It is one thing to have a satisfied customer; however, a satisfied customer who proactively recommends you to others turns into a brand advocate. For any brand, such customers are worth their weight in gold. They help you build credibility, trust, and engagement with your wider audience and, of course, multiply your sales – without you having to spend a ton of money on marketing.
A vibrant community of happy customers is the moat that every brand aims to build around itself, but only a few can claim to have. That said, it is certainly possible to build this moat. However, the key to achieving it is a consistent and transparent customer experience- there are no quick fixes.
To go from satisfied to brand advocate, a customer needs more than just quality products, rewards and discounts, personalized product recommendations, and the like. They need to know that you are open to feedback.
The easiest way to keep customers satisfied is to ask them what they want and give it to them throughout their journey with your brand. However, often there is a wide gap between how brands perceive customer satisfaction and the ground reality.
For example, if customers have to repeat their query each time they speak to a customer service agent, it is unlikely that they would be satisfied. In fact, 57% of US customers reported facing this issue in a recent survey.
Long hold times are also a major irritant. Hearing “Your call is important to us, please stay on the line” on the IVR isn’t going to cut it. If customers have been pointing to this in your CSAT surveys, you need to act fast.
From an operations strategy perspective, the solution is clear: focus on response time and first contact resolution. However, hiring more agents isn’t always the answer. The cost of hiring and training may not be justified if your SLA improves only marginally in the short term.
For comparison, the global standard for average handle time (AHT) currently is approximately 6 minutes. If you truly want to be world-class in terms of KPIs like first contact resolution, response time, and handle time, investing in customer service automation is critical.
Conversational AI Chatbots to the Rescue
Speed, easy accessibility, reliability- these are things most customers look for when they interact with a brand. It is commonly believed that the customer journey begins post-purchase. However, the truth is that it begins as soon as he or she discovers your brand for the very first time and continues throughout the conversion stage. For online businesses, the check-out scenario where a customer needs information regarding the returns policy just before making a purchase is especially critical.
In such situations, making the customer hold for an agent can result in an abandoned cart. Integrating an AI chatbot can help you boost your conversion rate and average order value significantly.
80% of customer questions about online purchases revolve around shipping costs, warranties, refunds, and currency exchange rates.
While self-service tools like knowledgebase can help, scrolling through dozens of search results can put off Millennials and Gen Z customers who prefer personalized answers in real-time.
What’s more, they actually prefer talking to chatbots. What about building a personal connection, you ask? That is where conversational chatbots can help make a difference.
Conversational AI is a lot more than a piece of code providing scripted responses to a limited set of customer queries.
By leveraging Natural Language Programming (NLP) technology, they can not only understand user intent based on the words they use but also provide real-time responses based on their buying history and demographic profile. Think Siri or Alexa on steroids!
The latest generation of AI chatbot platforms is capable of building chatbots that can understand the context in which a customer is asking a question. The result: they can respond to customer frustration with empathy. Conversational chatbot technology is cost-effective too. Research shows that it helped reduce customer service costs by 30%.
How to use AI Chatbots to improve CSAT and drive Net Promoter Scores
In the post-pandemic environment, call volumes can be difficult to predict. In fact, service levels have not been the same for over a year now, and businesses are working hard to plug the capacity gap. This has had a profound impact on customer satisfaction resulting in a social media backlash last year.
In a study, around 50% of customers even said that high call volume recordings were most likely fake and misleading. Such instances help explain why customers who were considered to be satisfied ended up switching to another brand a short while later. In other words, it does not take too long for ‘promoters’ to turn into ‘passives’ and eventually into ‘detractors’- unless you take effective action.
Here are a few ways in which chatbots can be employed to drive CSAT and NPS:
1. Enhanced Self-Service:
Why make customers wait in a queue when you can deploy a chatbot as the first point of contact on your IVR? It is a proven fact that chatbots are capable of resolving the majority of customer queries effectively.
If you have a tiered customer service model, adding chatbots to Tier 1 can take care of the bulk of calls, allowing agents to focus only on higher priority tickets. Interacting with a chatbot can also help customers quickly find the information they need without having to type long search queries.
Conversational AI chatbots also provide a key advantage: they can collect data on the most common search terms used by customers that you can leverage to optimize the existing knowledge base content and add new topics.
In fact, an AI chatbot is likely to outperform a newly trained agent in terms of speed and accuracy of response besides first contact resolution.
2. Collect Customer Feedback:
Customers want to be heard and appreciated for providing their feedback. To do this, businesses across verticals prefer post-purchase surveys. However, the truth is that the larger the size of the audience being surveyed, the lower is the response rate.
Even if you offer incentives for participation, the average response rate for email surveys rarely exceeds 40 to 60%. Now, many businesses have started using in-app surveys to improve their response rates and understand customer expectations better.
Chatbots capture and store previous interaction data, which is then used to build a contextual understanding of customer requests.
Based on this data, customers can be prompted for feedback the next time they visit your online store or website. Emotional chatbots can also measure responses based on the emotions expressed by customers and assign them a CSAT score. The result: better survey participation rate and engagement.
3. In-app Customer Support:
As banks and other financial institutions start tapping WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to reach out to younger customers, the market for in-app customer support bots is expanding. The reason: they do not detract the user from the brand experience and improves cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
They are helping banks boost engagement and improve conversions. Besides instant updates relating to account balance and cheque status, in-app chatbots are allowing customers to get information on the move without having to use regular customer service channels. This has not only reduced customer effort but can also provide rich dividends in terms of CSAT and NPS.
4. Confirm e-commerce payments and delivery status:
WISMO or Where Is My Order queries account for a large chunk of customer service call volumes for e-commerce brands. However, it does not make sense to have a dedicated queue for such queries, especially if you have a small customer service team.
Order tracking chatbots allow customers to seamlessly track their orders and log refund requests without having to speak to multiple customer service representatives. The chatbots also provide SLAs and status updates, avoiding the all-too-common problem of multiple tickets logged for the same issue.
In the same way, they also make it easy for customers to provide instructions for delivery, for example, alternative address or pick-up point.
Conversational AI promises to bridge the gap between team capacity and customer expectations. The result: better CSAT and a thriving community of brand advocates! There’s the moat of invincibility you were looking to build around your brand. By all accounts, AI chatbot technology could be the centrepiece of the next customer service revolution.
Partner with Insync AI to supercharge your online user experience with the power of conversational AI. Our conversational AI platform gives you the ability to engage customers throughout their brand journey while keeping costs low.