Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Guest Blog: The Rise of Chatbots in Customer Experience

This week we feature an article by Irina Kirnos who writes about how chatbots are customer experience tools that are changing the way that companies interact with their customers.

Chatbots are more than just automated FAQ answer generators. These virtual customer experience tools are transforming the way that companies interact with their customers in the contact center environment. When used correctly, chatbots have the power to enhance marketing, sales, customer retention and more.

In the age of customer experience, chatbots could be a powerful new way for businesses to differentiate themselves and capture the attention of their target market. Unfortunately, many companies assume that chatbots are reserved exclusively for basic customer service.

It’s time to discover the real value of the bot.

From Customer Service to Customer Experience

Initially, chatbots were little more than a method deployed to take some of the weight off contact centers and their agents. These automated solutions could answer questions quickly and automate repetitive tasks in the cloud contact center. However, as AI technology becomes more advanced, chatbots are quickly becoming a vital part of the whole customer experience journey.

By responding to customer messages instantly, chatbots can eliminate the frustration that clients feel when they’re left on hold with a contact center IVR system. Additionally, in a world where customers no longer want to wait for support, chatbots provide the option to engage with businesses 24/7.

Although a big part of what makes chatbots valuable is their ability to free up human resources in the business environment, modern solutions can now collect information more effectively from your target audience. Through natural language processing and sentiment analysis, chatbots can personalize the customer journey based on browsing habits, conversation and more, to deliver proactive and engaging customer interactions.

Personalizing the Customer Experience

Imagine searching for a unified communication strategy online and meeting a professional who can make a specific recommendation on the tools and packages that your business needs. There’d be no need to browse through endless search results and filters, and you can even tailor your suggestions to suit your budget and company size. That’s the kind of service that today’s chatbot can offer.

With the power of the cloud contact center behind them, modern chatbots are capable of combing through product listings, making intelligent suggestions, and learning customer requirements. This means that they can recommend products that are useful to your target audience.

The latest chatbots aren’t just there to answer questions; they can organize the often-complicated customer journey into a seamless and customised cycle, allowing brands to engage with their customers in a more impactful way.

Transforming the Buyer Journey

With the support of the latest chatbot technology, brands will be able to offer a more optimised and enhanced customer experience for any client. Support like that pays off in the long-term. Research shows that 49% of consumers would prefer to shop at an eCommerce store that had AI support available – often in the form of a chatbot. Additionally, 34% of consumers said they would spend more money in an environment with chatbot technology.

For many modern brands, chatbots represent the first step in a move to digital agility and transformation. According to McKinsey studies, these agile companies often outperform their competitors and achieve the best bottom lines. Today’s chatbots can enable brands to curate and create the most satisfied and captivated audience.

Irina Kirnos is a Product Marketing Manager at RingCentral in EMEA. With experience in the cloud software and communication industry spanning Silicon Valley, Research Triangle Park and now London, she enjoys working collaboratively with global teams to develop product messaging and positioning, sales enablement and competitive differentiation. 

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.

Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Five Ways To Deliver Customer Amazement In A Modern CX World

 

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