When you think of automation, do you picture a terrifying T-800 asking around for Sarah Connor?
Relax—automation technology isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, it’s transforming business as we know it in all kinds of positive ways.
Take ecommerce, for instance. Over 80% of all online customer interactions are already automated, and that figure is projected to climb to 95% by 2025. And 86% of customers expect digital storefronts to offer self-service options like a chatbot.
The field’s transition toward chatbots only seems natural—as customers do more shopping online, they’re demanding more service there. And much like their shopping experience, they want it to be fast, convenient, and engaging.
And thanks to modern tech, interacting with a chatbot no longer has to feel like an awkward conversation with a robot. The best customer support chatbots are totally redefining what excellent service is.
What is a customer support chatbot?
Before diving into the benefits, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. A customer support chatbot is a tool that uses conversational AI to answer customer questions via a chat widget or another messenger. They are particularly effective at answering common, repetitive questions like where is my order? and how much does this cost?
Customer service chatbots typically pull their answers from a business’s knowledge base. They’re much faster than traditional forms of support (like contacting a service rep via telephone or email) and are more convenient and efficient than other forms of self-service (like an FAQ page). Rather than having to hunt down the answer to their specific query on their own, customers simply ask the bot their question and get an immediate reply.
For any company trying to expand in ecommerce, a chatbot is increasingly becoming a necessity, not some nice-to-have tool. This is because it’s the simplest and most efficient way to scale your customer service without sacrificing quality.
Ready to see how? Read on to learn about 10 transformative benefits that customer support chatbots are bringing to organizations today.
10 Transformative Benefits of Customer Support Chatbots
1. Instant interactions that keep up with customer demand
We’ve discussed how chatbots are faster than live agents, but it bears repeating—customer service chatbots deliver shoppers instant answers.
Customer expectations are higher than ever, and shoppers want immediate responses to their questions. Email, social media, and telephone can’t deliver those times. But chat can. Enhancing customer support with a chatbot is the only way businesses can consistently answer customer queries within seconds.
And it’s not just about instant answers. Chatbots also help customers leave feedback in real-time, letting support teams immediately learn what they’re doing right and what needs improvement. This also allows customers to feel heard, since they don’t need to take any additional action or dedicate any more time to sharing their opinions.
2. Heightened customer satisfaction
Response and resolution times aren’t the only metrics boosted by a customer service bot. Given that customers prefer live chat over any other support channel, it’s no surprise that chat interactions consistently yield the highest CSAT scores.
Yes, chatbots deliver quick, accurate responses, but they do so in an inviting way that increases customer engagement. They don’t have to feel stale. Artificial intelligence today has gotten so good that customers often can’t tell when they’re speaking to a chatbot, and this “humanness” is exactly what keeps shoppers satisfied.
A chatbot’s ability to sound human also delights customers because it lets a brand’s voice shine through. Messages delivered in the right tone resonate with shoppers and work wonders when it comes to amplifying customer loyalty.
3. 24/7 availability
No matter how well your support team functions, keeping human agents on call around the clock is a taxing endeavor that few businesses even attempt. Most companies only offer live support during business hours.
But customers can have questions at any time of day. What happens when your agents clock out? Without the right tools, customers are left high and dry, and your reps start off each day battling a sizable backlog.
A capable chatbot, however, offers 24/7 availability in a snap. While your agents rest, the chatbot is always on, making sure customers get help whenever they need it. By automating simple questions day or night, chatbots cut down on your backlog and give agents breathing room to focus on urgent tasks.
4. Multilingual support
Chatbots can act as the world’s greatest translator. They offer help in multiple languages and allow customers to communicate in whatever languages they want. They can even change languages mid-chat!
Thanks to advances in natural language processing (NLP), today’s leading chatbots come pre-built to understand over 40 languages, ensuring near-global support. Chatbots capable of this level of service are essential to any company looking to expand internationally and cater to a diverse customer base.
5. Omnichannel capabilities
Stop me if this sounds familiar—you call customer service, explain your issue to a live agent, get transferred…and have to explain your issue all over again. Having to repeat yourself is the number one source of frustration in customer service. Unfortunately, customers often don’t know what kind of experience they’re going to get when they call or write to a company. This is because many businesses aren’t equipped to offer omnichannel support.
But omnichannel service is exactly what chatbots enable. Customer service chatbots can ensure a seamless user experience over chat, social media, phone, you name it. How? Chatbots collect any data a customer shares and make sure all members of your support team have access to it. Once a customer says something, it’s recorded—and never has to be asked again. Agents can pick up customer conversations wherever they left off, providing expedited service across all channels.
6. An unmatched personalized experience
Customers want a personalized experience—one that feels like it was crafted just for them. Today’s leading customer support chatbots can deliver this tailor-made experience that your shoppers crave.
By knowing a customer’s basic data (like name, demographic info, location, and past purchases), chatbots can create deeply personalized conversations. Every single shopper receives customized messages crafted just for them. In addition, chatbots can suggest products suited specifically to each customer’s interests, presenting relevant products that they’re more likely to purchase.
7. Augmented agent productivity
Chatbots don’t just enhance the customer experience—the agent experience sees a boost as well. By handling repetitive tasks, chatbots free up customer service representatives to focus on more urgent issues that require their expertise.
Chatbots save teams up to 2 hours of free time per agent each day, making sure agents keep a manageable workload with minimized burnout. An improved agent experience also reduces customer support turnover, helping out businesses as a whole.
8. Unlimited scalability
There aren’t many tools that can grow right alongside your business—chatbots can. Whether ecommerce businesses are experiencing gradual growth, an exponential surge, or seasonal peaks (e.g., the holiday shopping season), chatbots are agile enough to expand whenever your volume of support tickets does—without the need to hire additional agents.
When brands face online growth, they often worry about their ability to handle an increase in incoming requests. Customer support chatbots can simultaneously respond to an infinite number of tickets, making sure your resources never get stretched thin.
9. Support-driven revenue
Chatbots’ transformative power isn’t limited to benefits for customers and agents. Chatbots are a powerful tool ecommerce businesses can deploy to turn their support centers into revenue centers. Features like proactive assistance, buying intent detection, and product recommendations can increase a brand’s online sales by 10% and in-store conversion rates by 15%.
Take proactive care, for instance. Without a chatbot, customer support remains reactive. Agents have to wait for customers to place a phone call, send an email, or start a chat.
The right chatbot can change all of that by detecting when website visitors might need help and proactively start the conversation. Leading chatbots can spot if somebody is stuck on your payment page and reach out to them to close the sale. To optimize the customer experience and secure purchases, a customer service chatbot is vital.
Zowie comes complete with a revenue dashboard that tracks which interactions are converting and how successful your agents are at closing sales. To see the true revenue potential of customer service with Zowie, click here.
10. Organization-wide benefits
Chatbots aren’t just revolutionizing support teams. They’re now powerful enough to produce positive effects that are felt throughout an entire company. Through machine learning, AI-powered chatbots can train themselves and propose additional automations for your team to implement. They pick up on your customers’ most common questions, helping uncover weaknesses or problems you might be unaware of.
By providing alerts of any issues that customers are noticing, chatbots let companies take corrective actions, even ones that don’t solely impact the support team. Chatbots point out where any part of your organization, like your product or sales team, can make improvements too.
Join the customer service revolution
However you measure success in ecommerce, conversational AI can get you there. Whether you’re looking for scalability, higher sales, or a world-class customer experience, customer support chatbots are versatile tools that transform organizations.
Zowie is an AI-powered customer service automation platform built specifically for ecommerce brands.