In a fast-paced world dominated by convenience, messaging is the most efficient and preferred way to communicate. Companies know that instant messaging for business helps to engage with customers and drive sales.
Once seen as a fun addition to a website, enterprise chatbots are now getting a well-deserved promotion. They’ve moved into an essential customer service role for companies that want to stay competitive.
Instant messaging for business quickly changed the customer service landscape
Automation in customer service isn’t a new concept. It wasn’t so long ago that companies were trying their best to scale with IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems. But, IVR wasn’t exactly a hit with customers. It made conversations impossibly long and often resulted in frustration. Maybe in part because of IVR, customer service automation got a bad rap.
However, since then, we’ve become more comfortable with technology, and technology has gotten much better. Intelligent speakers like Alexa and Siri have grown enormously, and AI is becoming pervasive.
Live chat set the stage for enterprise chatbots
A staggering 42% of customers preferred live chat compared to just 23% for email.
Customers enjoyed fast responses and came to expect a certain level of immediacy from brands. Live chat is still widely used, but many enterprise businesses are now discovering that chatbots are the missing piece to the puzzle.
Companies are using chatbots to automate parts of the customer service experience. And, doing so in ways that add to the quality of service and reduce demands on customer service teams.
Chatbots make the customer service puzzle whole
By automating parts of the customer service experience, chatbots make instant messaging for business a viable option. Chatbots effectively handle simple inquiries and pass on complex conversations to a live chat agent. This makes it possible for businesses to offer live chat on their websites without growing their customer service teams.
Though they’re usually used to handle FAQs, they have the ability to be built out for more complex problem-solving. Chatbots aren’t just playing a simple game of ping-pong with customer requests anymore. Advances in Artificial Intelligence allows them to understand context and intent, making them a valuable asset for both companies and customers.
Chatbots increase customer satisfaction
Perhaps the most important part of this chatbot revolution is the support of customers.
An incredible 64% of people prefer text messaging versus calling for customer service. Another 44% would rather send a text than stay on hold.
Another recent report on the state of chatbots explored the areas where bots help most. Consumers surveyed reported that they would particularly appreciate the availability of customer service 24 hours a day (64%). They also favored instant responses (55%) and the ability to get answers to simple questions (55%).
In this way, chatbots are rounding out customer service teams with 24-hour service and quick responses to simple questions. Often consumers just want to ask easy questions. They don’t need to chit-chat, they just want a quick answer in return.
By taking on this transactional level of service, chatbots free up human agents for higher-value, more rewarding work. What this does for the organization is invaluable. Chatbots often help automate up to 80% of routine support tickets, and the results are significant:
- Customer support roles become less repetitive
- Less repetitive work leads to happier customer service agents
- Happier customer service agents provide better customer service
- Better customer service drives brand loyalty and preference
- Brand loyalty and preference increases revenue and brand advocates
Enterprise chatbots integrate with messaging apps
Businesses realize that customers want to reach them the same way they reach out to everyone else in their lives. To survive and compete, companies have to offer service on the channels their customers already use.
Using instant messaging for business means:
- Less customer friction
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Opportunity to increase lifetime value
- Competitive differentiation
And of course, all of these advantages impact a company’s bottom line.
A final note for enterprise chatbots
In short, chatbots increase the overall health of a customer service organization. Companies are finding the right balance of chatbots and human agents, and the result is beneficial to all stakeholders.
Instant messaging for business increases both employee and customer satisfaction while reducing operational costs. And, as AI becomes even more pervasive, customers will care less about who (or what) is solving their problems as long as they’re solved efficiently.