With technology advancing at a fast pace, the image of the labor market has changed considerably during the past years. Jobs that were recently done by people are now successfully performed by machines and robots. The manufacturing industry, call centers, data entry, translators are just a few examples of jobs that have been or can be easily automated by artificial intelligence (AI) and robots. These jobs usually imply repetitive tasks or actions that can be easily learned.
Technology represents an alternative that businesses can choose. Comparing it with the idea of having employees, some may find it more profitable. They do not have to invest in special training or pay employee taxes and therefore, this option brings some great benefits from the economic point of view.
When speaking about artificial intelligence and customer support, we refer to bots that can interact with customers and answer their questions related to different products and services. This means that they will deal with their problems and will work on finding proper solutions for their problems.
Working in the customer support department is a job that requires a great understanding of the problem, good knowledge of the product and services (e.g. technical aspects, weak points and disadvantages) and the ability to empathize with customers. When people are calling with a problem, they are looking not only for a solution, but also for someone who can understand them and the fact that the entire situation is very important to them. A bot can handle the first two aspects and it can empathize with people at a certain level. Although we cannot speak about reaching the same level of empathy humans have, it can learn to give particular answers and make people feel it is understanding their request.
In addition, in order for companies to have a customer support bot, they need to purchase it. The most common way of doing it is by paying a monthly subscription. Depending on the features of the bot, the price differs. In this case, it is interesting to compare the costs of having a bot and the costs of having a customer support employee. The monthly subscription for a bot varies from $15 to $500 (most common). On the other hand, a customer support representative from the USA is paid, on average, with $13.20 per hour. Taking into consideration the fact that an employee usually works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, this means that a person can earn approximately $2000/month. As a business owner, you have other employee taxes to pay, which may double the amount of money you pay.
Thus, it can be seen that, from the financial/economic point of view, having a customer support bot can be more advantageous. However, can a bot deliver a great experience by just giving answers to inquiries ? A bot can partially simulate human feelings and manage to do a great job. Thus, by understanding customers and offering them useful information, bots can reach the high level and act as customer support experts.
Some of your customers prefer to email you, others use chat mobile applications and others prefer to stick with Facebook Messenger. The bot can adapt to the needs of each person regarding the communication channel and handle multiple conversations at the same time.
Benefit: The bot is able to provide information about your products and services to several customers at the same time. The multitasking ability of the bot can help you avoid unpleasant situations when angry customers are forced to wait. In this way, people do not have to wait until a customer support representative is available to help them. It can create a pleasant experience for them and can bring great results to you.
Companies that build bots understand that, nowadays, customer support departments may offer support in different languages. According to the 2014 Growing Need For Multilanguage Customer Support report, 86% of the customer interaction centers have said that they have non-English speaking customers.
However, it is rather difficult to find people who speak certain languages. German, Swedish, Dutch and Asian languages are just a few examples that are sought by customer support departments.
Customer support bots are designed to handle questions in different languages. From English, to Spanish and Portuguese, they are able to provide answers without difficulties. Furthermore, some have dictionaries with word meanings and synonyms, can recognize when people use different meanings to express something, regionalisms and jargon. They also detect if people have made a writing or speaking error. Thus, bots manage to understand what people are requesting without asking them to repeat the question.
Benefit: Having a bot that can offer information in different languages can help you, as you do not have to look for people who speak certain languages. You have one ‘team member’ that does the job of at least 2 people.
Bots are created to offer complex answers. From vocal and written answers to related videos, images and links, they aim to provide a wide set of possibilities where people can find the information they need. Moreover, they can address additional related questions which can help people and the bot understand the situation better.
Benefit: The answering options that the bot has enabled it to provide the right information without the need to redirect the person to another customer support representative. According to the Accenture 2013 Global Consumer Pulse Survey, 89% of people feel frustrated because they have to repeat the same question to multiple representatives. In this way, the bot can offer them useful information and a great experience.
Bots manage to collect valuable information about interactions they have with customers. They can show the number of customers they have interacted with, the duration of the calls, how many calls and messages they received during a day, the channels of communication people prefer, how customers rated the answers they received and which topics people asked about the most. Bots can deliver detailed reports that include all these pieces of information.
Benefit: The reports that bots deliver offer you information that can help you understand better the needs of your customers and how you can improve your customer support, products or services. You have valuable insights that can tell you what your weak points are and you can channel your energy to solve them.
Bots function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Providing a full service for your customers will not only help them in unexpected situations, but it will also create a good business image and a great impression for you in the eyes of your customers.
Benefit: You do not have to worry that customers, who may have problems with your product and services, will not have a person to contact during holidays or national days. Bots are available all the time and can help people with their problems.
Customer support bots are a great option for offering a complete customer support service. Their features enable them to deliver high-quality services and create pleasant experiences for your customers.
What is your experience with a customer support bot?