn’t due to lack of effort from those companies – traditional chatbots require months of manual work to build and maintain. Companies need to account for each and every possible combination of words, phrases, and misspellings that a customer might type with a traditional, rules-based chatbot – an expensive and nearly impossible task.
Next-Gen chatbot platforms have addressed this challenge. Solvvy utilizes artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing to significantly reduce set up and maintenance time. No longer do customer support teams need to build massive sets of rules. With Solvvy’s technology, customers can ask countless variations of questions and still get the correct response. Automated customer service is back and better than ever.
Next-gen chatbots seamlessly integrate with CRM systems like Salesforce and Zendesk, leading chat providers, and can integrate with API’s to complete complex, multi-step tasks like managing subscriptions, tracking shipments, and checking on orders. With these new technological advances, almost any task has the potential to be automated for fast, accurate self-service.
Next-gen chatbots take far less time and far fewer resources to set up than traditional chatbots. This translates to faster ROI and lower on-going maintenance costs – keys to a successful project. Higher self-service rates from chatbots lower support tickets and free up time for agents to devote to more challenging cases. In high-growth situations, chatbots and automation allow customer support to handle fast-growing volume without additional agents. For example, SeatGeek used Solvvy to handle 70,000 customer inquiries annually, saving 4,500 support hours and $560,000 via self-service chatbot resolutions.
Next-gen chatbots deliver analytics and insights to help you shape your support operations. This goes well beyond the number of queries or anecdotal evidence that agents log. A next-gen chatbot platform makes it easy to view self-service percentage, number of instant resolutions, and support cost savings. Tools help you quickly search conversations and surface insights which can improve customer experience, correct help center content, or even influence your product roadmap. A tool like Solvvy Insights shows you how effectively your existing Help Center content addresses customer needs and also provides guidance to address gaps.
Interested in learning more about Solvvy’s next-gen chatbot? Check it out!