Scaling and integrating chatbots needn’t be painful – just ask the experts
Chatbots deliver benefits across the entire business, including improvements to customer service that help to stimulate profits while leading to marketing efficiencies. However, partnering with an expert in the field might just save a few headaches along the way.
Chatbots help organizations scale operations without compromising the customer experience.
Change and growth are exciting for any organization but bring with them added workloads that can prove tough, especially for the customer support team.
Technology is on hand to help, though, in the shape of chatbots that can handle a high volume of inbound enquiries and increase the capacity of customer service teams to do more with less. Incorporating chatbots into support operations liberates the team to become more efficient while meeting the expanding scope of customer needs.
Chatbots – computer programs that simulate real, human conversations – help organizations scale operations without compromising the customer experience. Modern chatbots achieve this by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology to understand, process, and respond to customer questions.
They’re flexible in terms of what they can deliver. Often they take the form of “FAQ bots” that answer simple questions to avoid the need for people on the customer service team to provide the same basic responses over and over again. However, on a more advanced level, they are also capable of solving issues with orders, refunds, customer passwords and voucher redemption.
The key point to bear in mind is that the benefits of chatbots are not limited to the customer service team or even customers – they help the entire company.
Cost savings and efficiency
The most obvious benefit of chatbots is the potential savings for an organization. On average, the cost of a live service interaction over phone, email, or webchat is more than $7 for a B2C company, and above $13 for a B2B firm. Businesses that use technology to revamp their customer service can save up to 40% on service costs.
That’s because chatbots reduce the number of incoming calls live agents handle daily, minimizing operating expenses. Juniper Research even predicted that chatbots would save businesses in the banking, retail and healthcare sectors up to $11bn annually by 2023.
But chatbots aren’t simply a replacement for customer support teams. As Rachel Thornton, chief marketing officer at MessageBird – a business that help brands transition to conversational marketing and conversational commerce – explains: “Instead, they assist agents with handling high volume and repetitive customer requests and questions, so your team can spend more time on complex issues and high-value activities that build customer relationships. Live agents are more productive with chatbots simply because they can resolve more customer issues faster.”
For example, Aramex, an international logistics and transportation company, worked with MessageBird to implement chatbots on several messaging apps including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. After the launch, Aramex’s agents could automate recurring customer requests, almost tripling the number of customer conversations across platforms.
This greater element of scale provides a vital opportunity to build better relationships with customers, enabling non-stop customer support, which is especially useful after business hours and for global teams that span multiple time zones.
And Thornton says the advantages go beyond time savings alone: “Chatbots can also use customer data to give more relevant and personalized answers – which significantly contributes to an excellent experience. Bots can automatically reference things like past purchases and open support tickets to automatically provide updates and resolve simple questions.”
Automating conversations across channels
A further benefit of chatbots is their ability to provide cohesive, integrated customer support across channels. That’s important given that more than half of consumers engage with three to five channels during each purchase or customer support request.
As a consequence of customers looking for communication to continue from wherever they stopped on the previous channel, modern customer support can’t be limited to one or only a few communication channels.
“With chatbots, you can bring automation to these channels and create automated messaging experiences on the world’s most popular social media and messaging apps, like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger,” says Thornton.
This was brought to life by MessageBird in activity for Guzman y Gomes Mexican Kitchen, the casual restaurant with more than 150 locations in Australia, Singapore, Japan, and the US.
MessageBird worked with Guzman y Gomes to implement a comprehensive, centralized digital communications strategy, which allowed the business to smoothly integrate all new messaging channels with its existing software.
In addition to taking orders and answering questions by phone, team members could rely on the instant communications tools of Google Business Messages, WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram messaging to better meet increased demand.
This resulted in a 40% sales increase, 50% improved click through rate (CTR), 34% reduction in marketing spend, and 10 times rise in customer-initiated chat conversations. Josh Bell, principal and general manager at Guzman y Gomez, says: “Pre-MessageBird, our communication was slow, clunky, and sporadic. With the implementation of MessageBird, our responsiveness is immediate, seamless, and simple.”
The strength of working with a partner like this is that they provide a sense of scale and headache-free implementation, integrating with any channel and hundreds of third-party tools to execute actions and enable real self-service resolutions.
“Whether connecting a CRM, e-commerce platform, or something important to your business, our solution works with the tools you already use,” says Thornton.
Managing conversations across different channels in one unified place is a powerful proposition for any organization and, as we’ve seen, can boost sales while also allowing for savings in marketing spend.
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