How to Ensure That Your Customer Service Chatbots Meet Customers’ Expectations: 5 Tips and Considerations

Keeping up with your customers’ demand gets tougher without automations such as customer service chatbots. As your business starts to grow, without the right tools, your customer service can suffer. And you might end up losing your customers in the process.

If you struggle to accommodate their needs, it’s a sign that you have to level up your customer service. You need customer service chatbot software to automate your operations.

What are Customer Service Chatbots?

Customer Service Chatbots are programs that automate conversations and interactions with customers through messaging platforms. You usually encounter them when visiting a business website via a pop-up message that would appear on the bottom of your screen.

Other businesses also use chatbots to man their help desk ticketing systems, customer support channels, and even their social media accounts.

With today’s technology, a chatbot can serve as a stand-in for live agents. It can effectively assist customers in solving issues, answering queries, and recommending relevant products.

It has even come to a point where customers won’t notice they are talking to a chatbot instead of a live customer representative. This allows you to automate your customer service operations and make them more efficient. With that, 78% of businesses are integrating chatbots into their customer service operations.

Why Do You Need Customer Service Chatbots?

Nowadays, automation is critical for business growth. It ensures you can keep up with changing demands as you attract more customers to your business, especially in customer service.

Customers can easily get frustrated and impatient if they have to wait too long for a customer representative to assist them. Fortunately, customer service chatbots can greatly reduce waiting time for your customers and improve the overall customer experience.

You can use it to man your help desk and automatically provide support upon demand. In fact, some of the best helpdesk software already has a chatbot feature to help you save up on time and operation costs.

Chatbots do more than just automate your customer service.

You can also use it to collect and leverage data from your customers. It can extract and store data from its interactions and conversations with customers which you can then turn into valuable insights for your business. This allows you to understand your customers better, learn about their behaviors, and more. Improving your customer service through chatbots can also boost sales. It can help promote your products and services to website visitors and keep customers engaged with your brand. You can use it to become more proactive with your customer service instead of just waiting for your customers to come to you.

 

How to Implement Customer Service Chatbots?

1. Take Advantage of AI

More customer service chatbots use AI and machine learning technology to improve customer interactions. This feature allows the chatbot to learn from past conversations by studying customer behaviors, speech patterns, and reactions.

It processes such information and implements changes in its system so that it can adjust its behavior accordingly. The best perk of using AI-powered chatbots is that they can do all these with minimal human intervention. According to Statista, 57% of businesses have adopted AI-powered and machine learning software solutions to improve their customer service. Compared to rule-based chatbots, AI-powered ones have the capacity to expand their capabilities to accommodate your customers’ demands. So even when conversations stray from their usual programming and pre-defined rules, they can adjust accordingly.

2. Give your customer service chatbot character

Customers may find it uncomfortable when they realize they are talking to a machine instead of a live agent. So it’s best if you add enough personality and character to your bot to make them sound natural and casual.

You can do this by programming your chatbot to speak and behave in certain ways. For example, you can make your chatbot use emojis when interacting with customers. You can also personalize their responses so that they would be different depending on what type of customer they are talking to. For instance, you can make them sound more sympathetic in case of complaints or cheerful when promoting a product.

Some customer service chatbot software allows you to create a definite character for your bot. You can give it a name, an avatar, and a personality. Just remember that your chatbots are usually the first touchpoints that customers would encounter with your brand. Make sure that when creating your chatbot’s character, it would capture your company’s brand and identity.

3. Add extensive protocols

Before you start using your customer service chatbot, it’s important that you set it up first. You do this by inputting different protocols, commands, and responses into its system which it would use in its interactions with customers.

Fortunately, this doesn’t require extensive knowledge in programming and coding. Chatbot software makes it easier to add these protocols to your chatbot. So don’t skimp out when adding responses and commands to your chatbot. Make it as comprehensive and in-depth as you can get. This way, your chatbot can handle even complex cases and questions.

Likewise, don’t forget to update your protocols every now and then. This means adding new responses especially if these are answers to frequently asked questions. You can also update the way your customer service chatbot speaks and behaves so that it can build better rapport with your customers. You can also use data to find out how you can improve customer support and your help desk via your chatbot.

