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Customer Service: What Can Bots Actually Do?
Carah Campbell

If you have customers, you have to care for them, otherwise, you won’t have any customers. This is well known, which is why good customer service is such an important tool for your organization. However, how many companies are actually able to provide high quality customer service?

Customer Service Is Something Most Companies Think They Do Well. Do They?

Their customers do not tend to agree.

Now is the time to start listening to what your customers want, which includes providing the information they need, when they need it, in the forum they prefer to communicate in. That forum happens to be messaging applications and somewhat surprisingly, Boomers like to message nearly as much as Gen Xers and Millennials do.

80% of companies say they deliver “superior” customer service
8% of people think these same companies deliver “superior” customer service

Source: Lee Resources

people who'd prefer to messege than call or emai
Source: Messenger

At this point many of us, if not most of us, have seen this wonderful graph showcasing the potential cost savings that Bots can provide for organizations:

Potential cost savings
BI Intelligence, November 2016

While this is an incredibly impressive graph, it should not be interpreted that simply deploying a forward-facing bot, complete with AI and NLP, will automatically result in 30% cost savings across your organization. Bots are an amazing tool and are continuing to improve, but a great deal of effort has to be invested in them to ensure they do their jobs properly and are marketed properly. Anyone may be able to build a simple chatbot with a couple of paths, but not everyone is able to build, distribute, and maintain a successful  Enterprise-level Bot with API integrations.

How can Bots actually help you decrease your customer service costs while increasing the quality of customer service you provide?

Say Goodbye to Tier One Inquiries

Not entirely of course, but Bots can certainly help your customers who prefer to message over talk on the phone. Bots can also help your customers who still want to call in, and it’s amazing how good AI and NLP are getting.

There are many ways that Bots can take care of these simple inquiries. They can…

provide directions to your stores;

schedule appointments with your staff;

help your customers select products and get detailed product descriptions;

provide static information to customer inquiries;

issue support tickets and so much more.

Bots can take care of tier one inquiries and give your agents more time to tend to more complex matters. Which brings me to my next point…

Increase Agent Productivity

We have all experienced the frustration of calling a customer support line and explaining our situation to an agent, only to be transferred to another agent and having to explain our situation again. With Bots, this can be avoided.

When your customer contacts you via messaging and encounters your bot, they can still access an agent if they need to. When a customer is passed from a bot to an agent the agent receives information about the customer, including information about them, as well as a summary of important information the customer has told the bot. The agent is able to help the customer based on existing information, and the customer does not have to repeat themselves. The bot to agent and agent to bot transition is seamless and occurs all in the same window, which helps provide a positive customer experience.

Information about the customer
Information about the customer

Bots can also help your agents find the information they are looking for so they can provide timely and accurate information to your customers. This provides a better experience for your customer as well as makes your employee’s job less complicated and therefore more productive.

Manage Your Brand Reputation

We try to avoid blunders, but they still happen. As we have seen with various PR blunders as of late, a solid contingency plan is key to salvaging your reputation. Having the tools in place for damage control in case of brand rep emergency is especially important in the digital age.

Bot's reply on the comment
Users commented Bot Summit’s post

Not only are Bots able to respond to your customers 24/7 in messaging platforms, they are also able to pull customers out of the comment section and into private chat windows. You can set up keywords for your Bot to recognize, so when a customer mentions one of these words they are taken directly to chat. This means your customers can be cared for and listened to in a timely fashion at scale.

Customer engagement
Bot replied on a comment

Increase Customer Retention

Customers want timely, accurate information. If you provide your customers with good service, they turn into loyal customers.

It is certainly important to strive to increase your market share. One of the best ways of doing this is to keep your existing customers satisfied while simultaneously looking for new prospects. You have already established a reputation with your customers. If you continue to manage and live up to their expectations, you are very likely to see a return on your investment.

5-20% – Probability of selling to a new prospect
60-70% – Probability of selling to an existing customer

Source: Marketing Metrics

What Are the Barriers to Bot Success

How Do I Get My Customers to Use My Bot?

Luckily Facebook Messenger now has over 1.2 Billion active monthly users. More and more people are using Messenger and other messaging applications as their primary method of communication. These same people expect to interact more with brands via messaging applications by 2020 (Source: Messenger).

Many of your customers may be utilizing Messenger and other messaging applications on a regular basis, but how do you get them to interact with your bot? Working with your bot development team and marketing team you can develop a plan to promote (and set expectations for) your bot amongst your customers to get them to engage with and truly enjoy your Bot.

How Can I Measure the Success of My Bot?

There are analytics available to provide insight to the success of your bot, but you will also want your Bot developer to go over a comprehensive view of your users and their experiences similar to how you would review your website with Google Analytics.

You can get a certain level of insight from Messenger’s built-in analytics, but it isn’t very detailed.  Tools such as BotAnalytics, Dashbot and Yandex Metrika provide more detailed information in terms of retention rate, top performing users, most common user inputs and of course sentiment analysis which is not provided by Facebook. This is why we provide an extended range of parameters for the bots we build. Ensure you talk about bot analytics with your bot developer.

In Conclusion

Bots have the ability to improve the quality of service you provide your customers, while also decreasing your cost of customer service. Usually this would sound gimmicky, but when it comes to Bots it is true. Bots can help take your business to the next level, so long as they are done properly.

If you weren’t thinking about chatbots for your organization before, you should be now. 110000 bots on Messenger can’t be wrong.

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Also published on Medium.

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