What makes your company or brand stand out to customers is the customer experience (CX) they receive. According to Forbes, customer experience is the benchmark of today’s businesses. 

The question is, how can your brand up your customer experience strategy? 

A chatbot may just be the answer for you.

In 2022, chatbots are everywhere and are becoming increasingly popular with customers.

Let us look at how chatbots are a must-have to improve your brand’s customer experience.  

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What is a Chatbot, and Why Should You Use One in Your Business?

Think about an instance where you went shopping offline. You enter a store and are greeted by a sales associate who also helps you navigate the store. 

Similarly, chatbots serve a similar function online. They do the role of an offline-sales person, help you navigate through a website, and provide support to your queries. 

A chatbot is an AI-powered software used to conduct online chats or conversations. They use text or text-to-speech features in place of a live support agent. Chatbots can also direct you to a live chat agent in case of complex problems. 

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Through the years, chatbots have evolved to develop a human touch. Consumers are more aware now than ever before and prefer personalized human or human-like interactions

Chatbots are more than just software in this modern era. They’ve taken the role of a personal assistant configured to help customers and even personalize interactions with and make recommendations for them. 

Major industries like fashion, banking, healthcare, and entertainment are adopting service chatbots to change the customer experience. Analysis states that about 80 percent of businesses are using chatbots today. 

Here’s how service chatbots are changing customer experience landscapes.

1. 24/7 Customer Support 

Present-day customers want service according to their needs, whenever and wherever. But this seems impossible because live chat or support agents need sleep and rest.

The great news is that your chatbot doesn’t. Chatbots can provide service to your customers outside the usual office hours on the customer’s demand. 

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Chatbots provide round-the-clock service and solve customer-related problems to a certain extent. Even in complex issues where the chatbots cannot help directly, they help identify the problem and flag the ticket to the correct department. 

Chatbots can quickly track the problem resolution in the queue depending on the problem’s urgency. If you raise the issue during office hours, the chatbots could also connect you directly to a live agent for instant service.

Chatbots use historical data to solve everyday tasks like answering bank balance questions like a live representative. Some of the most efficient chatbots can detect human emotions like anger, sadness, and happiness. In the case of an angry or frustrated customer, the bot transfers the call to a human for quick problem resolution and stress relief. 

2. Enhances Interaction in a Customer Journey 

When you break it down simply, the whole point of customer experience is to ensure that every touch point in a customer journey is as seamless as possible. This means removing any friction that can disrupt a user’s journey. 

For instance, during the initial stage of a customer journey, the customer has only just become aware of your business. They scan your website to find out more information about the company. Instead of forcing them to search for FAQs and About Us, your service chatbot can act as the bridge to connect the customer’s curiosity and your business’s knowledge.

When it comes to the evaluation and action stage, understanding the modern customer is also crucial. Gone are the days when the price was the sole deciding factor for purchase. According to a survey by PwC, 43 percent of customers stated that they are willing to pay more for better convenience. 

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3. Ease the Load of Contact Agents 

The present-day customer is smarter and busier than ever. They expect speedy, knowledgeable, and convenient help when they seek support from a business. To add, they also expect friendly human interaction otherwise, they will not think twice before taking their business elsewhere.

This means super high expectations and tight deadlines on the support agent’s end. Expecting a human to perform consistently under such pressure is impossible. This is where your service chatbot comes in to save the day.

With chatbots, the customer can get answers to frequently asked questions instantly. Even better, they no longer have to wait through long telephone calls and wait times to get support for their queries. 

A study in 2019 has shown that about 69 percent of cases were solved from start to finish by a chatbot. This means that efficient chatbots can deal with simple questions and FAQs effectively, increasing agent productivity. 

Overall, with live AI service chatbots the average handle time of a customer query can be reduced, which is an essential metric in customer experience. This means that businesses not only save time but also save money in the long run. 

According to a report by Juniper, adopting chatbots in the banking, retail, and healthcare sectors will save over 2.5 billion customer service hours. 

4. Provides Actionable Feedback

For any business, reviewing customer feedback is crucial. Knowing how a customer feels about your product or service is an integral part of any business. This data will work on areas that need improvement and help you excel at what you’re doing right. 

Every interaction with a customer can be used as a chance to improve customer service. So far, the standard method of collecting feedback is through surveys. However, surveys can be tedious and bumpy for the customer. They must navigate their inbox and recollect their experiences, requiring high cognitive activity.

Using decision tree-backed chatbots can help to track all past interactions with your customers and use this data to customize future interactions. This helps create a personalized customer experience through decision tree software.

This is why service chatbots are changing the CX landscape. Chatbots are a better alternative because feedback and reviews can be collected in real time while the customer is online. The data collected is also more accurate as the experience is still fresh. 

Furthermore, what kind of feedback you want to collect can also be tailor-made to the requirements of your business. 

Let us consider a new product launch by your business. The product has been out in the market for a month and you want to know what your consumers think about it. You can simply trigger a chatbot conversation on your website or app and ask customers to rate their experience. 

Pro tip: Asking open-ended questions at the end of the conversation will help you collect more detailed input about a customer’s experience and work on improving the pain points. 

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Chatbot Limitations and Challenges 

While chatbots are solving many customer experience problems, they have a few limitations that could be improved upon. Let us take a quick look at some of them.

1. A Chatbot Isn’t Human

Although it may be evident that a chatbot is still a machine, after all, we need to remember it. Some conversations and complex queries still require a human agent to understand and solve the problem. This could make the interaction seem ‘robotic’. However, with the fast-changing pace of AI technology, there are more advancements to make chatbot interactions as human-like as possible.

2. Regular Maintenance 

Chatbots need constant revision and optimization to stay up-to-date with relevant information and content. This means regularly updating its knowledge base with new customer queries and information content. 

A superior knowledge management system can easily take care of this issue and ensure a satisfactory customer experience.

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Chatbots are gaining much traction, mainly because businesses strive to digitize as much as possible. Backed up with data and results, chatbots have proven beneficial for improving many business areas. From reducing average problem resolution time to enhancing agent productivity, chatbots could be a suitable business investment for you. 

With the advancement in AI technology, the future of chatbots is looking brighter and stronger than ever.