4. Provide human backup

There can be instances where your customers’ concerns are too complex for your chatbot to handle. So when a conversation starts to shift beyond your chatbot’s programming, it’s best if you hand the customer over to a live agent. This way, you can avoid wasting your customer’s time and focus on resolving the issue at hand.

Having human-based support for your chatbot ensures that you can fully accommodate your customers’ needs. Your live agents serve as a backup in case things get hairy between your chatbot and customer.

Some customer service chatbot software can automatically transfer the conversation to your live agent upon the demand of the customer. This can be done via a set of conditions or triggers during the conversation itself. Once these conditions are met, the software will hand the customer over to your support team. It can even route it to agents depending on how many customers they currently have to accommodate or how good they are at solving issues. This automated feature can also help you create more proactive customer service.

5. Integrate with other solutions

A chatbot can be a great source of data for your business. Integrating it with other business solutions allows you to maximize the use of that data for other aspects of your operations. For example, you can integrate your chatbot with your other tools like your help desk software, marketing software, or customer relationship management system.

Integration is one of the best help desk software migration tips that you can do. Through integration, migrating your data from your chatbot’s interactions with customers to your help desk software is a lot more seamless and faster. This also applies to other software as well. So even when you are using multiple tools for your customer service, you’re sure that you are using the same information across all your platforms.

Consider integrating your chatbots with platforms where your customers tend to contact you. For example, you can integrate it with your website or your social media channel. You can also connect your chatbot to your virtual help desk. You can check out which help desk solutions are compatible with chatbot software by comparing help desk tools.

Choosing the right software for your business

There are various customer service chatbot software available in the market. Each one offers different features that could help improve your customer service. But keep in mind that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all software. So when choosing the right chatbot for your business, make sure to find one that would fit your organization.

Choose a software that is compatible with your current customer service system and help desk system. And if you think that your current help desk system is too outdated to support chatbots, you can check out a guide to switching help desks.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and see what chatbots have to offer to your business.

How to take care of your customer from start to finish

Find out more about how you can take care of your customers and become a top industry player by presenting your innovation in a compelling way.

We’ve compiled tips on how to plan the best customer experiences for your organization. There are a lot of different ways to create excellent customer experiences.

But here’s what we’ve found is the best method:

Incorporate ‘conversation-centric’ thinking into your product design

Know the questions that your customer will be asking and answer them. Understand the customer’s needs by focusing on those core needs before thinking about any elements of the experience.

Conduct digital surveys

One of our customers used Amazon Kiva robots to collect customer preferences. Our customers’ service, which develops video conferencing systems, utilized Kiva’s speech recognition technology to create computer-generated responses. These responses were then used to build customized consumer surveys.

Use data analysis and intelligence

Data-driven behavior change should start with intuitive, sustainable features. Support teams evaluate which features are attracting and retaining customers in real time and create customized product features based on customer reactions and take care of your customer.

Cast your net wide

Create lists of target audiences and use the insights to create rich and engaging content. Don’t just focus on your own market — think about other customers, market segments and existing media use.

Use content that encourages conversation

Intentional content facilitates the ‘ask-ask-ask’ exchange. Start early with survey questions. Your team need to understand the intent of the user and continually test interactive content to make it more effective.

Keep it simple

Make it quick and simple for customers to take advantage of your service or product. Be sure that the interaction is straightforward and use easy-to-understand customer journeys to guide you through your customer journey mapping process and take care of your customer.

Set clear objectives

Define clear customer outcomes and measure results. Focus on the needs of the customer and draw from this information.

Make it happen

Promote your service and product and actively encourage the customer’s participation. Set a frequency of contact to enable your team to get to know the customer more and make them feel valued and valued for their ongoing engagement.

Make it that way

Don’t anticipate customer objections. Don’t try to be perfect all the time — learn from your experiences and make adjustments as you go. Also, be mindful of attrition rates — don’t get pushed to focus on this too much.

Invest in ideas

If you use a client facing technology, consider your team’s ideas. Creative projects are a great way to change your attitude to ideas — and maybe add to them.

