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Are you aware that customers switching companies because of poor service costs companies $1.6 trillion in the U.S.? A good experience is key in winning over customers’ loyalties. Loyal customers are five times more likely to buy from you again and four times more likely to refer your brand to a friend.
What exactly is customer experience?
Customer experience can be defined as the impression that buyers have of your brand during the course of the customers’ journey. It affects how they view your brand and will impact your bottom line results, including revenue.
Why is customer experience significant?
A good customer experience is crucial to sustain and grow your business. A good customer experience gains their loyalty, increases customer retention rate, and improves brand advocacy.
No doubt, more and more companies are investing in tech to improve their customer service, especially in artificial intelligence (AI). One piece of software that almost all companies are investing in is chatbots. This is because of their automation capabilities, availability, and access to a broad array of info.
What are chatbots?
Chatbots are AI software designed to help simulate a conversation with a customer in natural language via messaging apps, mobile apps, websites, or the telephone.
Here are some essential stats that show you the importance of chatbots:
- They can reduce operational costs by up to 30%.
- The majority of internet users, 64%, say the most significant benefit of chatbots is their 24-hour service.
- More than one-third of people, 37%, use a bot in an emergency to get quick answers.
- Chatbots can answer 80% of typical questions.
There’re plenty of benefits that chatbots have to offer. Let’s discuss some of the ways that you can use chatbots to improve customer experience:
1. Make live chat a part of your customer service strategy
Engaging with AI chatbots is similar to having an online conversation with live customer support. There’s no learning curve for customers. Plus, many chatbots implement natural language processing methods for analyzing the queries and delivering accurate responses.
You can also easily integrate chatbots into your company's site or apps. Customers don’t have to waste time going through online resources to find solutions. They can have a conversation with you at any time without having to leave the app they’re using.
For instance, Snaptravel came up with a solution to make the process of planning a trip easy and super convenient by offering their customers a chatbot consultant. They made it available on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Customers can easily find the perfect holiday offer that meets their needs.
Their chatbot searches several offers based on the data provided by customers, like city, budget, or personal preferences, and gives them the most suitable offers. It works because the process is short, simple, and accurate, and it boosts customer experience.
You can also include predesigned FAQs and answers to commonly asked questions, and the chatbot will offer the solutions to customers at the right time.
However, keep in mind that the answers should directly align with the type of questions your customers will ask. They shouldn’t appear forced and should flow naturally. Making them optimized and rich with keywords is also imperative.
2. Provide 24/7 customer support
AI chatbots can do what human customer support teams can’t do. They can provide 24/7 customer support. This means your customers will get help even when their needs arise outside of business hours.
Waiting to get a response from customer support via voicemail or an email message can be annoying. In a study, almost 60% of customers said that the most frustrating part of their customer service experience is long holds and wait times.
Chatbots eliminate that issue by providing your customers the feeling of communicating with a live operator at any time. It will enhance customer experiences to a great extent.
3. Satisfy customers’ needs
Most customers, 63%, expect companies to know their unique needs and expectations. Though some chatbots are designed to create a perfect simulation of a human conversation, many are designed using AI to let machines handle dull and repetitive tasks like calculations and searching databases.
So, chatbots that are built to perform actions that capitalize on the chances of success toward reaching specific goals can satisfy the needs of customers. For instance, if a customer asks human customer support to reset his password for the fifth time in a week, the support might get annoyed. A chatbot won’t.
4. Use it as a sales tool
For ecommerce sites, chatbots can serve as a beneficial marketing and sales tool. You can use it to personalize customer journeys while offering help. They can provide advice to customers on shopping choices and even assist them while placing orders.
Brands like Domino's Pizza have created a bot to make the process of pizza delivery easy and fast. Users simply need to write "pizza" on Facebook Messenger or ask Alexa or Google Home for pizza, and they get it delivered to their doorstep by the delivery person.
5. Create a smoother journey
In a study, approximately 50% of customers said they would switch brands after a bad experience. To ensure that it doesn’t happen to you, you need to work on making the buying process easier for the customer by using AI and personalizing it.
When you use a chatbot, it can pop up on the product page your customers are browsing and provide extra info, video content, or a discount code. Customers can also use chatbots while gathering information about the product they want to purchase, the method they want to pay for it with, and the way they want it shipped.
Nike even has a chatbot named Stylebot that gives users the choice to create a custom sneaker or select from several available styles.
You can gain additional info about any outfit by visiting Nike’s site. The style option makes it super easy for users to browse through their collection quickly.
Chatbots, if effectively used, improve the customer journey and may even lower shopping cart abandonment rates.
6. Give your brand a personality
The flexibility of chatbots allows you to engage with customers on different levels. Chatbots can serve as customers’ essential resource for tech support, managing accounts, or finding sales info. You can also program chatbots with different conversational styles. It can be formal, technical, precise, humorous, snarky, or friendly. It’s a great way to create brand personality and keep customers returning to reengage with your brand.
7. Reduce errors
If programmed correctly, chatbots eliminate human error because there are no humans involved. You can rely on chatbots to always give users the correct answers. While it takes away the apprehension of things going wrong, it also keeps customers satisfied.
Unlike customers, you have a learning curve. You may be stumped with some issues when setting up new chatbots and solutions.
8. Remain friendly and approachable
In a study, 32% of customers said that the biggest benefits of chatbots are their friendliness and approachability.
Customers often dread approaching customer support for help, and they would willingly use chatbots to satisfy specific needs if given the option. It’ll also benefit you because it will reduce the time your customer support spends on the phone and replying to emails.
A chatbot is one of the latest trends in digital marketing. It’s designed to automate repetitive tasks as well as create a flawless simulation of a human conversation.
Implementing chatbots in your business can be of great benefit because they can reduce costs, save time, improve customer journeys, increase conversions, and most importantly, keep your customers satisfied and happy. You can also use it to enhance the experience of customers tremendously.
Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He helps SEO agencies with link building, content marketing, online reputation management, and blogger outreach. When he isn't writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.