The state of customer support:
Every business today needs to interact with their clients at any hour and provide the solutions to their problems or answers to their questions. This is referred to as support. With increased competition in almost every field of work, instant response to customers has become extremely important, as, a delay in this might frustrate the customer and make them choose another option for the services. This lead to businesses focusing on innovating and streamlining support.
Customer support is on the edge of innovation and set to completely change its face in the next few years. The truth is, the existing system cannot sustain the current market size or expectations. There is a lot of wasted efforts on both customer and the agent fronts and offers very little, in terms of satisfaction or user experience. Customers tend to avoid contacting customer support due to the roundabout flow and redundancies.
Customer interaction market size was valued over $51 billion in 2014 and its forecast for 2020 is unsurprisingly $68.5 billion, not an insignificant increase in market size when compared to the other industries. Between increasing customer expectations and ever increasing automation, the current trends are not entirely unexpected. So here are some noteworthy trends in customer service:
The industry size is increasing
At first look, this seems counterintuitive and in contradiction to what we previously stated. But with growing online accessibility and activity, the consumer demands of the brands are also growing. So companies have to invest in their customer service, either in manpower or technology.
Technology is taking over
One of the biggest hurdles with people-powered customer service is scalability. The consumer expectations aside, the sheer number of consumers is outgrowing the capacity of the customer service representatives. Automation is the way forward and companies are heavily investing in customer service technologies.
Data-driven decisions and insights are the only decisions and insights that matter. We cannot recollect a time when that wasn’t the case. With technology becoming the framework for customer service, data is now on cards for this sector. Organized data availability is helping companies understand their consumers, their behavior, expectations, challenges and feedback. This gives valuable insights and actionable results.
Emphasis on integration
With investments in technology and data, integration is the next logical step. Customer service is no longer a lone ranger removed from the rest of the business verticals. In fact, integration can make support a valuable asset to strategy, sales and product teams with customer support and CRM. So these systems have to be synchronized and integrated to unlock the true potential of customer service technologies and leverage it to grow your business.
Self-service is in demand
Self-service support is a mix of customer-initiated interactions made possible due to technology enabling the customers to solve their problems without having to contact customer support. A simple example of self-support would be tracking the ordered delivery package or checking the delivery status. Imagine having to call or chat with an agent for a task so menial.
If you think you don’t know what IVR is, think again, it stands for interactive voice response. We are no strangers to support calls that start with this droning voice that gives you a list of its functions and asks you to press a number on your keypad to avail that option. While we could make a comprehensive list of all things inconvenient about IVRs, its greatest disadvantage is that people simply don’t like interacting with machines and IVRs are lengthy and monotonous and can get frustrating.
Chatbots are the future of customer support
A chatbot is the readily available answer to most of the challenges in customer support and fits right in with the expected trends. AI and NLP can enable chatbots to understand and respond to customer inquiries as well as a human can. Chatbots are the next big thing in the shifting paradigm of customer support.
What are support bots?
The support bots are an AI alternative to human support provided to customers. The development of these has brought in prominent changes in how the companies provide support to the users.
Support bots as the name suggests, are designed to excel in customer support. They have the ability to answer the general FAQs of the users and take walk the customer through all the major business processes. The support bots usually interact with the users through UI interfaces, where speech is an optional feature and most of the users make conversations through text. The developers at Kenyt ensure that the bots navigate the customer to deliver them the right solutions. Support bots work as a solution to several common problems that arise in the process of customer flow through your business.
How does your business benefit from a supportbot?
There are several advantages of using a chatbot, as they have a lot to offer to businesses in terms of their applications and use cases. To be concise,
- Bots can perform repetitive tasks quickly and more efficiently
- Chatbots enhance customer engagement
- They are cost efficient
This opens several opportunities and benefits for businesses, but let’s see what customers find useful about chatbots in customer service:
- 24-hour service
- Getting an instant response
- Getting answers to simple questions
- Easy communication
- Friendliness and approachability
The ability and adaptability of a chatbot depends on its implementation. Adding a human touch to bots is critical for a bot’s success. Kenyt takes care of each aspect of bot building to make each one exceptional.
Features of a supportbot:
Supportbots have their own set of unique features because of which make them boast their usefulness in business:
- Personality: The personality of a support bot refers to every single detail of the chatbot to make it more believable, relevant and relatable. Developing a bot’s personality means making it more life-like along with providing a choice of language, tone, style and mood.
- Multi-turn capability: Since the entire support flow to the user cannot change with a single turn, the support bot should be capable enough to take multiple turns.
- Context awareness: Support bots are designed to provide support to users in numerous fields. For the bots to understand the context in which they have to communicate, the human developers must make sure that the chatbot understands what is being communicated, when and where, along with good vocabulary, social skills and ability to understand feelings. We, at Kenyt, provide support with developing the architecture of our bots to be extremely user-friendly.
The edge of Kenyt’s supportbot:
- Chatbot-agent dynamic: Most support bots are routed to a human agent when the customer asks questions or has requests beyond the scope of a bot. Kenyt has a unique take on the chatbot-agent dynamic. While the primary focus of a supportbot is unquestionably to support the customers through their journey of buying, we see no reason why the functionality of the supportbot has to end there. Kenyt’s supportbot is designed to stay active even after handing over the conversation to an agent and it helps the agent in customer support. Not only does this lessen the load on the agent, the supportbot also gets the opportunity to learn to handle requests it previously could not.
- Routing requests: A side effect of implementing chatbots is that the lines between sales, marketing and support bots tend to blur. This is because a single chatbot can handle all three tasks and even if the business is using a specific bot, such as say support bot, the bot can still help with the basic tasks of marketing and sales. While this is advantageous to businesses, routing these requests to relevant departments becomes critical. Kenyt’s Supportbot is specially trained to differentiate the conversations and route them to their respective departments.
- Language translation: One distinct edge of Kenyt bots is its language capability. All Kenyt bots are multilingual, that is, irrespective of the user’s language, the agents can can see and respond to the messages in English and supportbot translates them to the user’s language of preference.
How are consumers using chatbots?
People are interacting with chatbots not just because of the live chat facility. In fact, 44% of users prefer chatbots over customer representatives. There are several reasons for this- most queries and requests they have are simple and talking to a human operator is a lengthy and time taking process for an issue that takes only a few minutes to resolve. Chatbots, on the other hand, respond quickly and instantaneously to such queries. The following are some of the top cases why consumers are using customer support bots.
- Getting a quick answer in an emergency
- Resolving a complaint or a problem
- Getting detailed answers
- Finding a human customer service
- Making a reservation
- Paying a bill
- Buying a basic item
- Getting ideas for purchases
It is evident from the above list, that human intervention is clearly not needed and most consumers are satisfied with interacting with support bots for such queries.