Build a sustained value proposition

When delivering results you need to persuade your customers why you are worth the price. With the internet, everyone can shout over your deliverables. Spend time to get to know your customers, listen to their needs, and use this to your advantage. Set a service expectation to properly take care of your customer.

Provide a service expectation based on your customer’s relationship with the company — how do you measure this? How do you make sure that you are delivering this consistent experience day in day out?

Look at complex issues

Find out what ‘the way things were’ looks like, especially in complicated scenarios such as demographic data, market segmentation, geography and technology trends. What are the various ways to deliver better business outcomes if you can bring complexity to the table? Then set steps that build the structures for this.

Be innovative

Look to the latest technologies to create better customer experiences.  Undoubtedly, you’ve learned something during your eight years building your platform. So you know the tricks for delighting your customers.

But what about the dirty work? When you talk to your customers about how they think your service should work for them, how do you know which stories and techniques really matter? When you catch customers doing great things, you know that there’s still plenty you can do to empower them to care for your users.

Take a step back and answer these five questions to understand what’s working for your customers:

1. How can my customers use my service to help them achieve their goals?

What are your customers’ top priorities? Know which features they’re using to achieve their goals. Try out Supportbench’s platform to find out which features are particularly useful to your customers. Think about the features you could add.

2. What differentiates my customer from the competition?

We have our customer personas in place, but you still need to examine how your customers behave. Study successful companies and think of the customer as a whole – which features fit most naturally to the culture of your company?

3. What is success like for my customer ?

This is probably the most important question.

Take a step back and think about what success looks like for each member of your company – it might be a goal or objective, or simply making someone’s lives easier on a day to day basis.

4. What is success for me?

Remember to build this question into your plans – make sure you can measure your own success, otherwise you may feel like you aren’t making progress towards your goal.

5. How do I have the power to influence my customers?

This question is about empowering yourself and seeing who you can influence. Think about how can you bring additional value or delight to your customers experience.

Supportbench unifies customer support, success, experience, knowledge management, and account management into one simple platform. Do more, with less, to maximize your retention.

Ready to provide excellent customer support and take care of your customer? Contact us today!

The Importance of Customer Feedback

Try to nail your first one as you get started, then expand your customer experience across the rest of your customer base. Whether it’s using technology to enhance your customer experience or a discussion starter campaign, there is a whole slew of customer feedback to make sure your website is leading the way.

Here are six things you need to keep in mind when creating a delightful customer experience:

1. Customer service should extend beyond the website

The website should be a great starting point for creating a customer experience, but it shouldn’t be the end of it. You should always try to touch customers’ lives beyond the website. Take feedback online, offer multiple choice options in surveys or use a chatbot to speak with customers in more convenient ways.

Additionally, do keep in mind the customer’s journey from customer decision-making through customer service.

Want a better understanding of what people are thinking about your brand? Delve into customer feedback data and try to identify the phrases, feelings, impressions, and conversations your customers have with each other while they’re experiencing your brand.

2. Navigate the Customer Lifecycle Strategically

To create a memorable customer experience and ensure ongoing engagement, think through the customer lifecycle with a long-term view. Understand what your customer wants in the first moment and what they want in the future before you start your conversation.

Then serve them in a way that gives them the best chance to purchase or become a happy customer. Look at past success stories from your customers, determine which issues are most relevant to your business model, and design your customer journey to align with their feedback. For example, for a lending software business, if you wanted to acquire new customers, you would conduct in-depth interviews with potential borrowers, ask them about their financial goals, and measure their financial performance over time.

3. Create a repeatable sequence that sells

While there’s nothing wrong with giving people product ideas on a whim, offer a consistent and clear selling sequence that mimics this essential marketing principle. Not only is this incredibly valuable to your customers, but it also allows your content to generate unique user value, automatically aligning your content with what people find meaningful.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and identify your unique selling point.

4. Market your content when your customers are talking

Everyone loves content, so all you have to do is offer up unique content to people who are thinking about it. The magic is creating relevant content for people at different stages of their customer journey by examining conversations that your brand is already having on social media.

You could compile a wealth of knowledge that you can spin into engaging content for your prospects, and use a simple algorithm to promote it to people waiting for more information.

