Benefits of Chatbots in CX
In this article, our focus is on the benefits of Chatbots in CX and how they can help transform your business.
In one of our earlier articles, we spoke about Facebook Messenger as a service channel and introduced chatbots.
Now lets delve a bit deeper into what chatbots can do, and how they can impact your customer experience and reduce cost.
In reality what chatbots can do is limited only by the imagination.
A case can be made that they can have a positive impact in every part of the customer life cycle, but lets focus on customer service and support for now.
There are three key reasons chatbots will take the customer service industry by storm once awareness and understanding increases.
3 Key Benefits of Chatbots in CX
1. An innovative edge
When Apple introduced the iPhone back in 2007, it was a revolutionary device that allowed us to do more than ever before and it set the stage for the company looking forward to the next decade.
Today several companies have smartphones in an increasingly competitive market.
Similarly, chatbots will provide early adopters with a significant advantage in cost reduction, brand engagement and customer experience.
As the chatbot platform develops and understanding increases so will adoption.
However, early adopters will be the ones that reap the highest benefits in the above-mentioned areas.
2. Reduced costs
Of of the key benefits of chatbots in CX is the ability to reduce the costs of handling customer transactions.
- Chatbots can resolve simple repeat queries and deflect contacts reducing actual queries agents handle. Chatbots also increase efficiency due to their speed of response and can educate customers leading them to self-serve more.
- Chatbots also provide further cost options in that there may be an opportunity to streamline contact channels. What does this mean? For example, say you build a chatbot for your contact centre, once up and running would you still need your e-mail channel? Factors such as the strategic goals of the business, customer demographic and volume of e-mail contacts in this example will assist with the final decision. However, if that channel was no longer required, all those e-mail software license costs are now saved.
- Another huge benefit of chatbots is their ability to scale. With phone calls and e-mail, we have a 1 agent to 1 customer assistance ratio. Live chat increased scalability because now we had a 1 agent to 2 or 3 customers assistance ratio. Chatbots take this a step further exponentially because they can speak to many customers at the same time. This allows businesses to really grow their customer base whilst keeping operational costs as low as possible.
3. Customer experience (revenue)
It’s not just cost savings, but revenue generation that offers some exciting opportunities when you install a chatbot.
- One of the biggest positives of chatbots from the customer perspective are their speed of response. This means customers save time (something we all seem to be short of) and can return to their previous or next activities quickly
- The speed of service, always on 24/7 assistance, along with a consistent and personal experience leads to improved customer satisfaction. Add in the multimedia interface along with ease and comfort of conversation, as it is something we are used to and the whole experience becomes positive, enjoyable and seamless.
- These happy customers then tell their friends about their positive experiences, which is a great benefit for the business. In addition, happy customers tend to stay longer, so retention becomes another benefit (along with the revenue these staying customers bring).
Challenges of Chatbots
Challenges? Sure, there are always a few.
The main one, continually educating the customer base about the benefits of chatbots so they are motivated to test them out.
Still, a good plan consisting of information in newsletters, social media posts, messages on the IVR and even agents talking to customers about it for a period of time would go a long way.
Second, at the moment Facebook is releasing enhancements to the platform on an ongoing basis.
Payments are forecast to be available in the next twelve months however are unavailable now.
This means there will still be some deflection to your website or your app from bots for some time.
However, as the capabilities of the platform improve it will only bring more convenience to customers.
Will chatbots reduce headcount?
Now onto the elephant in the room, will chatbots replace customer service agents?
Chatbots are here to augment the customer service function and to take the burden off staff.
Chatbots are actually a benefit to staff, as increased customer satisfaction and improved service levels will improve motivation for the agents themselves.
This will, in turn, reduce employee attrition.
Contact Centres are typically associated with high wait times, now there is an opportunity to improve service levels as Chatbots will handle a percentage of these queries.
If you are already meeting service levels, chatbots can free up agents for out bounding unhappy customers, outbound leaving customers or outbound marketing campaigns.
Alternatively, allow natural attrition to reduce numbers to the desired level then re-invest those savings back into technology, or directly into marketing.
Either way, chatbots simply provide more options to businesses.
Humans will always be required for those complex interactions such as bill disputes, etc.
When these situations arise chatbots will hand over to a live agent for issue resolution.
Summarising, we are messaging more than ever and Facebook Messenger is our number one choice of platform.
And chatbots can be developed on Facebook Messenger which bring several benefits to businesses in the areas of innovation, customer experience and cost reduction.
It’s important to understand the excitement about chatbots is not in what they are capable of doing today but in their future path.
As cited in Chatbot Magazine, Messaging apps are the platforms of the future and bots will be how their users access all sorts of services
Do you think a Chatbot can help your business?
If some of those chatbot functions look appealing to you its time to find a supplier!
- You’ll find a list of chatbot, Virtual Assistant and other automation technology solutions in our Business Directory
- If you’d like to receive a shortlist of recommended suppliers that can meet your requirements learn more about our free CX Connect service.