How AI & Chatbots are transforming the Customer Experience

Over the years, customer experience has emerged as a competitive differentiator for brands. But the buck doesn’t stop there. The customer experience field is constantly evolving as the customer’s habits and buying patterns evolve. 

Businesses aren’t shying away from using digital tools and AI-led powerful technology to offer users a 360-degree, holistic experience. In fact, data by Oracle claims that around 80% of brands plan to use chatbots by 2020.” Clearly, the use of AI chatbots is no longer considered to be in its nascent stages. But what’s driving this dynamic change? Keep reading.

Top-5 Chatbot Trends & Advantages Worth Knowing

1. Chatbots Never Sleep 

Unlike human agents, chatbots never sleep or go offline. They’re available to respond to customer queries 24x7x365. Plus, they don’t take coffee breaks or tire after the fortieth conversation of the day. Simply put, chatbot automation can address customer queries and offer resolutions outside of business hours and rid customers of ‘waiting’ for a response by the company that may sometime last for hours on end – whether on the phone or via emails. 

2. Chatbots Offer Instant & Effective Support

66% of customers try to use self-service first.” – The State of Global Customer Service Report 2018 

Chatbots can be easily integrated into your smartphone and websites to provide seamless in-app support. This way, customers don’t need to go the extra mile to get their queries addressed. In fact, many brands today have integrated chatbot support on Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, offering customers unparalleled convenience and instant support as Dominos does:

Note how customers don’t need to download an app or open the website to place an order. They can simply interact with the bot in Messenger and order away.

3. Personalizing the CX is Every Chatbot’s Specialty

Chatbots are constantly evolving and learning from every customer interaction to become more conversational and flexible day-by-day. To top it off, integration of AI-powered chatbots with the company’s CMS and CRM platforms allows your customer service team to tap into critical customer data about past shopping history, complaints, user preferences, etc. and provide hyper-personalized experiences. 

4. Chatbots Boost Business & Employee Productivity 

AI-powered chatbots can help reduce business costs, lower your support team’s workload, and free up valuable time for your agents by taking up routine and repetitive tasks that don’t require a human ‘touch.’ In fact, well-conceptualized chatbots are capable of simulating human intelligence while satisfying a customer’s needs from start to finish. 

5. Chatbot Use-Cases for Top-5 Industries

Chatbots are disrupting nearly every space and industry that they’re entering – be it the Banking, Telecom, Retail, Insurance, or even the Ecommerce industry. Let’s look at the diverse benefits these virtual agents are offering across these domains:

Additionally, the chatbots double up as a useful Knowledge Base where customers can simply self-serve and get answers to queries quickly and effectively in addition to getting access to the bank’s offerings. In other cases, bots can ‘guide’ customers and troubleshoot common issues such as the inability to perform a money transfer or retrieve the e-banking password. Finally, banking chatbots can also capture fraud issues or address hacking concerns in real-time.

•Retail: In the retail space, generating leads and boosting sales is paramount. This is where chatbots can come in handy. They can store a customer’s important contact information and approach them with personalized offers to convert them. Additionally, chatbots enable brands to deliver in-store purchases by addressing concerns that customers may have when shopping online or offline. Whether it’s about comparing in-store and online prices or cross-checking product availability across huge databases, chatbots can assist customers in their buying journey in real-time. All in all, they help deliver a positive customer experience and reinforce customer loyalty. Here’s a snapshot of Sephora’s live chat service which offers a seamless one-click customer service:

•Insurance: Another industry where chatbots are being used generously is the Insurance sector. And why not? Chatbots can segment, analyze, and offer personalized recommendations to your target audience. Whether its selling contextual policies, offering insurance advice, or assisting in critical services such as filling forms, chatbots are worth the investment and effort as they engage customers on a deeper level:

In instances where the chatbot cannot offer assistance, the bot can immediately route the customer to the next available live agent. In essence, chatbots can be used to automate FAQs and administrative tasks while answering queries on wide-ranging topics such as insurance coverage, premiums, documentation, and filing claims. In addition, the bot can offer a helping hand in key areas of CX, such as customer onboarding, billing, and policy renewals, thereby freeing up valuable time for your team. Finally, chatbots can help send critical relevant notifications in real-time.

•E-commerce: The E-commerce sector is leveraging the benefits of chatbot technology – from sending information about offers and deals to re-engaging customers with abandoned carts by offering instant assistance. Additionally, chatbots can offer 24/7 support and address basic questions such as checking for stock availability, guiding customers to complete the purchase, tracking order status, among other things.

More importantly, chatbots have proved their worth for Ecommerce in the area of consumer research. By collecting information on repetitive queries, common trends, and user preferences, your brand can align your customer’s expectations with your marketing strategy and turn customers into self-confessed brand advocates.

•Healthcare: Similar to Insurance, the Healthcare sector, too, is reaping the benefits of chatbot technology. In the healthcare industry, providing timely and accurate information on critical medical procedures, medication, dosage, triage and treatment, health insurance plans, etc. is extremely important. In times of a global pandemic, offering helpful advice and useful tips can ramp up the customer experience by leaps and bounds.

Plus, chatbots can help book appointments for the patients and assist physicians in retrieving data. One of the most interesting features that have emerged is the wide-spread use of health assistants who can improve the customer’s experience by offering simple treatments, sending reminders to take medicine, and monitoring the user’s overall health.

Closing Thoughts

Businesses and customers are warming up to the use of advanced chatbots to deliver powerful and personalized experiences. A heady cocktail of unparalleled speed, high-quality support, and the use of a conversational interface makes chatbots one of the most sought-after emerging technologies today. What do you think?