CHEAP 24/7 AVAILABILITY
What’s the point of live chat if it’s not live?
More and more customers expect companies to accommodate their schedules and deliver 24/7 customer service. This can pose a problem for businesses that don’t want to spend extra money to operate during late-night or low-traffic hours. While some enterprises have turned to cheaper international or freelance live chat teams to solve this problem, others are now investing in Chatbots.
Chatbots cost the same whether they’re available 24/7, three hundred and sixty-five days per year or not. By letting Chatbots handle after-hour queries, companies can provide customers with the support that they need – when they need it – without having to hire additional agents to cover these odd working hours.
ROI IN AGENT HAPPINESS (AND BETTER ALLOCATION OF CORPORATE RESOURCES)
Even the most experienced agents can have their patience tested by having to answer the same question over and over from different customers. Call center work is at its least rewarding when it’s basic and repetitive, and often agents wish they could cut out these queries and focus on assisting customers with complex questions who need their help the most.
Allowing a Chatbot to handle simple, repetitive queries takes this burden off agents, and helps them to develop their skills by only taking on the queries that really test the limits of their knowledge. This leads to a happier, more fulfilling agent experience. Cultivating a quality agent experience is important to contact centers of all sizes: According to CCW Digital’s Winter Executive Report, 33% of companies agree that improving the agent experience is a top priority for 2018.
Fulfilled agents have a lower turnover rate, meaning that companies don’t have to invest as much time and resources in recruiting, hiring, training, and onboarding new agents. These costs can then be used to fund other, more important company endeavors. Happier agents are also more productive, which means that they can better achieve contact center metrics. (Just remember that if you adopt a Chatbot you’ll have to adjust your metrics a bit, to reflect the time that it takes to solve just complex queries). And, happier agents have a better overall workplace morale, which translates into the quality of customer service. As the report says, “Agents, quite simply, are the gateway to a productive, customer-centric experience.”
VALUE IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
When it comes to preferred communication channels, customer and company preferences don’t often align. However, AI makes that possible. Chatbots allow businesses to resolve customers’ issues on digital channels that are convenient for customers and inexpensive for companies. And customers appreciate the self-service nature of Chatbots. With Chatbots, customers don’t have to wait in a queue for an agent to assist them, and they won’t be placed on hold while an agent looks up information. Chatbots give customers frictionless support with less effort and can resolve issues as quickly as customers can type.
Customers can get upset if they don’t feel valued or respected by an agent. They like that Chatbots are objective – free from the judgment and cognitive biases that affect human communications and decision making. For example, sometimes a human agent might give incorrect advice because they’ve encountered a situation that seemed similar to one they had seen recently, when actually if they had looked at the circumstances objectively they might have made different decisions.
Agents might also let emotionality or a bad day get in the way of what they can do for a customer – Chatbots, on the other hand, don’t have that problem. As Joe Gagnon, Chief Customer Officer of Aspect Software writes, “There is a predictable and reliable component of Chatbots. They never tire, do not call in sick, and if designed correctly are consistent and exacting.”
Nearly 50% of consumers already engage in automated conversations with Chatbots. But Chatbots can also help improve the satisfaction of customers who don’t engage directly with them. When bots take care of simple queries, agents become experts in handling more complex queries. They get used to using their problem-solving abilities rather than just churning out scripted responses, which means that they will be more able and willing to give customers with challenging issues quality assistance.
A recent Pelorus research survey found that 74% of contact center managers felt that improved customer service agent technology can decrease error rates and improve the customer experience. A positive customer experience makes way for more loyal customers, and more dollars spent.