If you regularly follow our blogs, you will know that we believe warm, live, human beings are critical to delivering great customer experience. And they are. This doesn't mean to say that there isn't a place somewhere for automation. The trouble is, the automation that we have been subjected to until now hasn't been good. We've all suffered (and still do) the terrible automated voice answering services. We've all received soulless emails sent automatically from a computer which doesn't care or know anything about us. But things are changing. The bot is here and the bot is going to become more and more important in B2B customer experience.
Bots are simply robots. They are software applications that run automated tasks. We know this is a potential recipe for disaster but bear with us for a couple of minutes. We are particularly interested in chatbots. These are virtual assistants that can enter into an online chat with a customer in the same way that a human can through instant messaging. However, the human may not always be available whereas the chatbot is.
Chatbots nowadays are really good. They can perform lots of tasks relevant to B2B customer experiences. They can ask questions about customers’ needs, they can deliver product information on those needs, they can even manage financial transactions. Some bots can sync directly to your sales team's calendars and schedule meetings. They are a great replacement for emails which can be sent too late, ignored or which may not completely answer a question. The bot will enter into a dialogue to ensure that everything gets covered and it does so immediately.
We are not thinking that chatbots completely replace customer service representatives but they could support them. There is a big financial saving to be made here as well as keeping the customer happy. A report by LogMeIn in 2018 looked at the impact of chatbots on the customer journey. It found that customer service agents spend a quarter of their time looking for information on products for the customer. There is no reason why the bot couldn't search for this information and generate a quicker response. It would increase customer satisfaction and most likely increase revenues for the company.
Accenture uses chatbots which prove beneficial for looking after repetitive enquiries and giving staff more time to focus on complex questions. Globe Telecom, a Filipino telecoms company use a chatbot for their 62 million customers and since doing so have seen customer satisfaction scores increase by 22% and employee productivity has more than trebled.
The good news is that chatbots aren't so difficult to create. With little or no technical expertise it is possible to use pre-built templates to deliver the most appropriate responses. There are dozens of chatbots programs around. Hubspot shared a list of the best artificial intelligence chatbots for 2019 and these were Watson Assistant, Bold360, Rulai, LivePerson, Inbenta, Ada and Vergic.
Does all this sound interesting? It does to us. If you are not already on the learning curve, get on it quickly. It could improve your customer experience and save you lots of money.