Research shows that customers want to use chatbots but are often disappointed by the experience - here’s what they’re looking for.
As people continue to shift into a more digital-first mindset, usage of chatbots in online spaces continues to grow. With 24/7 availability and instantaneous responses, it’s no wonder that there’s a strong consumer desire to use digital self-service tools like chatbots. The businesses who build and implement these tools also benefit from them, with improved operational efficiencies and the ability to scale customer service without growing their team. The benefits for both consumers and businesses rely on the chatbot experience working as expected, which means that it’s vitally important for businesses to understand and meet consumer expectations.
A recent Forrester report found that 69% of customers cite 24/7 support as the top benefit of using chatbots, with things like faster response times and the ability to autonomously solve problems also ranking high.
Businesses should look for chatbot technology with strong uptime and full functionality, regardless of the time of day.
That same Forrester report found that one of the biggest drivers of dissatisfaction was a chatbot’s inability to understand or properly answer a question. This often comes from a menu-driven “chatbot” experience versus a more intelligent chatbot or virtual assistant, which can take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning to better understand and respond to customer inquiries. When a chatbot is able to answer questions it grows confidence in the system and helps build trust. From there, it’s a much easier sell to drive towards conversion – whether that’s submission of customer information or the scheduling of a service or appointment.
Handling everything in the chatbot experience increases the likelihood of conversion by eliminating things that historically lead to high dropoff, like shifts to new pages or prompts to make a phone call to complete the experience.
Another added benefit is that when you enable customers to type their information directly into your system, it lessens the likelihood of communication issues leading to incorrect customer data being input into your CRM (that’s right, you can sync conversational inputs directly into other systems like a CRM or scheduling service!)
Often when we think about conversations with automated responses like chatbots, we think about it as a question and answer forum. What’s interesting is that the research has found that people are using these tools to find solutions to problems, which is a bit more complex than simple answers to questions. They want a self-service experience that feels like an extension of your customer service team.
Forrester found that 48% of those surveyed shared that a solution provided by the chatbot did not make sense in the context of their question, a frustrating experience that can push people to another means of communication or even a competitor.
With almost 40% of respondents sharing that a good chatbot experience is important to their ongoing relationship with a brand, it’s becoming increasingly important that businesses invest in chatbot experiences that are good at a minimum, and great at a baseline.
Chatbot experiences powered by AI, with situational context and considerations, and the ability to consistently deliver accurate information and helpful solutions, are the future.
By giving people the experience that they’re looking for, companies are well-positioned to help build rapport and trust with their prospects and customers. Trust is the cornerstone to conversion. You don’t make a purchase or schedule a service if you don’t trust the company. Little things like being available and properly responding to inquiries can all help build trust. Being able to do that consistently and at scale is something that we pride ourselves on at XAPP AI, with innovations like our Unified Knowledge Model™ supporting the conversational trust building process.
The growing customer preference for interacting with brands through chatbots creates a lot of opportunities for businesses looking to marry increased efficiencies with improved customer experiences.
As you shift from trust to sale, there are things that can happen behind the scenes that benefit the business from an efficiency perspective, and ultimately benefit the customer by allowing the business to direct more energy towards service and fulfillment. Hooking the chat experience into systems that enable lead capture and scoring, routing, and even scheduling services. Investing in the right technology is the key to meeting customer expectations and business requirements.
Contact us to discuss how we can help any size business launch Conversational AI experiences that people want to use.
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