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Some people are waking up to just how fast the chatbot market is growing. Within the next few years, chatbots will be everywhere. Right now, the industry is growing at about 34% every year!
That is fast enough for the market to grow from $17 billion in 2020 all the way up to more than $100 billion by only 2026! There are few industries in the whole world that maintain this kind of growth for so many years. It is no exaggeration to say that the digital customer experience will soon be defined by the quality of the chatbot tools the industry is able to provide.
This is a partial explanation for the incredible growth of the chatbot software industry. Advances in artificial intelligence have made the latest generation of chatbots capable of remarkable things, specially when they are integrated to other platforms to deliver transactional, resolutive and personalized information.
Continue reading this article to discover how to offer a comprehensive, centralized customer experience through a chatbot.
Consolidate Channels With a Conversational AI Platform
Modern companies find themselves in a difficult position. They want to maximize their reach. However, aiming at the maximization of reach requires setting up a company presence on a wide variety of platforms.
This is why many of the largest companies in the world maintain parallel presences on all of the major social media platforms. At the same time, they make themselves available to potential customers who want to reach them through any of a long list of call and messaging channels.
This does allow companies to reach more people, but at a cost. Maintaining this kind of presence can be difficult. It can eat up a lot of human resources and talent.
On top of that, many platforms and channels will only bring in a few extra customers, those who prefer the less popular platforms and channels out there. Is it worth maintaining these extra platforms and channels just for a few extra customers?
This is the consideration that has led some companies to limit their outreach to just a few of the top platforms and channels. However, the latest generation of chatbots can solve this problem.
It can allow companies to maintain a presence on as many platforms and channels as they wish, offering omnichannel interactions. And it can eliminate the busy work and complexity of maintaining all of these platforms and channels.
This is because modern chatbots are capable of consolidating calls and messages from many different platforms and channels into one place, but adapting the content automatically to each channel so the result is a seamless experience for customers.
That is exactly the kind of task that artificial intelligence is perfect for. It can navigate between many channels and platforms with almost instantaneous speed. It can then respond to the calls and messages of potential customers from a single place.
This provides a number of benefits. First of all, company leaders can review customer messages without having to hop between platforms and channels. They can review past conversations and customer data on the consolidated platform of the chatbot.
This also allows chatbots to perform some of the most repetitive tasks that customer service representatives manage. If your company is growing and scaling up, your chatbot will be able to manage the sudden increase in the influx of messages.
Without a chatbot, scaling up would require you to find and train skilled customer service representatives. Outsourcing these tasks to a chatbot can also allow your customer service representatives to focus on less repetitive tasks that are more interesting.
Integrate Digital Tools With Artificial Intelligence
Chatbots can do more than consolidate messages and calls. They can provide a similar service when it comes to moving throughout the entire transaction process for a customer.
That means that your customers will not have to go from one platform for messaging to another platform to buy a product or service or request a process status. Instead, chatbots can integrate these different steps in the transaction process into one single conversation.
For instance, an e-commerce can integrate its chatbot to their CRM to collect leads or remind a customer to complete a purchase. On the other hand, a bank or financial institution can use an integrated chatbot to provide each customer with information about their accounts and credit/debit cards. Lastly, healthcare providers or medical institutions can connect their chatbot to their software to send reminders about appointments or provide information to each customer about their medical records.
All of this makes for a more streamlined customer experience. Once they are in a dialogue with an integrated chatbot, they don't need to do anything except continue the conversation until all of their questions are answered without the need to log into their accounts.
Improve Efficiency With Customer Experience Automation
It is important to understand the difference between traditional chatbots versus conversational AI. In the past, chatbots were famous for frustrating the people who talked with them.
Chatbots were prone to making stupid and repetitive errors. They provided some advantages, but many felt that the disadvantages they provided outweighed them.
However, as valid as those opinions might have been in the past, they are now outdated. The latest version of conversational AI is incredibly natural and competent.
In fact, when companies started using advanced conversational AI, they were amazed to find out that many customers didn't realize they were speaking with an artificial intelligence.
The natural style of modern chatbots is so realistic that many customers thought that they had enjoyed a satisfactory customer experience with a live agent.
This is one of the reasons that some companies take pains to tell customers when they are speaking with an artificial intelligence. You can no longer take it for granted that customers will notice the difference on their own. This advancement improves the customer experience in many ways.
Conversational Chatbots Are More Pleasant to Speak With
For one thing, chatbots that sound natural are more pleasant than those that sound robotic. On top of the efficiency they provide, that means that chatbots also provide a more enjoyable experience for the customer.
However, one of the greatest benefits of modern chatbots is that they can take customers off of hold. Some savvy leaders in the business world are concerned that talking to a chatbot will never be as good as speaking with a live agent.
However, that is not the true question. It is not the true question because sometimes the alternative to speaking with a chatbot is to wait on hold rather than to speak with a live agent. Live agents can only speak with so many people at once.
Related article: 7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Live Chat
When they are all busy, people either wait on hold or talk to chatbots. These days, it is much more enjoyable and efficient for customers to speak with chatbots than wait on hold.
All of these advantages lead to decreased costs for businesses. Chatbots can provide service around the clock. That means that some companies will no longer have to hire skilled live agents on the other side of the world.
Sometimes, live agents are unavailable due to sickness or travel. When that happens, customers can speak with chatbots rather than wait on hold to speak with a human.
Chatbots can manage all kinds of repetitive tasks. This can include gathering information from customers and understanding their interests or problems with a product. This allows them to complete many transactions on their own.
You may still need skilled salespeople to manage more difficult transactions. However, you may need fewer people in your sales department once an artificial intelligence can manage the simplest orders.
Improve Employee Experiences at the Same Time
All of this means that a modern conversational chatbot can be helpful for your employees as well. It can take over the exact tasks that they enjoy the least.
This makes a lot of sense when you keep in mind that they have to ask the same questions to every person. However, a conversational chatbot can ask those questions for a customer service representative.
By the time a human agent receives a customer to assist, they will be able to focus on what is unique about the problems that a customer is facing.
A similar principle applies to people who are handling sales and returns. Chatbots can take over the most monotonous parts of these tasks. That allows human agents to focus on what they do best.
Improve Your Digital Customer Experience With Chatbot Integrations
Improving your digital customer experience can be as simple as finding the right chatbot. Modern chatbot tools allow for integrations that streamline business operations. This can make companies more pleasant for customers to deal with.
At the same time, it can cut costs. Then combine that with the benefits of consolidating conversations onto a single platform. That makes it easy to see why so many businesses are introducing chatbots.
To learn more about modern chatbots and what they can do for you, book a demo with our team.