Biz Tips: Chatbots In Customer Service – Everything You Need To Know!

Biz Tips: Chatbots In Customer Service – Everything You Need To Know!

Biz Tip:

Chatbots In Customer Service – Everything You Need To Know!

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed customer service significantly. Outstanding online customer support is more important than ever. Chatbots can make a huge contribution to optimizing it and ensuring a high level of service for your customers.

This article outlines how you can benefit from a chatbot in customer service — during and after COVID times. Furthermore, we’ll share some tips on how to implement your own chatbot.
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Chatbots In Customer Service - Onlim

What’s the real potential of customer service chatbots?

The use of chatbots has been growing steadily over the past few years. A trend that is not expected to change in the coming months. For example, around 53 percent of the customer service employees surveyed in the State of Service Report from Salesforce state that they intend to use a chatbot in customer service over the next 18 months. Companies that already use a chatbot indicate that they can see numerous advantages for themselves and their customers. For example, 84 percent say that task prioritization has improved, and 82 percent have been able to increase the number of resolved requests on the first contact.

From the company’s point of view, a very positive assessment of chatbots can be seen. But what does it look like from the customer’s perspective?

In its “State of the Connected Customers” report, Salesforce surveyed over 8,000 consumers worldwide. The result: More and more consumers say that companies have to adapt to the preferences and communication habits of their customers. 75 percent state that chatbots or voice assistants play a decisive role in this.

The effects of chatbots on customer satisfaction can already be measured today. A study by LivePerson and Forrester Consulting concludes that chatbots increase customer satisfaction. Around 50 percent of the companies surveyed named increased customer satisfaction as the greatest benefit of chatbots.

How to benefit from chatbots in customer service

The above-mentioned studies make one thing clear: Chatbots have numerous advantages for companies. In order to benefit from these advantages, a customer service chatbot can be used in the following three areas:

1. Chatbot for answering FAQs

Answering customer inquiries is the most obvious application for a chatbot in customer service. Especially when it comes to repetitive questions, the chatbot can deliver great results and reduce the workload of customer service. The result: Your customer service team receives fewer customer inquiries, has to perform fewer mundane tasks, and can thus concentrate on handling the more complex issues.

In addition, a chatbot is available around the clock. It gives your customers immediate feedback without having to wait long for a reply.

2. Chatbots for customer acquisition

Another application is the acquisition of new customers. In this area, there are also a variety of recurring tasks that a chatbot can take over. Especially the first contact with potential customers is often a standardized process. As soon as the first contact is established, the chatbot can pass the conversation on to a human coworker in the customer service or marketing/sales department.

3. Chatbot for internal communication

One area that is often overlooked is the support in internal communication. A chatbot can help within the customer service team with simple organizational tasks, such as coordinating meetings or finding information in internal documents.

In summary, it can be said that chatbots offer the following advantages in customer service across different areas:

  • Chatbots can answer customer requests immediately.
  • They are available 24/7.
  • Chatbots give customers additional options to contact your company.
  • Chatbots can take care of repetitive and mundane tasks.
  • This allows your team to better prioritize tasks and focus on more complex tasks.
  • Additionally, a chatbot can simplify the internal organization and access and search for information.

What makes successful chatbots in customer service?

Not all chatbots are the same. In order for your chatbot to perform the above-mentioned tasks in a satisfying way, there are a number of points you should keep in mind. First, it is important to understand that there are two different types of chatbots: rule-based chatbots and AI-based chatbots.

With rule-based chatbots, all possible questions and answers are defined in advance. It is decided on the basis of keywords, which answer is shown to the user. For example, if the user’s question contains the word “opening hours”, the bot will display a list with the opening hours on the different days of the week. If a question is not defined, the chatbot cannot answer it. Therefore, this chatbot type quickly reaches its limits.
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AI-based chatbots, on the other hand, are better suited for complex applications. Here’s a summary of some of the most important things for you to consider before implementing an AI-based chatbot.

1. Build an internal knowledge base

In order for your customer service chatbot to answer customer queries as independently and comprehensively as possible, you need a knowledge base, or even better, a knowledge graph.

After all, there is a big difference between having data only as facts in the form of texts, images or PDFs and having it in the form of knowledge. Data that has already been processed into knowledge put the information into context and gives it meaning. This enables you to provide concrete answers and solve your customers’ problems.

The consolidation of data and its preparation in the form of a knowledge graph serves as the basis for the chatbot to understand and answer questions in natural language. It really forms the basis for a chatbot to function and provide real value for the user.

2. Develop a chatbot strategy

Before you start the actual development of your chatbot, you first have to analyze your current setup.

It is important that you consider beforehand what the purpose of your chatbot should be. For example, should your chatbot give product recommendations or do you rather need a bot that provides users information about your hotel and surrounding tourist attractions? Make a list of possible use cases that answers the following questions:

  • Where can the chatbot add real value for users and employees?
  • For which situations should your chatbot be used?
  • Which target group is the chatbot aimed at?
  • On which channels (social media, website, smart speaker) should the chatbot be used?

3. Define the content that your chatbot should cover

After you have identified the most important use cases, you need to determine what content the chatbot should cover. Important: Make sure you go into detail and make a list of all relevant topics. Customer service data can be a helpful source to start with. If you look at which questions are asked frequently, you can discover relevant topics for your chatbot.

Search queries that your potential customers use to find your website can also be a helpful source. In Google Search Console, you can see how many clicks you get for the various search terms.

4. Involve different teams

When it comes to implementing a chatbot, you should involve as many teams in your company as needed — not just your IT department.

Especially your customer service and sales team are important. Both teams are in contact with customers on a daily basis and know exactly what their problems are. It is best to arrange meetings with the teams and listen carefully to what the individual team members can tell you from their experiences.

Testing in your own company is just as important as gathering experience. We recommend testing the chatbot within the company first. This allows you to gain valuable insights about the user experience and areas for improvement of your chatbot.

At the same time, it allows you to slowly prepare your employees for the upcoming changes and a general focus on Conversational AI. If you introduce the chatbot as a new tool step by step and involve your employees, you can develop it together instead of implementing it from above.

5. Utilize early customer feedback

Don’t shy away from going live with your chatbot after you have finished a beta version. This is the only way you can collect real customer feedback and tailor your chatbot to the needs of the users.

With these tips, one of our customers has successfully launched their chatbot. They created a Facebook page for the chatbot, where they launched it and collected initial feedback from employees and some customers. The feedback was implemented and in turn, helped to equip the main chatbot on their website even better for supporting their customer service.

Moreover, the chatbot was not hidden on unimportant subpages but launched directly on the homepage and all relevant pages. This enabled the company to collect valuable feedback as quickly as possible and further improve the chatbot. Today, the bot answers more than 50,000 inquiries per year.

We hope this article provides you with a good overview to help you decide whether you want to implement a customer service chatbot. If you want to learn more about how to implement better chatbots with the help of knowledge graphs, check out this whitepaper.

Knowledge graphs for more knowledge for chatbots and voice assistants onlim

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