Could Chatbots revolutionise customer service for your business?

Dan Smith - 19.05.2017

So what are Chatbots exactly?

According to the Guardian, a chatbots “are computer programs that mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence. They can transform the way you interact with the internet from a series of self-initiated tasks to a quasi-conversation.”

Chatbots: Customer Service Gold or The Rise of the Daleks?

Businesses are constantly having to weigh up the priorities of providing customers with exceptional service and costs. But new research suggests companies won’t have long to wait before they can enhance customer service and make savings at the same time.

According to Juniper Research, chatbots will see businesses make savings of up to $8bn by 2022 – up from $20m this year – with the banking and healthcare industries expected to see the biggest rewards.

Not only will this technology provide incredible savings but, the research suggests, it will also transform the customer service industry.

Research author of Chatbots: Retail, eCommerce, Banking & Healthcare 2017-2022, Lauren Foye, explained: “Healthcare and banking providers using bots can expect average time savings of just over four minutes per enquiry, equating to average cost savings in the range of $0.50-$0.75 per interaction.”

Current usage rates may be relatively low, with Juniper’s study revealing that under a quarter (22%) of consumers have interacted with a chatbot, but it seems customers are increasingly coming round to the idea.

A new survey by LivePerson found that nearly two fifths (38%) of the 5,000 consumers questioned in the global study rated their overall perception of chatbots as positive, with just 11% reporting a negative view. The remaining 51% had a neutral stance.

Create a positive Chatbot User Experience

If you’re tempted to turn your attention to the potential of chatbots, you should focus on utility rather than identity. Nearly half (48%) of respondents said they preferred a chatbot to solve their issue rather than entertain them with their ‘personality’.

This finding is hardly surprising, given that chatbots are most commonly used for customer support, with over two thirds (67%) saying they had used the tech for this purpose in the last year. Using the technology for productivity was the lowest ranking use, with just 14% using it for this in last 12 months.

The idea of chatbots may be growing on consumers but it seems the majority still prefer human interaction right now. Of those questioned, more than half (56%) said they would rather speak to a real person about their issue rather than a computer program.

We may still be a few years away from realising the full benefits but as artificial intelligence improves, consumers will start to have positive interactions with chatbots making them a more acceptable part of the customer experience journey.

Could chatbots become part of your wider marketing strategy in the future? Talk to the team at Fireworx today to find out…