There’s no denying that 2020 shook our idea of normality to its core. Many businesses assumed the pandemic would be a temporary disruption, slapping quick-fix Band-Aids on their strategies to staunch the financial bleeding. However, the truth is that market and consumer expectations have shifted dramatically in the past year. Now more than ever, businesses need to implement digital solutions to stay relevant and competitive.
Communicating with your customers primarily in the digital realm might seem difficult, and with the multitude of solutions available on the market, you may struggle to identify which is worth investing in. There is however one solution projected to be the driving force behind business communications in the near future – chatbots.
Consumer buying behaviour has changed during the pandemic, with lockdown restrictions and Covid-19 safety guidelines moulding a generation of shoppers who prefer minimal contact. According to ROI Revolution, 75% of consumers now prefer digital transactions to face-to-face options, and as the pandemic shows no sign of slowing down, it has become crucial for businesses to adopt digital ecosystems that will provide consumers with contactless buying options – without sacrificing customer experience.
On top of the challenges most companies have faced during the pandemic, 73% of support leaders have witnessed a sharp increase in customer expectations. Meanwhile, 58% of support leaders believe that they are not meeting these heightened expectations. Company support teams are constantly bombarded with customer queries and demands, which could lead to bad customer experiences during these times where customer retention is critical for business survival. Chatbots have become integral when catering to the “now customer”, bridging the gap between what consumers want and what businesses can deliver, without sacrificing customer satisfaction. According to Intercom, teams who use chatbots are 23% more likely to meet customer expectations and 30% more likely to report increased customer satisfaction.
In the digital realm, operating hours are irrelevant to consumers. As the name implies, the “now customer” wants immediate assistance. If your business can’t meet their demands, they’ll simply search the web to find a business that can. Chatbots help cater to the now customer by offering 24/7 response systems and maintaining continuous communication with the seller.
According to SuperOffice, extensive waiting times is a leading contributor to losing sales. Due to their 24/7 availability and fast response rate, chatbots are able to instantly communicate with customers and significantly reduce waiting times. Bots are also able to reach out to customers and start a conversation, increasing customer engagement rates and leading to potential sales.
Customer data is essential when trying to understand what users like and dislike about your company, as well as what services and products customers are most interested in. Chatbots can provide your business with actionable records, giving you detailed insights into what your customers expect and how your business can improve its products and services to meet and exceed these expectations.
In light of the pandemic, consumers have come to prefer digital transactions over face-to-face interactions, making it hard for businesses to capitalise on personalised offerings. AI integrated chatbots are able to offer personalised experiences to customers by accessing past customer interaction records and giving context to the conversation.
Considering the benefits, it’s clear that chatbots have secured their spot in the new world order, but before you hop onto Google and download the first free chatbot creator tool that pops up, bear in mind that not all chatbots are created equal. Poorly crafted bots might actually do your business more harm than good. Conventional chatbots are infamous for sowing seeds of frustration, mostly due to their lack of conversational intelligence and misinterpretation of customer intent, but thanks to AI integration, chatbots are becoming more human. If you’re interested in finding out how our AI powered chatbots can supplement your business goals, get in touch. We would love to be part of your digital transformation journey.