5. Create a Conversation by Starting Conversations

Be proactive in your customer experience by creating a conversational tone so that you can both get more interaction with your customers and maintain control over your brand’s reputation. If your customers notice that you’re being proactive, they may start using their questions to convey their own thoughts or turn them into delightful content. Mention key topics of interest during a conversation with your customers, encourage questions, and respect their privacy by not sharing any confidential details.

6. Cultivate a customer community

Community members can boost a client’s visibility on social media, create anticipation around events, and even promote your brand to highly influential individuals. Those customer s can also participate in live Q&A sessions, recommend your products and services, and become advocates for your brand.

Over the past year, we’ve worked with our customers to create a number of experiences that are amazing, and that ultimately lead to happy customers. The following are our Customer Success success tips and insights from observing these experiences. Approach the customer in the most impactful way possible

The best customer experiences live up to the name, and then some. They’re emotional. They tackle problems in some creative and innovative ways. Whether it’s a simple thank you or going above and beyond to delight a customer, crafting messages that force a customer to open their eyes and give a soulful response, can lead to something extraordinary. We urge our customers to take this tip to heart, and to approach every customer the same.

When creating customer experiences that deeply delight customers, make them feel they have truly been listened to, and that you’ve understood their needs. Let your problems speak for themselves

The great thing about creating better customer experiences is that customers are happy to share them with others. When creating customer experiences that are easily resonant with customers, they are more likely to share these with their peers – customers beyond your customer base. This means a better customer experience can eventually lead to greater success. Our customers make excellent use of these experiences to increase their growth, including the post-incident customer experience; ensuring that customers are brought back to their desired action following a product transition; and helping to increase repeat customers. Deliver complex, repeatable customer experiences

Customer success managers often struggle to stay on top of their customer’s needs, because they need to try so many new things to drive the greatest impact. This is a natural part of starting a new company – and the importance of having that variety of customer experiences – but, it can still mean that your efforts can fall short.

A good customer success manager will be able to automate a customer’s interactions with your product by implementing and testing many different customer experiences. They should also be able to provide hundreds of new versions of the same customer experience that they’ve tested. For instance, you could use your customer’s complaint feed to provide a whole new, specific customer experience – without any of the work of attempting to generate new problems. Provide support for a longer period

Once customers are happy with your product, it’s important that they stay committed to your product. We must advocate for product adoption from the customer in the form of frequent self-support and training, and they are much more likely to stick with your product as long as you make every effort to help them along the way. It is also important that customers are able to seamlessly transition their support needs between solutions – particularly post-incident support. They should see no need to jump between products or training channels in order to obtain support, and even in the event that they need more support, we aim to educate them using Customer Success to ensure they are able to find the right person for the right support.

Continue to review, and reflect on these customer experiences as they happen

Most of the customer experiences you create with customers will never be perfect. We encourage our customers to take the time to constantly review, and evaluate their customer experiences. Regularly capture and document customer feedback, which should focus on both the process and the outcome. You should always encourage direct conversation with customers, so your Customer Success team can work through their conversations and provide any insights that may add to the customer experience. Once you have the feedback, use it to inform next steps – but make sure to focus on gathering and recognizing the insights that tell you what is working well for your customers, and what isn’t.

Our Customer Success team is designed to play this role, which is an important one.

Supportbench unifies customer support, success, experience, knowledge management, and account management into one simple platform. Do more, with less, to maximize your retention.

Ready to provide excellent customer support and get reliable customer feedback? Contact us today!

Revamp Your Consumer Experience

As our world becomes increasingly digitalized, reshaping consumer experience in almost every sector changing how we interact with them. If you haven’t done it yet, why not evaluate your customer journey, if needed, your business should revamp its consumer experience strategy if you want to stay in the game in 2020. Here are some ideas for your customer experience revamp.

Connect with Your Customers

It used to be that driving out a visit to a store or even a trip to the home office had the best chance of reaching our customers. Now, with the majority of purchases conducted on the internet, the number of retail and business owners who have established customer experience strategies has increased significantly. However, all it takes is one bad experience to sway our buying audience and skew our wallets.

