How Chatbots Can Be Successful in Customer Service
Are Chatbots for customer care a successful solution? What kind of customer service Chatbot can you offer over WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger? What should you pay attention to when automating your business’s customer service? Chatbots in customer service – support without a waiting line? We’ll touch on the following points in this article.
Processing a large number of customer queries can become an all-devouring resource problem for companies. In the last set of our 6-part mini series “Customer Service and Messenger: WhatsApp and Co. Preferred to Email and Social Media!” we pursue the question, how Chatbots with and without artificial intelligence can revolutionize tomorrow’s communication patterns.
- What is a Chatbot?
- The Advantages of Chatbots in Customer Service
- Different Types of Chatbots
- Chatbots Save Resources
- Are Chatbots accepted in Customer Service?
- Customer Service Chatbots are Gaining Importance
- Chatbots don’t replace personal consultation, but improve it
- Chatbots: perfect for First-Level-Support
- Chatbots in customer service: Minimal Effort, Maximum Success
A chatbot is a piece of software that conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Such programs are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner… Chatbots are typically used in dialog systems for various practical purposes including customer service or information acquisition, says Wikipedia.
The idea of Chatbots has already existed and been worked on for about 50 years. What’s new about Chatbots are the platforms they run on: messaging apps have become the most popular form of communication worldwide and made it practical to actually use Chatbots. Chatbots have been considered one of the most promising digital trends since at least 2016, when Facebook introduced a platform for automized communication at the F8 Conference. A simple Google search delivers almost 14 million results.
Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or the Chinese WeChat have become the most popular apps for billions of users. Messaging apps are increasingly able to offer services that used to be available only on websites and apps… especially because fewer and fewer people want to install new apps all the time. The programs required for this are called messenger bots. Bots help customer communicate with businesses without the limitations of opening hours, call centers where you wait on hold forever, and other customer service barriers.
Chatbots are nothing more than automated dialogues. The advantages of using chat bots or virtual assistants in customer service but also for the entire field of digital communication can be clearly demonstrated:
- … They’re available 24/7: never sick or on vacation
- … They are always learning and improving
- … They can be quick or be patient, depending on the customer’s needs
- … They don’t forget important details! Customers don’t have to enter in their account number every time or reprogram the same settings
- … They’re low maintenance, and don’t have to constantly be updated
❗️Note: As part of the October 2020 updates to the WhatsApp Business API, WhatsApp has announced that companies, as of November 1, must ensure that a WhatsApp bot can hand off customers to a human colleague. This can be done by handover to a human agent in chat, by providing a telephone number or email, by web support or support form. MessengerPeople’s Chatbot Builder allows you to quickly and easily create an efficient chatbot that ensures this handover to a human colleague.
A messenger is a communication channel, so you can classify them according to classical communication patterns: 1:n, 1:1 and n:m communication. Let’s take a look at some use cases based on what they offer the user.
These Chatbots function similarly to computer games from the 90’s. The Bot and the user progress towards a goal through a dialogue of questions and answers. The “game” can end with a personalized video, a job suggestion, or anything that can be determined through user input. This is also the case with the WhatsMe Bot from the German Federal Employment Agency. At the end of the dialogue, the WhatsMe Bot offers the user an assessment that shows which type of profession might suit them.
These Chatbots are created for specific topics, and provide assistance in set ways. For example, recipe Chatbots can offer any number of cooking and baking suggestions. I can ask two German variants, “Lecker” and “Maggi,” about any number of recipes and get mostly suitable responses. These two offer related services in addition to answering questions: Lecker sends daily recipe ideas, and Maggi suggests ordering recipe ingredients on a grocery delivery website.
Currently, the most successful and widely used type of Bot is the Info-Chatbot. These use specific parameters such as time, place, and content preferences to regularly provide information about selected topics. I have a newsbot that sends me news updates twice a day, a weatherbot that sends me the weather in Unterföhring every morning, and from Xing, a chatbot that sends me weekly job opportunities that match my Xing Profile. I can also ask all of these Bots specific questions and get answers immediately.
