A customer service chatbot is a bot that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language understanding to mimic human interactions to answer customer questions and perform routine tasks.
Firstly, by deploying a customer service chatbot, companies can significantly reduce their operational efficiency by automating low-value manual tasks that were performed by live agents.
Secondly, letting virtual chatbot assistants handle time tasks reduced overhead costs and enables and organization to provide customer service faster and during out-of-office hours.
Types of Customer Service Chatbots
As chatbots evolved throughout the years, they can be split into different categories, depending on their purpose and industry.
Some of the most common customer service chatbots are:
Scripted or quick reply chatbots – these are the type of bots that work based on a predefined set of questions or selecting a topic from a menu-based bot that leads to answering users’ questions easily.
Keyword recognition-based chatbots – these are a bit more complex as they attempt to “listen” to what the user types and respond using the keywords used. They combine customizable keywords and artificial intelligence to respond appropriately.
Hybrid chatbots – this type of chatbot combines elements from the menu-based and keyword recognition-based bots.
Voice-enabled chatbots – a new type of chatbot that uses spoken dialogue from users as input to give answers or offer help. Two examples of technologies using voice-enabled chatbots are Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
Pros and Cons with Chatbot Types
Increasing Customer Engagement Through Chatbots
Use customer service chatbots to increase customer satisfaction. Chatbots give immediate one-on-one responses. They are normally triggered by customers, therefore having one in place is imperative.
By using personalization techniques, chatbots can get into deep conversations with some customers. Also, building your chatbot so they use the customer’s name and accessing historical information and details will create a more meaningful connection with the bot.
Super easy to integrate and with a flexible infrastructure, chatbots can be added to your omnichannel strategy. Brands can then use chatbots as extensions of other channels to continue a conversation or complete a transaction.
Customer service chatbots can be programmed to say whatever you want, so it’s in your power to enrich user experiences by adding interactive options to your bots.
Steps to Create a Customer Service Chatbot
Step 1: Start with a knowledge base
To start, creating a knowledge base or use an existing FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). It’s as simple as identifying the simplest and most commonly asked questions. You can then start writing down concise answers to them.
Since chatbots are used by people who want to self-serve, it’s important to provide a basic support chatbot first. This way, you are very likely to increase your customer satisfaction.
For example, if you are a retailer, some of these questions might be:
1. Is delivery free? 2. How long does an order take to be shipped? 3. How can I pay? 4. What’s your return policy? 5. What are the available sizes?
Step 2: Draw the path of solving the issue
To start, a very helpful tip to create a successful customer service chatbot is by drawing a decision tree. Use a diagram to shape the framework or workflow that you will be using to guide your users. The flow needs to have a logical progression for your customer’s journey.
Meanwhile, it’s very common to ask yourself what type of action the user wants to take and assign a simple yes or no answer. Depending on their responses, you can guide them to making a transaction or getting more information.
Depending on what your script might be and the channel you will be using to deploy the chatbots, it’s important to spread the customer journey path on categories.
Step 3: Write a dialogue script
Also, writing down a dialogue script will help you interact better with your customers or users. Because people tend to ask questions using emotions and complex thoughts, some customer service chatbots might not be able to operate at their best.
That’s why it’s crucial to build answers that are simple, concise, and helpful. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make your customer service chatbot engaging:
Be aware of context. People have a lot of emotions, and they particularly show these when seeking customer support. They might feel frustrated, anxious, curious, excited, so keeping a professional and consistent tone of voice is key.
Bring empathy into the game. Although we advise you to keep a neutral and professional voice when interacting with customers, you also need to use words that show empathy. Understanding customer frustration and responding in a positive and kind matter will make your customer feel heard.
Use rich content. Depending on the script and particular set of questions your customers might have, we advise you to include rich media content. For example GIFs or emojis. This encourages users to loosen up and even add a funnier tone to the customer conversations.
