It is easy to doubt new customer service media. Although we all know that whatever we read on the internet “must” be true, there is a good reason why most of your customers are still calling the call center. They want to make sure that they receive reliable and accurate service.

The Future of Customer Care - Bots your Customers can Trust

It takes only one fault, one mistake to make messaging for customer service less trustworthy, and make your customers avoid using it and even ever calling the center again, especially when automation is part of the game.

Messaging is the future of customer care

We have it all in stats. It took 10 years for the web to reach 1B daily users; it took 3 years for messaging. Now it’s also surpassing social media usage.

 

The Future of Customer Care - Bots your Customers can Trust

(source: iadvize.com)

Customers don’t just prefer interaction with their friends across messaging, but statistics how that it’s going to be tough for businesses that aren’t using messaging yet: 89% of consumers want another customer service option available to them instead of waiting on the phone. 79% are unhappy with the customer service provided to them. And, what’s most important of all, is that at least 78% of people who text wish they could message the business and have a conversation without ever needing to talk on the phone!

There are many reasons why messaging is not yet another highly-exploited channel, but mainly because it poses the best mobile experience available. Web chat, social media and even email all together usually don’t manage to reach more than 10% of the overall customer service volume within a business. At the same time, when messaging is implemented for customer service, it can reach more than 13% of the overall traffic with zero marketing in less than 6 months.

It looks like that this time it’s not just a shift or trend, but a real transformation in customer service – there is a real opportunity to deflect a significant amount of customer service traffic from the traditional hotline to messaging!

The Future of Customer Care - Bots your Customers can Trust

Business without a 24/7 messaging concierge will be like a business without a website.

A recent study suggests that 68% of people find it important that a business should have 24/7 availability via messaging. Another 51% value quick or instant responses.

The Future of Customer Care - Bots your Customers can Trust

Therefore, to allow 24/7 customer service on messaging, you need to be ready not only to serve customers on a channel that is quickly being adopted, but also to take advantage of its unique attributes and be equipped to build powerful relationships with customers at a high scale.  From this perspective, smart bots for customer service are a huge step forward.

Are Bots capable of nurturing real trustworthy relationships at high scale?

Bots for customer service aren’t just “typical” bots. They have to handle a much more sensitive spectrum of issues compared to bots used in other spheres. What are the main differences in this respect?

    1) Customers expect official, reliable and definitive answers

No customer is there writing to your support for “rookie” answers or endless circles of information that doesn’t solve their issues. Customers contact you because they want reliable information and answers.

    2) Customers don’t easily forget or forgive mistakes

If the information provided by the customer support is inaccurate, it can often lead to frustration, negative reviews and even lawsuits and (absolute worst case scenario) financial damages. Bots in customer service have to deal with a huge variety of inquiries and do so without failure.

   3) Customer support is viewed as the face and voice of the company

Any customer support representative is representing the entire company. So, any failure on the behalf of your customer service bot is viewed as the failure of the company altogether.

   4)  Situations are far less structured for customer service bots

Can you imagine the broadness of aspects that bots have to cover? Customers don’t follow ready-made scripts and the successful resolution of any issue usually involves previous information and context on the product, customer history, the type of problem and much more. All of these possess knowledge that is used to handle the inquiry.

The “Trust-Bot” matrix we enhanced based on Ido Lungelson’s idea, Director of Revenue and Operation Viber, at CBC16 in Vienna, can illustrate this point.

 

The Future of Customer Care - Bots your Customers can Trust

A customer service-bot that will be adopted as a main mean of communication when it’s not just a seamless answering machine or basic flows Bot, but actually one that can converse with the customer and understand his real concern.

IVR Bot VS. Smart Bot

More than half of the users encountering bots, assume that the bot won’t be able to understand the customer’s questions. And this is a no-go zone you don’t want your customer service heading into.

Looking at these stats, you’ll understand the reasons:

The Future of Customer Care - Bots your Customers can Trust(source: digitalpulse.pwc.com.au)

Some tend to think that for some questions there is a simple answer and therefore FAQ/IVR Bots can be great! It is true that some questions have a simple answer, but on the other hand, the question is never really a question but a story. The hard part for the agent (and, similarly, the bot) is to understand what the customer’s real intent is. For instance, customers usually wouldn’t just ask “Hey, I want to know my data usage” but they would say: “I enrolled to your new data plan a month ago, it is supposed to be a 5 GB plan and somehow after updating some apps on my phone I suddenly see the Internet is now slower… what happened?”  

An IVR or answering machine Bot won’t be able to asses such inquiries.

So, should you invest in a Bot?

As stated by David Marcus of Facebook, 50+ thousand bots are under development after Facebook released a bot-development platform for Messenger. And this is just on Facebook. Since then, bots have proliferated across other platforms and messaging apps with staggering records.

Businesses understand the demand for 24/7 service and therefore find enormous potential in Bot implementation.

Where Bots can help

It is projected that over 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human by 2020. We think that in reality the number will be more modest but you should invest today in building your 2020 Bot.

To increase customer trust and satisfaction we need to have in place a proper technology that can handle the quick adoption in messaging together with a methodology and education to keep responses accurate and nurture meaningful relations.  

The most important aspects here are the accuracy of natural language understanding (NLU) and the quick, timely handover to the live agent at the first signs of distress, where the human will finally get involved to resolve the issue and work at the pace of the bot.  

Why going with Hybrid Bots is the best approach for customer service

Remember, the purpose of HBE is to cut down on your customer care costs while taking on more customer inquiries, and providing customers with the trustworthy answers they need. Using a Hybrid Bot solution lets you provide an amazing CXP from day one even with minimal automation.

When HBE is done right, it means that the Bot is able to clearly understand what the customer is really asking for, while the agent listens in and can take over without delay if the Bot hasn’t yet been empowered to provide the answer or execute the action. From an ROI standpoint, HBE helps to significantly cut down on the costs for the business, as it needs fewer agents to deal with the same number of queries, and provides a significant improvement in NPS. With our customers we see an increase of 50%-70% in NPS in average.

The Future of Customer Care - Bots your Customers can Trust

Incorporating HBE into your customer service

Armed with all of the statistical data, we at Servicefriend invest heavily in creating an unparalleled hybrid bot experience (HBE).

If your business is looking for a better way for customer care using messaging, consider shifting from answering machine and strict-flow chatbots and taking the HBE approach, using Bots your customers can engage with. Doing so will keep you ahead of the curve in top-notch customer care.