Having a physical store is good but if you don’t sell online, you are missing on great selling opportunities. We’re seeing a huge shift from brick-and-mortar retail in favor of online purchasing. Consumers purchase items from anywhere especially now that purchases are becoming more convenient with smartphones. Incorporating mobile capabilities with your existing products or services will win your organization a loyalty boost from millennial and Generation Z consumers in particular.

If you don’t have to means to create your own website, why not sell your items on Amazon? This move could propel the businesses into bigger monthly sales and will likely bring in more customers who have never heard of you before.

Streamline Your Branding and Make Sure Your Website’s Design is User-friendly

You could spend a lot of time curating funny and educational content however none of them matter if no one can read them on your site. Light text on a light background, a slow-loading website, and ugly images — can put off users from staying on your site and reading your content. There are more than a million websites in the world. They won’t bother with yours if they have an unpleasant browsing experience.

Pick your colors for specific reasons. Colors have a psychological impact and can greatly influence your brand’s image. Yes, you can create a website on your own but ask for a lot of feedback from your friends and relatives on how you can improve your site and your consumer experience. Your website can market for you 24/7. Make sure that it is up to par with the message that your company wants to impart.

Open Your Product for User Reviews (Beta Test)

Most people research product reviews before purchasing a product. So why not allow customers to evaluate your product before purchasing it? Tell them you are available for a free review experience, and invite them to help you test how your new product holds up to the usability tests of their buyers. Ask your customers whether they are satisfied with the overall experience, listen to their feedback and give it extra consideration.

Your company’s customer service culture will matter a lot in determining how valuable that segment becomes, whether it is individually engaged marketing or an ensemble full of brand evangelists, customer service is constantly evolving. As an organization, your culture can serve as a measuring stick to understand how involved you are with customer needs and expectations.

SEO
Images and design are not the only important factors of a website, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is also a vital aspect of a website. You need this if you want Google search engine users to find you. SEO specialists used to hack the system and use tricks to appear on Google’s first page. Google, however, is constantly updating its policies to make sure that people find relevant information that they are actually searching for.

Knowing how SEO works is great but as long as you produce well-written, plagiarism-free content, and use proper categorization and tags, your audience will notice and Google will notice too.

An Omnichannel Customer Engagement Strategy

The average internet user goes online on multiple gadgets in a day. Imagine if someone goes to his laptop, visits your site, adds an item to the cart but for some reason does not complete buying the item but leaves it in the cart.

Later, he remembers and tries to continue the purchase, however, he no longer has his laptop. If he can’t access your site using his smartphone, or maybe he can, but if he visits the cart and can no longer find the item there, he might just abandon the purchase altogether and move on to a different site.
It is very important to provide your customers with a seamless experience across all customer touchpoints.

Understanding your customer’s journey better will provide you with tons of insight on how you can serve them better. If you want to please your customers and meet their demands, you should consider a revamp to your customer experience.
Supportbench unifies customer support, success, experience, knowledge management, and account management into one simple platform. Do more, with less, to maximize your retention.

Ready to provide excellent customer support and a great consumer experience? Contact us today!

12 Tips for Improving Customer Chat Experience

In today’s fast-paced world, customers prefer a good customer chat experience for a faster and more convenient way to interact with businesses for customer service. It is considered superior compared to traditional methods like telephone calls for the following reasons:

The customer chat experience is less personable. Customers can convey their message easily with a less emotional investment in the conversation. They have time to think and they have to build less courage to talk. It is more convenient to type a message rather than interact in real-time with another person.

They can have it in writing. If there’s a matter that needs clarification, there’s a message trail that both parties can refer to later on.

It takes less time. Customers can also resume whatever it is that they were doing while waiting for a reply from the chat representative. They can open multiple windows and do different activities, not wasting too much time waiting for a response.

In our years of dealing with businesses and customer concerns, here are our suggestions on how your website should have this tool on your website.

1. The Contact Us page

Website visitors usually look under Help or Contact Us when they want to find the customer chat experience so it would be helpful to place a “link to chat” on the Contact Us page.
When the link to chat is not clear on the Contact Us page, users see it as an indication that the company does not want their customers to contact them. Even if the Help page contains a lot of information, or if the website has an FAQ page, customers still prefer a chat option when they can’t find an answer specific to what they are experiencing.