Be concise. No one wants to spend more time than they have to when interacting with a customer service chatbot. Most likely, your customers contacted you to get an instant answer or quick resolution to their conflict. So, make your responses short and sweet.
Step 4: Build and launch the bot
Depending on where you want to launch your customer service chatbot, the key is to keep it simple at the beginning and grow your knowledge base.
Behind the scenes, your workflows will become more complex, while your front-end customer interface will feel easier to interact with.
Get started by building your workflows and include as many customer service reps in the process.
Testing, testing, and again testing your chatbot is crucial before deploying it. There will never be a final version of your chatbot, it will grow with your customers’ needs, your business’ objective, and the market’s technology.
VoiceSage Can Help You with Your Customer Service Chatbot Needs
VoiceSage empowers organizations to provide an outstanding customer experience by providing faster customer support on multiple channels. Because responding quickly to customers’ needs shows proactivity and integrity, so make sure you improve your customer interactions.
As a company, we offer a lot of out-of-the-box products, including chatbots delivered on SMS, Rich Media Messaging, WhatsApp, and voice. While we encourage users to build simple and efficient bots, we also offer professional services to companies that want to build more complex solutions.
Nevertheless, our customer service chatbots solutions are easy to build and have achieved:
The same results as 30+ agents and a dialler
Up to 80% business scalability using automation
50% reduction in manual tasks
Here’s an overview of our main chatbot services:
Conversational AI Chatbots
VoiceSage uses an industry leading conversational engine as a fully managed artificial intelligence service with advanced natural language modes to design, build, test, and deploy conversational interfaces in apps.
To clarify, the virtual agents and voice assistant will allow customers to self-serve in a real-time manner, without having to speak with an agent. As a result, it increase your customer retention rates.
If required at any stage that the customer wants to speak to a live agent, this can be done with a click.
Designing conversational solutions for many industries has been our focus in the past few years since more people are willing to self-serve. For instance, by automating manual user tasks with a powerful virtual assistant you create higher efficiency and a seamless customer experience.
Furthermore, while personalization plays such a big role in making customer interactions better, our AI-enabled chatbots can be truly personalized to suit all your needs in up to 71 different languages.
SMS chatbots are a high-engagement channel suitable for sending promotions and sales, but also offer basic customer support. Compared to other channels, SMS bots are easier to change and scale for customer support.
Consequently, we’ve seen text bots widely used in industries like healthcare, schools, childcare, government, public sector, business, and retail.
Due to their instant response and real-time updates, it’s a common favourite for businesses to invest in.
Here are the most common examples to use cases for SMS bots:
Discounts and promotions
Alerts and appointment reminders
WhatsApp for Customer Service Chatbots
With over two million active users worldwide, WhatsApp is ranked as the most used mobile messenger app in the world. That means most of your users are probably using WhatsApp as their preferred channel.
However, VoiceSage can help you deploy a WhatsApp bot that can grow with your business needs. Building the chat on your own can be tricky, so we encourage you to let our specialists worry about building it, so you can get on with your tasks.
See a full breakdown of use cases for WhatsApp and how to get started here.
Live chat has become ubiquitous in the contact centre space. Leveraging the same chatbot across all channels including inbound web traffic is a big win in terms of brand cohesiveness and optimizing the same technology investment in multiple channels.
Furthermore, companies can send the same chatbot personalization and experience through the traditional website. VoiceSage can deploy a web-based version of the chat bot to an existing marketing or promotional website. All of that with just a few lines of code.
Wrapping Up Customer Service Chatbots
In conclusion, customer service chatbots have been around for a few years and most businesses are very happy with the results they are getting.
Not only are they fully customizable and easy to integrate with third-party systems, but they are also cost-effective customer service options. So, acting as an extension to your existing sales, marketing, and customer service teams, bots are powerful allies.
Most importantly, VoiceSage empowers all organizations to deliver a true digital-first omnichannel experience by combining all customer interactions into a single intelligent inbox.
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