Chatbot 18: Customer Engagement, Support and Marketing

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This article is the fourth and last part in a series Chatbot 18, called “Chatbots – Customer Engagement, Support and Marketing”.

#1: Our Predictions for the Industry

#2: An Indepth Analysis into Chatbot Language

#3: How Do Chatbots Work?

If this is your first post, I recommend reading the first three before getting into this one.

What’s the problem?

To understand how and why chatbots are so good at what they do; it helps to understand how the current system fails customers.

For the better part of a century, customer engagement and support has remained largely unchanged;

  1. A client has a product desire / problem,
  2. They’ve identified a channel for details / grievance redressal and
  3. Talked to a representative of the company.

The channel for this lead generation process has undergone cosmetic changes, from post to phone calls to most recently, BPO’s. But the underlying inefficient principle has remained; companies forcing themselves into the view of their consumers, crowding their airspace and inbox.

This wasteful enterprise requires the presence of this 24/7 human support, which is not only incredibly expensive ($15, PER HOUR for your average BPO), but also volatile; a single bad representative can mean hundreds of disappointed and frustrated customers.

And this is just the company’s point of view, because customers simply hate phone calls. Think about it, when was the last time someone sold you something over a phone call?

Webpages and FAQ’s would seem to be a modern solution, but those often do more harm than good. Most software engineers are convinced FAQ’s are some of the most hated customer support tools. Which makes sense because would you rather chat on your phone or scroll down on a 40 question FAQ page? Webpages aren’t any saving grace either, typical webpages have an average conversion rate of just 3%.

Enter Colonel Chatbot, to save Customer Engagement, Support and Marketing.

The Economist reports that all of this a larger trend towards text based services for Marketing and Support, and for good reason.

Research has shown that the average American spends over five hours a day on their phone, with that number being higher for developing countries like China and India. A majority of this time is spent on messaging applications, particularly on what is considered the “Messaging Big 4” (Whatspp, Messenger, WeChat and Viber), so much so that messaging has officially surpassed social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin) in user count. Companies that fail to implement chatbots will go through the same pains as companies that failed to implement social media back in the day.

Facebook has taken notice of this transition and has invested heavily in the market. Facebook introducing bots wasn’t some new, revolutionary tech. However, it was a massive mainstream player making a massive move. But moving away from just raw statistics, Facebook Messenger VP David Marcus also highlighted some specific organizations that have seen a benefit from bots during his presentation. According to Marcus, companies “reported a 60 per cent improvement in customer satisfaction following the deployment of a Messenger customer service bot.”

The Five C’s of Chatbots.

  1. Consistent – Verloop’s chatbots are driven by Artificial Intelligence, they eliminate any possibility of human error, making for smoother lead creation and conversion. Chatbots are also self-learning, so they constantly adapt to grow even more efficient over time.
  2. Context driven–Verloop’s chatbots are also capable of gauging emotion and tweak their behavior based on the customers pre-determined profile, like age, gender and location. Because of this, chatbots offer conversion rates of 20%, as opposed to a paltry 3% on webforms.
  3. Conversational – Chatbots replicate everyday human interaction more accurately than actual humans do. The vocabulary we use with our friends and family doesn’t cross over in companies interactions with clients. Single word commands on FAQ pages like “download”, “log-in”, “click here” is how businesses suffer from social communication disorder and lose customers.
  4. Compatible – Chatbots are endlessly malleable, regardless of business or function from simple lead generation to full-fledged automated sales, all made possible by a little pop up on the bottom right of your screen.
  5. Cost Effective – Chatbots aren’t just less expensive compared to their alternatives, they’re an outright steal. We sell our chat bot for $29, A MONTH, the equivalent of two hours of service from a BPO.

 

As the industry grows, more competitors will enter the market, and growth will be exponential. Verloop’s chatbots will soon be almost indistinguishable from their human counterparts, if anything, even better.

To read Verloop CEO Gaurav Singh’s strategy heading into the future, feel read to read this article.

About the author

Anush Fernandes

Loves canines, conversational automation and curry. Stephen and otherwise.

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