Nowadays, it’s normal for us to interact with technology in order to purchase clothing, choose a new restaurant, pay our car insurance or to communicate our dissatisfaction directly with a brand. Social networks have changed customer engagement and customer service, and we are now accustomed to communicate and conduct business anytime and from any device. Because of this, more and more companies lean on technologies to improve the relationship with and the experience of customers. Personalized services, tailored offers and timely suggestions based on customer preferences are just a few ways that companies are using technology.
The key to providing excellent customer support through technology is a clear understanding of the customer’s request and accurate access to the information they need. We’re talking about advanced technologies powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning that can actually understand, manage the interaction with the customer and provide relevant answers in return. We’re talking about chatbots.
What is a chatbot?
Traditional customer service no longer meets the requirements of companies, which need cheaper, personalized and powerful tools to improve the relationship with their customers. Chatbots are applications that communicate and perform tasks such as answering questions, directing customers to the information they need, or guiding them through an operation or task By helping humans and machines communicate, the main function of a chatbot is to streamline the interactions between people and services.
Thanks to the application of AI technology and machine learning, chatbot services are continuing to evolve to be able to hold ever more natural conversations. This feature allows companies to introduce chatbots that are able to answer inquiries and provide sales support for complex products and services.
What are the benefits of using chatbot services?
According to Gartner, by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationships with the enterprise without interacting with a human, and virtual agents will participate in a majority of commercial interactions between people and businesses. Most companies are already on board with chatbot services and are using them to engage customers through interactive self-service and innovative relationship-building programs. Financial institutions, for example, have introduced bots to chat with consumers and offer financial products/services that match their needs.
Chatbots meet the needs of both companies and customers through their ability to understand everyday language. From the company’s point of view, chatbots improve operational efficiency by automating recurring activities that do not require specific skills or specialized knowledge, reducing the costs of providing customer service. Customers like chatbots because they can recieve information immediately and without having to initiate a phone call or an email to get what they need. As users increasingly turn to devices such as Siri, their expectations for being able to interact directly with technology and be understood will also only increase.