When talking about channels of communication in between brands and consumers, one of the most omitted channels is text messaging, which makes up the heart and being of chatbots. Without this platform, most brands tend to miss out on very important opportunities for customer engagement and support.
But why text or chatbots for customer service? Because consumers love to chat. Texting means less wasted time, opportunity to multitask, and the freedom to access it anywhere. In one previous posts, we discussed why it is important for businesses to have their presence of messaging channels. Today let us go through the most important reasons for businesses to switch to chatbots for customer service.
Some of the other reasons are as listed below
1. Chatbots are omnichannel
This means it is easy to deploy chatbots exactly where your customers already are. This can include social media channels, your company website, mobile apps and so on. This gives the brand the leverage to be present everywhere and be active for 24*7. The chances of missing our on customer queries or responses come down greatly.
2. Effectiveness and real-time responses
Chatbots are more effective in handling large scale queries as compared to their human counterparts. Also being in touch with consumers via conversational means is more effective than email marketing. A new study by TalkTo shows most people find calling a business to be unproductive since more than 80% of people are put on hold every time they contact a business. With chatbots and text as a channel. Customers remain free from such harassment and enjoy the benefit of real-time responses.
3. Increased customer engagement
The purpose of customer support is to not just solve customer queries. In many cases customer service also encourages and engages with a customer for sales. According to a 2014 Rosetta Consulting study, engaged customers tend to spend more. The statics show that engagement customers are 90 percent more likely to make frequent purchases, spend 300 percent more annually than disengaged customers, are seven times more likely to respond to promotional offers, and are six times more likely to try a new product. In such light, what could be better means to engage with a customer than chatbots.
4. Proactive notifications
Chatbots can provide the consumers with real-time proactive notifications about deals, sales and events since these are what they care about the most. According to a WDS webinar, 50 percent of customers prioritized a notice about sales or discounts and 42 percent prioritized an upcoming event. With chatbots doing the same via text, it is the same as getting an important reminder or update from a friend which makes the gesture much more personal and well received among users
5. Instant responses
The present day customer does not have the time or patience to wait around for responses, to the extent that even social media response times seem to not cut it with them. A study conducted in 2015 by Northridge Group study, states that one-third of consumers who contact brands via social media never get a response. With bots, that never happens because chatbots are all about real-time messages and query responses. This also includes instant feedback as well as survey questions that are usually lost or archived in emails.
6. Ease of self-service
When you combine the aspects of text messaging and self-service the automatic response is Chatbots which makes customers warm up to the concept immediately. Most importantly they help in leveraging a channel that the customers are already very familiar with and it further blends in their desire to experience and discover the different possibilities offered by the bot on their own. It is quite akin to making a friend or getting to know someone through conversations. Self discovery in case of bots are a great tool for engagement. This along with the satisfaction of having a virtual assistant drives customer loyalty like nothing else.
7. Using bots can be more cost effective
Since chatbots are scalable and can cater to countless number of people equally efficiently and at the same time, it becomes a lot more cost effective means as a customer support. Conversely, when it comes to apps. Appbpy.com revealed stats saying app installs costs brands an average of $1.78 on iOS and $2.51 on Android, and retention rates drop to less than 5 percent after three months. Gaining a new customer can cost up to 25x more than retaining one! On the other hand, chatbots can be built with considerably less coding, reduced dev costs and increased rates of speed-to-market making it a win-win situation.
8. The advantage of visual media
Human being are known to be visual creatures. Images are one of the best and clearest ways of interaction and Chatbots are a pro when it comes to incorporating rich media like GIFs and pictures into the conversation. It shows a more humane side to the bots and makes it easier to put the message across via display as opposed to a mere description.
9. Chatbots are very flexible
Texting has become one of the most preferred means of communication since it allows the users to enjoy a sense of freedom of use and flexibility over the more traditional channels. Thus, Chatbots, which use texts as a means of communication has been gaining momentum as a means of customer support because it provides the consumers with a lot of flexibility and control rather than having to be time bound or situation bound when it comes to connecting with a customer service representative.
While it is much too early to have the bots complete replace their human counterparts, it is the start of a new era where bots can co-exist to make everyone’s experience a lot more comfortable. While bots can help to ease the huge traffic flows to the help desk representatives, they can also aid in increasing customer engagement retention and loyalty making it the go-to technology for most businesses.