Call centers are under the heavy burden of inbound calls from customers that support agents have to answer. Chatbots built with Conversational AI offer a way to reduce the workload and provide for a better customer experience.
We take a look at the way call centers have evolved and why messaging is rising in customer service. In addition we focus on how chatbots can make your customer service more efficient and reduce call center agents' workload, how much bots cost, what are the top tips to keep in mind when developing a call center chatbot and how you can get yourself an automated AI-based chatbot to increase customer satisfaction.
Call centers have over time changed from responding to customers mainly via phone to handling inbound requests from all channels. According to Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report “61% of consumers say that they have stopped transacting with a business after a poor service experience”.
This means that customers expect good service and that service is now provided more and more in messaging channels. While it might be somewhat more complex for call center agents to respond to customers in all social channels, the call center is no longer just about incoming phone calls. Agents are expected to handle customer requests from across a variety of channels as customer expectations have risen.
Since people are sharing more personal information in social media, messaging (including RCS, Apple Business Chat) is rising as a popular form of communication. Messaging makes it easy for people to interact with one another, and businesses to offer services to customers through a chat interface, eliminating the need for cold calling.
WhatsApp has 2 billion and Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users. Such a high number of active users also means more opportunities for businesses to reach their customers and attract their attention. With the increase in communication capabilities via messaging and social media, businesses are finding chatbots to be the perfect platform to interact with customers.
Contact centers need to embrace the rise of messaging as the habits of personal interaction between friends in social messaging apps is translating into communication with companies. Response times between friends in social messaging apps are fast and customers expect the same response time when interacting with business as well.
Prior to Chatbots, customer service was a lot more primitive. Customer service reps had to go through a long process of training themselves to handle a customer request. They could have to attend a conference, study a manual or simply take a customer support course in order to respond to a customer.
Now, chatbots automate customer service interactions with AI so that customers are able to get to the responses they are looking for almost instantly. Chatbots that are built with Conversational AI are capable of detecting intent from free text questions. This means that customers can chat with chatbots as they would chat with human agents and get answers.
Most chatbots are also connected to live agents when they cannot resolve customer requests on their own. As chatbots are becoming more advanced, it is almost always faster for customers to get the answer they are looking for. The bots help eliminate some of the arduous tasks associated with customer service and speed up service offering 24/7 availability in sub-second response times.
In addition chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants can make the call center more efficient by offering these benefits:
One of the key tips when you start automating your call center is to make sure you first have a business case in mind. This means have a financial metric that you can tie directly to your customer service automation project.
This can be costs saved, decreased time to resolution, increased revenue from additional personalized sales etc. Whatever it is, have a metric that you can objectively determine whether your automation project in the contact center is producing results.
Secondly, measure feedback from customers. This is a tip that might seem basic to some, but before building a call center chatbot, you need to be sure you have a plan of action to keep users coming back. Users tend to get bored quickly and need something to keep them engaged. That is why it is a good idea to go the extra mile and let your users know you care about their feedback.
You can set up surveys and surveys that ask users to give you a few points each time they call the company or chat with your bot on your website and messaging channels. This makes customers feel valued and cared for by your company and also gives you a way to see if they have a problem that can be solved through the chatbot's built-in help desk.
And thirdly, test results quickly. There is no need for a half a year proof of concept. These days there are plenty of AI customer service software companies that can provide solutions out-of-the-box and get you up and running in minutes not months.
Build and deploy in a few weeks on a smaller customer segment, run tests for 1-2 months and by month 3 you will have a solid understanding of what customers like and dislike and how to proceed with a company-wide rollout.
The decision to integrate and use chatbots in customer service has become an important milestone, as their wide use becomes more evident. The chatbot market is growing and with a variety of vendors out there, the choice is broad.
The pricing for chatbot varies but we have put together a comprehensive pricing guide for AI bots for you to get an understanding of how much a chatbot for your needs would cost.
Several companies offer no code tools and step-by-step guides on how to get your AI chatbot running for your contact center in less than 30 minutes.
For that end we have put together a curated list of several chabot vendors to choose from. Here is a list of 30 top chatbot providers if you are looking for quick-to-deploy solutions and here is a list of 17 Conversational AI based intent detection chatbot providers for your call center.
It is clear that businesses are looking to automate some of their processes. Over the past several years, advances in artificial intelligence and digital communication technologies have led to the development of conversational technologies which can enable intelligent bots.
As more and more companies are choosing to implement the technology follow the tips above and you will be having more satisfied customers and more efficient call center operations in no time.
If you are looking for AI chatbots for your customer service, then feel free to sign-up for an account with alphachat.ai In just 5 minutes you can get your own natural language understanding AI chatbot that you can connect with your website.