Business owners who aren’t using the latest technologies available to strengthen day-to-day operations are missing out on opportunities to retain their customer base and attract new prospects.
Today, virtual call centers, online chatbots and intuitive dashboards that allow customers to get immediate responses to any issue raised are just a few tools companies can utilize to provide instant answers — and gratification — to their customers.
And that seems to make sense; after all, people aren’t interested or simply don’t have the time to wait on-hold before finally reaching a live support rep for the issue to be rectified. Instead, companies can implement chatbots and virtual messaging systems to better serve their customers.
How exactly should these tech options be implemented, and in which situations are they primed to best serve your customers? Read on for more insights.
Rolling Out a Central Engagement Platform
A central customer engagement platform is a set of business applications and technologies that organizations can implement to provide the highest levels of customer service. Some ways companies can implement these technologies include:
- Introducing chatbots, which maintain a written record of communication between customers and live support agents and whose output can be referenced at any time when the customer reaches out to your company
- Providing timely responses via social media, where an intuitive employee can reply to customer questions and concerns on various platforms
- Setting up online forums and discussion boards on your website, allowing customers to ask questions
- Enabling SMS responses, which allow customers to ask questions and receive responses via text during non-business hours
A number of these and other methodologies can be implemented by companies into their central customer engagement platform. The challenge, however, is for companies to decide which communication tools are best-suited for its customer base across various platforms.
Implementing Chatbots into Your Organization’s Infrastructure
These days, utilizing AI in business can provide a tremendous boon. In fact, chatbots can help tackle customer inquiries and provide detailed responses about products and services at virtually any time. Additionally, chatbots can serve a more proactive company role by reducing the number of repetitive tasks that employees were previously entrusted with performing.
With that being said, however, chatbots must be properly implemented into a company’s infrastructure. Businesses can’t simply rely on chatbots and eliminate live support agents from the mix. Thus, when introducing chatbots into the realm of customer service, they should always complement the work of your support agents.
In particular, they should be implemented in a way which serves as a backup, point of reference or additional guidance to customers’ common inquiries. At the end of the day, customers want to know they’re being heard. And if companies do away with call center agents and simply rely on chatbots, this can inevitably do more harm than good.
Tailoring Content for Chatbots
Even AI tools require some sort of initial — or ongoing — primer about their role and responsibilities. To get the ball rolling at your company, you’ll want to develop some type of chatbot “training” and troubleshooting capabilities; after all, to serve as the quintessential personal assistant, chatbots require direction and guidance to look up customer account information, as well as look for ways to troubleshoot or resolve an issue.
However, companies need to understand there’s a fine balance between providing speedy answers/resolutions and delaying the response or providing misguided information. For this reason, chatbots should serve as a supplemental tool, as opposed to the only means of communications between customers and a business.
Implementing Chatbots Departmentally
Chatbots aren’t simply relied upon for any more for customer service. Instead, they can play a key role in helping to improve sales numbers, provide insights into customer actions, predict movements, or track customer behavioral patterns. When implementing chatbots at your company, they must be properly utilized.
Companies that are simply rolling out chatbots to answer simple, one-off questions aren’t making the most of this technology. While a balance has to be struck, companies must understand the power of chatbots when they’re integrated within the company’s framework.
Are Chatbots Right for Your Company?
You don’t want to ditch your call center and live agents — at least just yet.
Chatbots are exceptionally valuable tools when they complement existing customer service efforts. When used in conjuction with online customer forums, FAQ pages, live chat and social media, they can greatly improve the way in which your company interacts with customers.
Striking the right balance and providing sufficient “training” for chatbots is the starting point for companies looking to engage in new ways and build long-term relationships with their customers.