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AI-Powered First Touch: The Secret Weapon for Small Businesses

Why using AI for the first customer interaction can help small businesses save on operational costs and increase revenue

In customer service, “first touch” is the first interaction between a customer and a company. This interaction can take place through a variety of channels, be it phone, email, chat, or social media. 

The first touch is a critical moment in the customer journey. It is an opportunity for the company to make a good first impression and set the tone for the rest of the customer relationship. A positive first touch can increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and referrals.

There are a number of things that companies can do to ensure a positive first-touch experience for customers, such as:

Being responsive
Customers expect to receive a response to their inquiries quickly, regardless of the channel they use. Many expect an instant response, no matter the time of day.

Being helpful and knowledgeable
Customers should feel confident that the company’s representatives can help them with their needs and provide accurate information.

Being polite and respectful
Customers should be treated with respect and courtesy.

Companies have historically spent a lot of time, energy, and money investing in human-led first-touch experiences. As the labor market tightens and customer expectations increase, offering a consistent experience has become increasingly difficult, especially for small businesses. 

Many large companies looking to lower operating costs and increase customer satisfaction have shifted their focus to technology-supported, AI-powered first-touch interactions.

This type of customer support uses artificial intelligence to automate tasks and interactions with customers. AI chatbots are the most common form of AI-powered customer support, but other technologies such as intelligent search, virtual assistants, and voice assistants can also be used.

Sephora uses AI chatbots to answer customer questions about products, makeup tips, and store locations. Domino’s uses AI chat and voice bots to take orders and track deliveries. Bank of America uses AI chatbots to help customers manage accounts and troubleshoot.

While these AI-powered customer experiences are not a replacement for human customer support, they’re an always-on safety net that helps customers quickly get what they need and can offer a path to human-powered customer support when necessary.

These technology-powered offerings have expanded because they help customers and save businesses money. Lower operating costs and higher customer satisfaction and conversion always add up to improved revenue.

That’s true whether you’re a global corporation or a small local business. 

While historically the upfront investment and ongoing support needs have made AI-powered options inaccessible for many small businesses, that’s no longer the case. 

With industry-specific models and FAQs, a five-minute setup, and no-code implementation, XAPP AI lets SMBs easily launch AI-powered first-touch experiences. 

Knowing that many small businesses are struggling as we near the end of the year, we are proud to offer AI-powered first-touch chatbots free for small businesses.

Contact us to discuss how we can help any size business launch AI-powered search and chat solutions that answer customers’ questions, build trust and capture leads.

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