"The customer is king". This old adage has not changed and is more relevant than ever in the digital age. While shops used to compete for the customer's attention within a limited radius, today the internet offers unlimited access to suppliers worldwide. And even one dissatisfied customer experience can lead them to switch to another company with the click of a mouse.

"Around half of customers say they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience. With more than one bad experience, the number increases rapidly to 80%." - Zendesk Report: Customer Experience Trends 2020

Long waiting times, limited availability or constant repetition: This is all very frustrating for customers. Especially in the case of simple enquiries, understanding quickly fades. Even if the information is not available immediately or if it is passed on from one person in charge to the next.

But what do customers expect and how can we respond?

"I want a quick solution to my problem."

The quick handling of a request is an important aspect of customer service for more than 60% of customers. They expect their problem to be solved immediately and are annoyed if they have to spend a long time on hold.

The challenge is that companies have to process the numerous customer enquiries with limited human resources in the shortest possible time. Therefore, the automated answering of standard queries can be a suitable solution. The bot understands the user input and filters out the customer's intention using the relevant keywords. It then assigns them to a suitable answer and plays it out in the chat within a few seconds. The speed desired by the customers can thus be guaranteed.

"I want to get an answer to my question at all times."

More than 40 % of the customers want a service that is permanently available, as the company's opening hours are not always compatible with their own everyday life. But they also want to be well looked after and expect a competent answer in real time.

It is therefore necessary that automation tools are used in the company to be able to offer customer advice around the clock. A chatbot is permanently in use and can take over the consultation when the employees are off duty.

"I want to communicate with the company on the channel of my choice."

The nature of communication has changed greatly. Especially for the younger generation, communication via messaging services has already become the norm. Every third person therefore wishes that contact can be established flexibly and via the respective preferred contact method. Switching between different channels can be perceived as annoying.

The company should therefore be accessible on several channels to enable customers to contact it flexibly. If a bot is used for this purpose, the data formats must be adapted for each channel. On the one hand, this is a technical challenge and, on the other hand, very time-consuming. With a Channel Connector or a suitable platform such as BOTfriends X, the formats are automatically standardised and formatted. This facilitates the deployment and use enormously.

"I would like to look for a solution myself before approaching a staff member."

76% of customers tend to search for a suitable solution themselves first instead of seeking advice from customer service. Especially in the case of simple and frequently asked questions, it is a good idea to search on one's own. If it is a banal question, they are more inhibited to ask it to a customer service employee. Bots remove this inhibition. With an automated solution, the customers themselves can be active and at the same time the employees can be relieved.

For example, we developed a self-service solution for the energy supply and energy service company Süwag. Within a few entries, the user can communicate his own meter reading or take his electricity and gas contracts with him when he moves. The chatbot "Karl" is well received by the customers and inspires them with its simple and uncomplicated way of use.

Chatbots as supportive customer advisors

Customer expectations of the service are increasing. As a result, companies must adapt the experiences they offer them. New technologies in particular offer new and versatile possibilities for this, transforming pure communication into interaction. The more comfortable customers feel with the service and the experiences, the more likely they are to commit to the company and recommend it to others.

"More and more companies are recognising the value of investing in and prioritising the customer experience." - Zendesk Report: Customer Experience Trends 2020

To strengthen customer loyalty, the customer experience must be improved. A chat or voicebot is ideal for this. It is particularly useful for routine enquiries, because automated processing allows customer enquiries to be handled much more quickly. This relieves the employees and gives them the opportunity to concentrate on the specific problems. With the help of Deep Learning, he can categorise questions, assign them to the appropriate answers and respond in real time. It also recognises when the user would rather speak to a real employee.

 

The quality of the services can be improved efficiently and quickly with a chatbot. By responding directly to the needs of the customers, customer satisfaction increases. But of course the bot cannot completely replace personal consultation - and it should not. Loyalty is not expressed by answering the standard requests, which could be eliminated by the bot. Customers especially appreciate the help with complex problems, which should be personal, authentic and honest.

Therefore, a balanced mix is ideal: a Conversational AI solution combined with authentic and enthusiastic employees.

A chatbot is still missing from your team? And you're ready to take your business to a whole new level and want to tackle your first voice or chatbot project?

In our white paper "No more POC Chatbots" we show you how to avoid the three most common mistakes when implementing a conversational AI project.