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The Advantages of Employing Chatbots in Customer Service

Here are the main purposes of using chatbots for customer service and a step-by-step guide on how to set up a chatbot for your business.

Businesses are constantly seeking innovative solutions to enhance their customer service experiences. One such solution is the use of chatbots. These AI-powered conversational agents are transforming customer interactions by providing instant support and personalised assistance.

This article explores:

  • Why use Chatbots For Customer Support?
  • Setting Up a Chatbot for your Customer Service Team
  • Australian Brands Using Chatbots

Why use Chatbots For Customer Support?

Chatbots are increasingly used for customer support due to several advantages they offer.

Here are some key reasons.

  • Instant and 24/7 support. Chatbots offer immediate responses to customer queries, irrespective of the time of day. They provide round-the-clock assistance, ensuring that customers’ needs are addressed promptly.
  • Personalised interactions. Chatbots can analyse customer data and personalise responses based on individual preferences, purchase history, or browsing behaviour. This tailored approach helps create a more personalised and engaging customer experience.
  • Efficient issue resolution. Chatbots are designed to handle repetitive and commonly asked questions, freeing up human agents’ time to focus on more complex or critical customer issues. This improves efficiency and reduces response times.
  • Scalability and cost-effectiveness. Chatbots can handle multiple customer inquiries simultaneously, making them scalable solutions for businesses. They can effectively manage large volumes of customer interactions without significantly increasing operational costs. To illustrate: Services Australia reported a 600 per cent spike in client inquiries during the first weeks of the COVID19 pandemic in 2020, and its chatbots were at the thick of it all. ‘Charles’ processing myGov inquiries and ‘Sam’ handling Services Australia queries.  
  • Data collection and analysis. Chatbots capture valuable customer data during interactions, providing businesses with insights into customer preferences, pain points, and trends. This data can be used to improve products, services, and overall customer experience.

Setting Up a Chatbot for your Customer Service Team

  • Choose a chatbot platform. Select a chatbot platform that aligns with your business requirements and budget. Popular options include platforms like Chatfuel, Dialogflow, or IBM Watson Assistant. Consider factors such as ease of integration, customisation options, and natural language processing capabilities.
  • Define the chatbot’s scope and capabilities. Clearly outline the chatbot’s functionalities, such as its ability to answer FAQs, provide product information, offer troubleshooting assistance, or process simple transactions. Set realistic expectations for what the chatbot can accomplish.
  • Identify customer service pain points. Assess your customer service operations to identify the common pain points that can be addressed by a chatbot. Determine the specific tasks or inquiries that the chatbot will handle to provide the most value.
  • Design conversational flows. Create a conversational flow for the chatbot by mapping out different customer scenarios and possible user interactions. Design a logical and intuitive conversation structure that guides customers towards resolution or escalation when necessary.
  • Integrate with existing systems. Integrate the chatbot with your existing customer service systems, such as CRM platforms or ticketing systems, to ensure a seamless flow of information between the chatbot and human agents. This integration enables a smooth transition for complex inquiries that require human intervention.
  • Develop and train the chatbot. Use the chosen platform’s tools and resources to develop the chatbot’s responses and train it on the relevant information. Incorporate frequently asked questions, product details, and troubleshooting steps to ensure accurate and helpful responses.
  • Test and iterate. Thoroughly test the chatbot to ensure it provides accurate and satisfactory responses. Gather feedback from customers and monitor performance metrics to identify areas for improvement. Continuously iterate and refine the chatbot’s responses based on user interactions.
  • Train human agents on chatbot collaboration. Educate your customer service team on how to collaborate effectively with the chatbot. Provide guidelines on when to intervene, how to handle escalations, and how to leverage the chatbot’s insights to deliver a seamless customer experience.
  • Launch and monitor performance. Deploy the chatbot on your preferred channels, such as your website, messaging apps, or social media platforms. Monitor its performance regularly, track key metrics like customer satisfaction, response times, and issue resolution rates, and make necessary adjustments to enhance its effectiveness.
  • Continuously analyse and improve. Leverage analytics tools to gather insights from customer interactions with the chatbot. Identify patterns, frequently misunderstood queries, or areas of improvement to enhance the chatbot’s performance and customer satisfaction.
  • Regularly update the chatbot’s knowledge base. Keep the chatbot’s knowledge base up-to-date with the latest product information, promotions, and frequently asked questions. Regularly review and refine its responses based on customer feedback and emerging trends.

Australian Brands Using Chatbots

Here are some companies in Australia that have successfully deployed chatbots.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has leveraged chatbots to enhance its customer service capabilities. Their chatbot named ‘Ceba’ assists customers with common banking queries, such as account balances, transaction history, and card activation. Ceba uses natural language processing and machine learning to provide personalised responses, improving customer engagement and convenience.

QANTAS

Australia’s flag carrier has implemented a chatbot named ‘QANTAS Concierge’ to provide customer support and assistance. The chatbot is available on QANTAS’ website and messaging platforms, allowing customers to inquire about flight bookings, baggage allowances, flight status, and more. Qantas Concierge offers quick responses and accurate information, streamlining the customer service process and reducing the need for human intervention.

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises

Domino’s has embraced chatbots to enhance the ordering and delivery experience. Their chatbot, named ‘Domino’s Anywhere,’ allows customers to place orders, track deliveries, and receive updates on promotions and discounts. The chatbot is accessible through multiple platforms, including their website, mobile app, and social media channels, providing a seamless and convenient ordering process for customers.

Implementing a chatbot for customer service offers businesses an opportunity to provide instant, personalised, and efficient support to their customers.

By understanding the main purposes of chatbots and following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, businesses can successfully set up a chatbot that enhances the customer experience, streamlines operations, and contributes to overall customer satisfaction.

Embrace the power of chatbots to greet your customers with a friendly “G’day Mate” and deliver exceptional customer service in the digital era.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be constituted as official business advice. BARTERCARD has no business relationships with any company or individual mentioned.

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