Online Innovation September 2nd, 2020
Chatbots have been making a big splash in tech over the last few years. Chatbots simulate human conversations over chat, whether on a website, a messaging app, or a virtual assistant with the help of a live chat tool. Businesses across industries adopted chatbots to improve their productivity, simplify customer interactions, and even bring in leads for their business. A Gartner report stated that 25% of customer service interactions would be through chatbots in 2020. And then COVID-19 happened.
As the Coronavirus shook the world’s economy, businesses scrambled in March and April 2020 to shift to remote work. Small businesses were struggling to keep up with selling online, and for many, the digital transformation had to happen overnight. Businesses that were communicating with customers on a face-to-face basis had to find a new medium to interact. Many businesses in this situation have relied on chatbots.
Businesses, both small and enterprise use chatbots to have personalized conversations with prospects and customers. Chatbots also enable businesses to automate their repetitive queries so that they can spend more time taking care of pressing issues. With the pandemic’s impact in full swing, businesses have grappled with their new reality, but chatbots have been the helping hand in managing customer interactions.
If you are a part of a business that spends a substantial amount of time replying to repetitive emails or chats, you should consider chatbots. Even though a chatbots’ primary function is to automate customer communications, it offers several other useful features that can help you and your teammates maintain efficiency in this new normal and also bring good profits for your business. Integrating and setting up chatbots is primarily low effort and requires zero technical expertise. So no matter the size of your business, you can get started with them right away.
Here are five trends we have seen in 2020 that could help you implement chatbots successfully.
Payment portals have long been a bottleneck in ensuring that customers go through with the purchase. This is because buyers are navigated through several pages before they complete the purchase. When buyers are taken through many pages, the bounce rates increase, leading to cart abandonment. 23% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order in the last year solely due to a “too long/complicated checkout process.”
With payments integrated into chatbots. Your buyers will be able to initiate and complete their purchasing process without leaving the page. The simple and straightforward method will reduce cart abandonment. By keeping the buyer on one page throughout the process, they are more likely to make the purchase.
Orientation days are stressful for college students and administrators. Many universities are adopting chatbots to help students settle into college. Be it from application announcements to assisting students in getting to class on their first day, and chatbots give a hand to administrators. Students are the most frequent users of chat messengers. There’s no better form to present information to students.
For administrators for large universities, this can be a blessing, because they usually work as small teams, and manage a large number of students. The chatbot handles all the incoming queries that are repetitive and routine from students. So the workload of the student services team is dramatically reduced. In the COVID-era, universities are working hard to minimize the spread of the virus in the new and upcoming academic year. Using chatbots can ensure communications relayed to every student on time.
In the healthcare industry, the very first steps of patient care start with scheduling visits, prominently taken up by a phone attendant in clinics and hospitals. There’s usually a lot of back and forth to make the appointment, followed by calls to remind the patient to show up for their consultation. But now that hospitals are serving COVID patients, the regular out-patient care has minimized. This has led to hospital phone lines being backed up with anxious patients. These conversations can be routed to live-chat and bots while hospital staff continues to serve patients at scale and ease the load on your team. When the patient visits the website of their healthcare provider, the chatbot will initiate a conversation and ask a set of questions that makes an initial diagnosis of the patients. Based on the patient’s diagnosis. Hospitals can decide whether the patient should come in for a check-up or get assessed by a doctor on video chat.
The chatbot integrates with your calendar and helps set up appointments.
Support processes can be long drawn and detailed. It will require agents to take the customer through complicated procedures. In order to ease this process, businesses are jumping at the chance to use chatbots to help support agents using live chat software. The bot helps the support agent navigate the issue until the customer arrives at the solution. Agent assist chatbots have become crucial to providing frictionless customer service. As bots help more agents, there is a minimized risk of error, leading to happier customers. This process streamlines the communication between the agent and the customer. So, for commonly recurring problems, the agent will be able to solve for the customer without having to type out detailed answers.
Pre and post-sale engagement have become critical to customer advocacy. Now, more than ever, customers are engaging with brands and sharing their experiences. But to maintain a high-touch relationship with customers requires a lot of proactive messaging. Teams are always working on new ways to connect with customers, leading to engagement through chatbots. Chatbots can be integrated with messenger apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to reach out to customers without needing them to visit your website. Businesses are using this as a way to share product updates, offers, and other helpful reminders.
The impact of COVID-19 has made businesses realign their core competencies and highlight their priorities. While finding a balance in the new normal, it’s important to keep with customers and ensure there is some semblance of business as usual. Chatbots are game-changing in times like these; they can be the make or break tool that ensures businesses get through these trying times.