2. Don’t Just Rely on Floating Buttons

Some websites offer chat options but only through floating buttons on a corner of their home page. Some customers who are looking for something in particular on a website tend to ignore popping up buttons. Customers appreciate seeing a big Live Chat Now button as it saves them from navigating through pages they feel they don’t need.

3. The Floating Chat Button Should Contrast with the Rest of the Page

We’re not saying that floating buttons on a website are completely useless. Actually, it is a very helpful feature but people tend to ignore them when they are placed somewhere else other than the standard one (bottom right corner of the page) or their visual design does not make them stand out enough relative to the rest of the page.

4. Use Live Chat instead of Ask a Question

Chatbots have been recently used to replace human-assisted chat and because it technically is not “live chat” they can’t label it as such and generally label it as “Ask a question.”

While chatbots and FAQ pages can be helpful tools, some customers prefer to skip them all in all and directly ask their questions to a customer chat representative who will surely have a responsibility to their dilemma.

5. On Product Pages

If you have a site that sells products or services, it would be helpful to have a chat link not just on your contact us page but also on your product us pages. Sometimes, when inspecting products, customers may require clarification regarding features and specifications that might not all be listed in your description. People don’t have to navigate elsewhere if you have a chat link on your product pages.

6. Inform Users of the Usual Response Wait Time or Specify Available Chat Hours

Not all businesses can afford a 24/7 customer care service. Informing customers when they can expect a response is essential so they don’t waste time glued on their screens to get a response when there are no reps available.

There are also times when there are too many inquiries for your chat reps to accommodate, periodic messages that inform users about the state of the agent allows them to have more patience waiting for a response.

Customers also appreciate getting messages like, “Still checking” or “I’m still working on that” if their request takes unusually long to respond to. It lets them know that the agent has not abandoned the chat entirely.

7. A Separate Chat Window

Chat is one of the few exceptions where we advocate opening up a new window or tab for a business’s website navigation. It is easier to user refer back to information (such product details or order numbers) that they may have questions about when they can switch to different tabs or windows. It also makes it easier to explore whatever links the agents will provide

8. Have Precautions for Possible Interruptions

Internet disconnection or other reasons can cause chat interruptions. It would be frustrating to have to wait on queue just to continue a conversation or get a different chat agent who is not aware of their issue. Chat reps should provide a reference number to the customers to avoid this. It could also help if they ask for their phone number or email address in case of a chat session interruption.

9. Send Customers a Transcript of the Session

Customers appreciate having a transcript of their conversation with a chat rep. They could use it as a reference to quote the agents in case there is a dispute or some type of issue.

A transcript also restrains customers from being rude as users can use it as proof to complain about their behavior.

10. A Canned Response Should Not Take Long

As a business, you should know what customers usually ask and your agents should have prepared responses to them. Users are aware when their questions are common and simple and they expect quick responses to those uncomplicated questions. Your reps should have some “copy-paste” answers in their arsenal.

11. Avoid Starting the Conversation with “How Are You”

It is important for chat agents to be polite but efficiency is a matter of importance. Users want to get their issues resolved as quickly as possible so instead of asking “Hello! How are you?” a better starter is “Hello! How can I help you today?”

12. Disclose that You Using a Bot

People tend to have a higher expectation when they are corresponding with a human rather than a bot. They also tend to be more polite when they know that it is an actual human on the other side of the chat window.

Bots require messages to be clear and understandable and customers can better calibrate their language when they have this knowledge. Sometimes they feel they have wasted time with pleasantries when they realize that it is a bot that they were talking to so it is good to be upfront with them when you are using a chatbot.

Supportbench unifies customer support, success, experience, knowledge management, and account management into one simple platform. Do more, with less, to maximize your retention.

Ready to provide excellent customer support and a good customer chat experience? Contact us today!

What is excellent customer service?

Excellent customer service is defined as service that treats customers with a friendly attitude and tries to resolve their problems or question as efficiently as possible. – Reference.com

Continue reading “What is excellent customer service?”