As chatbots have become more sophisticated, consumer attitudes to them have evolved. They appreciate the speed of response and believe that they have the potential to enhance their digital experience. In fact, 65% of consumers feel comfortable with the idea of making a purchase online using customer experience automation. This is a unique opportunity for brands to engage with customers across a number of touchpoints in their lifecycle. However, when it comes to automation, it’s important that you don’t run before you can walk. Here are our 4 reasons why you should start automating your messaging customer experience:
What are the most common reasons for your customers engaging with your brand? This is the first question you need to answer before implementing any automated customer experiences. The key to automating conversations with customers is being able to predict what they want to know. For example, here are the top 5 queries received by retailers:
Firstly, assess the simplicity of the interaction required to resolve the query. Let’s take “where’s my order?” as an example. What information do you require from the customer? Customer name, address and order number. A bot is able to request each piece of information in a conversational flow, pull the latest update about the order from your back-end and send it to the customer. The bot can handle this entire interaction without the need to pass the conversation on to a human agent (although they are able to should the customer require any further information).
The next thing to do is assess the expectations of the user for each request. If someone is complaining that their order is damaged, it’s probably best for a human agent to handle the conversation. A certain degree of emotional intelligence is required to provide sincere service and ensure the issue is resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
In contrast, if a customer is asking where the nearest store is located, they want information fast. This is where bots are worth their weight in gold. The bot can ask the customer for their location and present them with an answer.
In short, start with your most common queries and assess whether they’re suitable for automation. We know a thing or two about messaging and automation, so if you’re not sure where to start, let us know.
In any service conversation, the first few messages are generally used to identify the type of issue the customer is facing, and then to collect the relevant information needed to resolve the issue. Generally, this routing and data collection is incredibly simple to automate and doesn’t need the use of any natural language processing (NLP).
Facebook Messenger, for example, enables brands to send automated welcome messages with simple buttons to help the user navigate to the information they require. This functionality can be used to discover what the customer needs, obtain the relevant information, and then route them to an agent. An IMR (Instant Response Menu) can immediately solve 15-20% of messaging volumes – a huge agent time-saver – while improving routing accuracy, bot containment, and accelerating resolution time for the customer.
We’ve touched on how bots can handle queries and prepare them for human agents, but how do they empower agents to deliver better support? In two ways actually.
Firstly, with bots handling all of the high volume, repetitive queries, human agents are freed to focus on delivering empathetic customer experiences. These are the kind of conversations that help to build long-lasting relationships with customers and drive brand loyalty.
Secondly, human agents can actually be armed with a range of bots that they can trigger when required. For example, if a customer wants to add some luggage to their flight, the agent can enable a bot that will handle the conversation in the most efficient way. The bot also takes care of payment meaning that the whole transaction can be completed without the human agent having to process any personal information.
As part of the research for CX Innovation: A Retailers’ Guide to Messaging and Automation, we found that 65% of consumers would use an automated messaging experience to make a purchase. That’s huge news. Why? Think about how you buy something online. You go on a website, browse the products available and make a purchase. It’s a completely one-way experience.
Now, imagine having a two-way interaction with a brand over messaging channels, powered by automation. You could tell the bot that you’re looking for a suit jacket, it’ll ask what color and size you need to narrow down the options. It may even recommend the pants that go with the jacket. You don’t even have to add the products to a basket, the bot confirms your order and takes payment all within the messaging channel. These kinds of experiences can be used by brands to drive long-term revenue through automation.
When it comes to messaging channels and automation, our approach is unique. Instead of connecting a bot platform and a messaging platform from two different vendors, we have brought everything together under one roof. This enables brands to provide experiences that flow seamlessly between bots and human agents. Customers don’t have to explain themselves all over again when they get passed between the two. We can provide one continuous conversation across the customer journey – increasing brand loyalty and driving revenue.