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AI-powered Chatbots: a Faster Way to Engage - Part 1

Machine learning will soon give rise to true artificial intelligence (AI), and has already become an integral aspect of customer engagement innovation.

Many organizations are exploring AI capabilities into their practices, with the use of AI-powered chatbots for resolving consumer questions becoming the new standard in customer service. Compared to incumbent interactive voice response (IVR) technology, chatbots recognize consumer needs and can recommend information based on non-linear and contextual clues. These smart, savvy conversational agents can help drive down call center volume and increase customer satisfaction, as it is faster for consumers to seek answers and eliminates long waits for call center resolution.

Here are some reasons chatbots might be an amazing solution for your organization:

1. Chatbots speak the language of the new generation

The millennial generation is changing the way information is processed and perceived in the digital world. In fact, millennials consider phone calls somewhat of a last resort. Because phone conversations don't allow people to compose their thoughts and think carefully about questions, phone calls are falling out of favor. In fact, although 75% of adults in the UK own a smartphone, only a quarter use it to actually make calls. Usually, consumers use smartphones to communicate via social media, email, and text messaging.

Though it may seem contradictory, a more hands-off methodology of customer service might be preferable when dealing with a generation who, more often than not, reacts to phone conversations with elevated levels of anxiety.

Enter artificial intelligence. Chatbots can help alleviate that social anxiety and make consumers feel more comfortable reaching out for help - with no phone call necessary. By meeting customers at their comfort level, businesses can improve overall digital engagement.

2. Chatbots offer consumers what they want: speed, convenience, and ease of use

Here are some incredible statistics to consider on consumer engagement in the digital era:

  • Customers don't want to wait. Even for a minute. Companies that utilize chatbots usually have them pop up immediately on the screen, asking customers if they need help right away. 44% of consumers prefer to interact with a chatbot than a human.

  • 61% of baby boomers and 51% of millennials are drawn to chatbots primarily because they offer a quick answer to a question without long waits.

  • Chatbots' 24/7 availability is very appealing to consumers who might work alternate schedules, or simply need an answer to a pressing question immediately.

  • Chatbots make for incredible virtual assistants: they can easily store and recall information from consumers when needed, leading to less hassle and time spent on minute details.

  • Chatbots are becoming the new normal, and consumers have become accustomed to their convenience and ease of use. In fact, it's projected that by 2020, 8 in 10 companies will adopt chatbots for customer service.

3. Chatbots can decrease call center volume and costs

It’s undeniable: staffing call centers with live representatives is expensive. Chatbots can address up to 80% of the Tier 1 support questions that make up call center volume. These questions might be: "When is my next appointment?”, “Where is the closest service location?", and "Can I make a payment?". This translates to a potential 30% in cost savings as a result of automating many of the routine tasks completed by call center agents.

Although customers will always need a human perspective for more complex and high-level questions that are outside of a chatbot's purview, using chatbots for the day-to-day simple questions that customers have will save money. An additional plus? This frees up your live representatives to take fewer low-level calls and spend more quality interaction time offering excellent customer service for more complicated questions.

Finally, make it easy and convenient for consumers to get in touch. Present the link to the chatbot in an intuitive location on your web page, or consider a popup that immediately opens the chatbot for the user. Always display your contact information visibly to consumers who may need to escalate complex questions to a live representative.

Chatbots resolve simple service questions for tech savvy consumers and can be integrated into your business, leading to a smoother, more technologically adapted experience that fits your unique consumer demographics. Learn more about how you can enhance the consumer engagement through technologies such as machine learning, AI, and chatbots. Contact us today to find out how these technologies can revolutionize the way you do business.

#informationanalytics #digital #customerexperience #artificialintelligence

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