Our previous article touched on how having a well implemented chatbot solution can work wonders for Service Desks, reducing pressures and freeing up valuable time for staff. In this article we shift our focus, looking at the impact of chatbots from the customer’s side.
If you’re reading this, the chances are you’ve probably used a chatbot before – in the last few years they’ve gone from a novel, if somewhat limited-in-practical-use tool, to being used in a miscellany of situations; a staple on your favourite websites, and a way to contact the customer services of companies you engage with. As the technology behind them has improved, so has their functionality and features and potential use-cases have widened. There’s often a fear that by using a form of automated communication, you may in some way be taking the ‘humanity’ away from the services you provide. After all, we’ve all felt the frustration of trying to get hold of an actual human on the end of the phone, only to be sent through a seemingly endless automated process that doesn’t provide you with what you need. But does this have to be the case? Or could chatbots actually be an efficient and cost effective solution for meeting customer demands in the world of CX?
A well implemented, intelligent chatbot can be more ‘human’ than you may think. Unlike automated customer service processes of old, an intelligent chatbot learns as it interacts with users. Over time, responses become more fitting, as it learns and adapts to the needs of users. Whereas previously customers may have been forced down a particular process to find the answers to their problems, customers can ask the question ‘straight’, leaving the searching and sorting to the technology. What’s more, chatbots are quick. According to a study by SharpenCX, Americans spend a collective 900 Million hours on hold waiting to speak to Customer Services each year. Of course, the alternative is to find the answer yourself, searching endlessly through user guides, or just through trial and error. But with a chatbot, responses are instant, intelligent and tailored to each question. Despite interacting with nothing more than AI, users receive an immediate response, leaving them feel reassured and listened to, rather than left in the lurch. What’s more, if a problem is still unresolved after interacting with a chatbot, Service Desk staff can be alerted to an outstanding issue and can easily establish person-to-person contact.
So, it’s been established that chatbots can hold their own against other traditional methods of customer service. But what sets chatbots apart, you may well ask? Flexibility. In the globally connected, never sleeping economy we work within, having customer services that people can access 8 hours a day between the hours of 9-5 is not enough for most businesses. With a chatbot, users can get the answers and support they need, whatever time of day, throughout the week. What’s more, with a well implemented chatbot, customers can access support from wherever they are – on mobile, or from a computer, from any part of the world with an internet connection. For Service Desks, this makes it easier to support users remotely, and enables businesses to become more agile and flexible in their approach to work. Any fears about this newfound flexibility coming at a cost to reliability and consistency are allayed, too. Support users receive from chatbots is exactly the same wherever they are, from whatever channel they access it on. This strengthens the credibility of the services provided, creating a more united and consistent approach to the support provided to customers.
While we’ve touched on the power of chatbots as a communication tool, a channel through which you can contact support, we haven’t really yet spoken about the potential for chatbots to be fully fledged self-service support tools. Well implemented chatbots, combined with clever integrations, can become more than just a method through which to establish contact. They can become comprehensive platforms through which users can log new tickets to their IT Service Desk, access knowledge articles to diagnose issues or get to grips with new software. The benefits of Self-Service (when done well) are plain to see. Users are given the ability to solve their own issues, saving time and bypassing the potential rigmarole of having to contact support. Meanwhile, Service Desks are freed up to manage the more complex situations, creating a more efficient IT System and maximising the expertise of IT specialists. Take the infamous ‘Password Reset’ – where this may have once been a task involving a member of the team on the Service Desk, this can be entirely automated through a chatbot, saving both customer and support staff time.
Of course, the key to any good Service Desk, and to providing excellent Customer Service; is the people behind it. No chatbot or any other form of technology will change that. But what chatbots such as OneBot do, is enhance the abilities of Service Desks, providing a more agile and efficient way in which customers can access support. As the technology behind intelligent chatbots improves, so does the quality of communication, and range of potential applications, providing users with a more choice and flexibility when it comes to support.
Want to see how an easy to use, easy to implement chatbot could work in your organisation? Get a free, no obligation demo of OneBot today.