Though some people think of chatbots as a recent innovation, they’ve actually been around for a while.
The first chatbot that was similar to what we use today was ELIZA, which was developed in the mid-1960s. Chatbots have come a long way since then, with Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and others introducing users to what bots and AI can do.
Not only are chatbots widely used today, but they’re a popular form of communication between companies and their customers. According to a recent study, 85% of customer service interactions today are automated. What’s more, most customers now prefer chat as a support channel, with 79% choosing chat over email, phone, or other methods.
If you’ve ever sat on hold for hours waiting for a customer service agent, you probably already know why chatbots have become so popular. The main reason customers prefer to use chat is because they can get help fast. A chatbot can answer their question and get them on their way in mere seconds, as opposed to the time it takes to make a call or wait for an email reply.
These changing customer preferences, along with new innovations in technology and external forces like Covid-19, have affected the workforce and caused chatbot usage to soar.
But as customer service agents go back to the office and we return to a more normal work environment, many people are wondering if chatbots are a passing fad, or if they’re here to stay.
5 Reasons Why Chatbots are Here to Stay
There’s a strong argument that chatbots are here to stay, and will be with us for a long time to come. First, remember that customers like them. On top of that, chatbots offer many benefits to the businesses that use them.
Speed. A chatbot can respond to a customer query in seconds or less, compared to minutes for a human agent.
Accuracy. A chatbot will always respond with the data it has, without changing or deleting part of it.
Compliance. A chatbot won’t forget to give the customer a legal disclaimer during a conversation, where human agents might.
Scalability. Chatbots can have as many concurrent sessions as your computing resources allow. This lets you increase service levels as your needs grow.
Operational efficiency. A chatbot is always on, so you can provide 24/7 support without hiring more personnel.
Operational efficiency isn’t just about providing support any time of the day or night. It also means your chatbots can allow you to allocate your resources to where they can be best used. One way to do this is to designate your chatbots to answer the easy questions with straightforward answers, such as frequently asked questions.
When a support question comes in that’s outside of your pre-defined question-and-answer scripts, the chatbot can escalate it to a human agent to answer it. This helps your skilled agents focus their time where it’s most needed, on more complicated discussions and issues that require a human touch. By letting the chatbot handle routine queries, you can keep your trained agents as a key pillar of your customer support strategy and make better use of your human resources.
Deploy Chat Today for Operational Efficiency
Increasing operational efficiency can help your business, but it can be a challenge to implement chat support if you don’t already have it. After all, it’s not just the time and effort of installing a chatbot, but training it to have the right vocabulary for your company, and possibly offering additional support languages. Many companies don’t feel like they can expend the resources to install a single language chatbot, much less a multilingual one.
However, the investment can pay off in better support all around. Using chatbots when possible helps your customers by providing fast assistance, and your live agents can spend their time on more complex issues. Plus, adding multilingual support means that customers can engage you in the language of their choice. Real-time conversations can help increase customer engagement by 50%, leading to a better customer experience and increased loyalty.
With Language I/O, it’s easier than ever to deploy your chatbots, even if you want to offer several languages. Our technology can also help your English-speaking live agents converse with customers in another language. Language I/O technology empowers companies to use their monolingual support agents (and chatbots!) to offer multilingual support to customers who speak another language. Save staffing costs by using the trained agents and chatbots that you already have and layer Language I/O on top to make them all multilingual..
Language I/O can also recognize languages. So instead of building a new chatbot for every language you need, the software can detect languages and translate as needed, saving you additional effort.
In business today, customer support is key to customer retention. Make sure you’re offering the best possible support with multilingual chatbots and Language I/O.