Tipp: If you want to know how Chatbots can be used in different industries, take a look at our article “Messenger as a Customer Service Solution: Best Practice“.
Using machines to manage work isn’t anything new – it’s simply the concept of industrialization. Chatbots aren’t going to put together cars on a conveyor belt, but they will support and automate communication with customers. This is also not new – most big service hotlines also have automated recordings that sort and answer the most commonly asked questions.
Now we’re in the Messenger era with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Apple’s iMessage, which offers a business tool with the Apple Business Chat. – and this brings us to the time for Chatbots in customer service. As the following graphic shows, 8 out of 10 IT decision makers in Germany believe that Chatbots will positively change customer experience, and more than a third expect to see higher revenue with Chatbots.
8 of 10 CIOs in Germany believe that chatbots positively change customer service perception and one-third hopes for more profit through the use of chatbots!
I always read statistics telling me that people don’t want to work with Chatbots. This is clearly nonsense. The reason for this commonly held belief is that 90% of Germans don’t know what a Chatbot is. They associate the term with “killer robots” or “job stealers.” If you ask more specific questions, like the PIDAS study did, another side of the conversation quickly reveals itself:
More than 88% of Germans can imagine to interact with a chatbot for digital communication.
Chatbots are becoming extremely important for companies. If you take the point of view of IT decision makers, speeding up customer service processes is fundamental in optimizing customer experiences.
Another study found that artificial intelligence and chatbots play an important role in ensuring high quality customer service processes in companies.
Last year, our customers were able to have 45 million of their questions answered by a Chatbot. This saves resources that can certainly be used in better ways, such as improving the capacity to answer more complicated questions and customer demands. However, this doesn’t mean that Chatbots are replacing employees. Instead, they help with routine tasks and collect important data at the beginning of interactions. This actually helps customer service and makes it better!
A simple Chatbot can be used relatively easily in first-level-support to answer simple questions. You can also understand the term Chatbot as “intelligent Auto-Responding.”.For more complex questions, a Chatbot can be used to sort and classify the questions. When the Chatbot has figured out exactly what kind of problem it is, the correct employee can take a look.
BMW München is a great example of Chatbot usage in customer service. Currently, a Chatbot is able to answer about 80% of their customer inquiries. You can learn more in our exclusive Case Study BMW Munich: 60 percent fewer calls with WhatsApp service!
Programming FAQ and customer service Chatbots to offer optimal customer satisfaction isn’t some sort of complicated magic. Your first Chatbot should simply respond to specific questions with specific answers – and note what kind of questions it can’t answer, so that you know which further options still need to be programmed.
With the MessengerPeople Chatbot Builder, you can create your first Chatbot in under 2 hours – we promise!
In conclusion, there’s no need to be scared of trying out a customer service Chatbot. Companies shouldn’t be frightened of trying out these new ideas, and customers shouldn’t be scared of engaging with them. Chatbots will soon be just as normal as ATMS.
This was part 6 of our series „Messaging apps for businesses – Customer service via WhatsApp & Co“. Here are all the posts at a glance:
Part 1: Customer Service and Messenger: WhatsApp and Co. Preferred to Email and Social Media!
Part 2: Why Companies are Using Messaging Apps for Customer Service
Part 3: Tool tip: Modern Customer Service Ticket System – New From MessengerPeople
Part 4: Messenger Customer Service: 7 Tips for Perfect Customer Care
Part 5: Messenger as a Customer Service Solution: Best Practice
Part 6: How Chatbots Can Be Successful in Customer Service
Tip: With our Messenger Communication Platform we offer the first professional and data protection compliant ticket system especially for customer service via WhatsApp Business, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Viber and Telegram. Here you can get a first impression of our product.
You can also register for one of our free webinars. In the webinars, we will guide you live through the product and give you tips on all aspects of content and strategy for your customer service via messaging apps.
By the way: MessengerPeople is like Netflix! You can cancel it monthly!
Have a great idea for customer service via messaging apps and want to talk about it? Message us!