By Anna Izenman
When’s the last time you had a customer service question? Did you talk to someone in person, or were you able to resolve it entirely online? As someone who has always preferred human interaction, I was surprised to learn just how common the latter solution for customer engagement has become. Even more so after my most recent encounter.
A few weeks back I was working late from home and listening with some apprehension to the rising wind knock my windchimes around violently. My laptop had been unplugged long enough that the battery was concerningly low, but I couldn’t quite be bothered to sneak out from under a warm blanket, and very content cat, to plug it in. Not more than five minutes later a particularly strong gust tore my windchimes from the side of the house (I later found them in pieces buried under a nearby shrub) and plunged my entire neighborhood into darkness.
With my evening of productivity brought to an abrupt and frustrating end, I did what most people of my generation would do – opened Facebook to complain about it. I pulled up the page for my local utilities provider to find the phone number for reporting an outage and was immediately greeted with a messenger window offering assistance.
In less than 30 seconds, in the middle of the night, and without having to actually talk to anyone, I was able to explain my problem and accurately log the time, date and location of the outage. I went to bed (my laptop now dangerously close to battery death) feeling content and impressed at the utility’s customer service performance at such an odd hour. It wasn’t until several hours later when I woke up to find all the downstairs lights back on, that I realized I hadn’t been chatting with a person at all.
ChatBots are becoming increasingly common across numerous industries. They save time and effort by automating customer service. In fact, a study by Gartner predicts that by 2020, over 85 percent of customer interactions will be handled without a human. So what exactly are they?
What is a chatbot and what does it have to do with customer engagement?
A chatbot is an electronic assistant that communicates with its human counterpart through text messages. They are integrated into websites, applications and instant messengers to help entrepreneurs get closer to their customers.
Companies of all sizes, from startups to multinational, are incorporating these digital agents. According to a recent article in Medium, chatbots help to:
Improve customer service.
It is the best option for those who don’t want their customers to:
- Wait for operator’s answer — “Stay on the line, your call is very important to us” is always annoying, isn’t it?
- Search for an answer in the FAQ — as a rule, users don’t have time for scrolling dozens of pages with instructions.
Streamline the shopping process.
It only takes seconds to write what you want to the chatbot and the bot will send the information to the sales department. You don’t …read more
Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider