The old adage “time is money” goes two ways. In our hectic world, today’s consumers feel their time is invaluable. They’re looking for companies who respect that and make life easier for them.

Helping that happen are chatbots, fast becoming a huge player in how companies meet consumer demands for quicker, simpler customer service. Those who are ambivalent about AI handling human concerns can put those worries aside, because a 2017 Pricewaterhouse Cooper study shows that 27% of consumers couldn’t tell if their last interaction with customer service was with a bot or human. More importantly, most don’t care if bots help with easily solvable problems, as long as the problem is solved. Combined with expert human intervention when things get complicated, chatbots have raised the bar on customer service.

Here are five ways chatbots can help you do better.

1. Bots Can Engage Immediately

Chatbots are often seamlessly designed as a pop-up dialogue on a company’s app or website. They hang out on the bottom of a customer’s screen and are an opt-in feature. When a customer logs on, the bot cheerfully asks how they can help. If the customer chooses to reply, a well-designed bot can immediately start narrowing down concerns and helping the consumer via a back-and-forth question-and-answer session.

2. Bots Help Solve Navigation Woes

As we reported in our earlier post about chatbots, “34% of respondents found corporate websites hard to navigate. A further 31% said they couldn’t get answers to simple questions and 28% said basic business details were hard to find.” This means that chatbots popping up immediately can help consumers navigate these sometimes small-but-infuriating issues before frustration kicks in.

Furthermore, over 50% of respondents agree that they love the easy communication, instant replies, and getting fast answers to simple questions.

3. Bots Offer Service Night and Day

That same survey quoted above, by Drift, found that 64% of people said it was chatbots’ 24/7 nature that appealed to them most. Whether it’s a 3am bout of insomnia or an ambitious morning of chores before work, business hours no longer apply when chatbots are there to answer queries. Given that at least a third of queries are easily solved, these can be handled while your team sleeps. For things not simply solved, chatbots can collect contact details and queries to prioritize for when your team gets cracking on the first shift.

4. Bots Reduce Consumer Stress

The trouble with customer service personnel is, well, they’re human too. They have bad days and short fuses, they can misunderstand queries, have accents, or be mumblers. These issues pose problems for everyone from the hearing-impaired through to shy people or career people and busy moms who are in a rush. Plus, phone-in customer service means wait times and music that’s frequently annoying. In fact, one bot-developer conducted a survey with over 2,000 respondents and found that 94% “dread” contacting customer support. Bots, though, take the stress out of reaching out for help, because they’re programmed to simply solve problems and not judge or vent. There’s no phone call, no hold time, no music on a loop, no background noise – there’s just competent help.

5. Bots Personify Your Brand

When designed with your brand in mind, bots can have any personality you like. From fun and punchy to reverent and polite, it’s entirely up to you how your chatbots engage with consumers. Some bots make engagements so entertaining that it’s a joy for consumers to deal with them. That’s probably why, in 2016, 44% of consumers reported preferring service help from chatbots over agents.

But Bots Can’t Do It Alone

With our Bots + Brains services, chatbots are like a receiver catching a football, they make great things happen, but still it takes a team to get things done. When the bots get stumped or they’ve done all they can to resolve a consumer’s issues, our team jumps in to finish the play. With the 24/7 convenience of bots solving problems and generating sales leads for your team, plus the intervention ability of total-pro service experts, your customer experience will be the best it’s ever been.

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