By Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner

Artificial intelligence has changed every aspect of our lives. The way we bank, communicate with customers and reserve tickets to our favorite shows all center around AI. One of the most common uses of this technology is customer assistance via chatbot

There’s a common misconception that chatbots steal jobs from customer service workers. This idea is far from the truth. Despite the usefulness of AI, some limitations make human employees irreplaceable. 

It’s safe to say that chatbots are capable of making the jobs of their human counterparts easier. Let’s look at several ways businesses can improve their live support teams by adding chatbots to their customer service strategies. 

Immediate Response Times

Customers want a quick, if not immediate, response when they have questions about marketing, sales or customer service. 

Chatbots are excellent at handling repetitive tasks over a long period of time. Due to this feature, business owners often program chatbots to handle common customer questions. For example, if a customer needs to change their password, a chatbot can walk them through the process. 

Your human customer service team may have a hard time keeping up with the constant questions from consumers 24 hours a day. Chatbots are available at any time, in any time zone, and they work on holidays. Because bots are so flexible, you can use them to take care of tier-one customer questions.

Tier-one questions are easily answered by extracting information from a database. Some examples of tier-one questions include questions about contacting the business, checking a reservation or checking the status of a shipment. Tier-two questions are more complex and are best directed to human agents. Customer requests for customized services or changes to an order need trained customer service employees to manage them.

By making a distinction between different types of questions, your business can save time and offer better customer service. Have chatbots handle tier-one concerns while people manage questions that need human intervention. 

Personalized Customer Experiences

Research from Epsilon revealed that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if they incorporate personalization. Personalization goes beyond delivering relevant offers; it’s about making everyone who comes to your website feel like they are unique and a valuable customer. 

Chatbots can pick up the slack and solve basic customer questions, which frees your team up for more personalized conversations with consumers every day. Your team will be able to take their time with each customer and make their experience special.

In this example, AI also helps your live team deliver personal experiences when contacted by customers. However, interactions with chatbots don't have to be robotic. It's possible to train chatbots to make friendly conversation. You can start a conversation by training a chatbot to say “Hi, [Firstname]!” to greet a user. Telling a user “I hope you're having a good day” before asking how to help them makes for more pleasant interactions. 

We’ve all had experiences with customer care that left a sour taste in our mouths. Your goal is to make sure your customers never feel the way other businesses have made consumers feel in the past. 

Real-Time Problem-Solving

We know that artificial intelligence is a useful tool for gathering and organizing large quantities of data. Chatbot technology can help your service team identify bugs and shared concerns, which helps make their conversations more productive. 

If you add chatbots on your site, you’ll have access to the reasons consumers are contacting your business. Let’s say you notice that there’s an error with your billing page, and it’s frustrating potential customers. You could take this information, quickly brainstorm with your live chat team and explain that there’s an issue with the billing page today. 

Preparing your team for such barriers can help them analyze and resolve situations. In the example mentioned above, your team member could empathize with the customer and offer to help them complete the order on the spot. If your team is unaware of the situation, this process could take longer to implement, which could slow down your support team. 

It's important to train your team to make use of the information AI tools provide. You can do this by having a seminar at work or online, followed by weekly updates and news. This gives your team members a solid understanding of how to use these tools effectively. It also allows them to learn more and clear up concerns every week, making the entire process smoother. 

Conclusion

Chatbots have improved our lives in countless ways over the last decade. As time progresses, I expect to see this technology improve and make jobs filled by real people more convenient. When your live chat team has a support system framed around chatbots, they can get more done and deliver excellent customer experiences.

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site that helps small businesses start their website.

Published on: Oct 17, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.