One of the questions that we encounter when talking to people at trade shows and tech conferences is “Why do I need a bot?”. It is a valid question. Why indeed.
Bots have been around for almost 2 years now if we count Facebook’s opening of the Messenger API as the day when it started in large scale. Since then there has been plenty of experimentation and developments. By and large we see 3 reasons why customers need a bot. I’ve also added 1 reason why they don’t need a bot in the end to keep a nice balance 😁
1️⃣ Your customers expect you to answer immediately whenever they require something. Yeah, I know. You are expected to be online 24/7 waiting for your customers to get in touch. Sounds like a lot of work. And it is. But this is the new reality what customers expect. With the advent of always on services, customer expectations have grown. A lot. They expect you to be there for them when they have questions and are annoyed when your company cannot be reached. Nobody likes waiting in phone support queues and with basic chat automation you can tell people that you are working on their issue. Already this eases your customers’ mind as they know that somebody in the company is working on their issue.
2️⃣ Just look at the data. Chat conversations have grown tremendously over the past years. Customer service messaging company Intercom has reported that close to 400 million conversations have been started using their messaging system in 2016, compared to just 190 million in 2015. Messaging is a powerful medium and the popularity of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger feed this trend even more.
3️⃣ It is very likely that your customer support cost are slowly eroding your profitability. Maintaining human workforce to respond 24/7 to thousands of customer request coming in online is expensive. This is especially true to companies selling digital products. As they experience growth, the pressure on customer interaction automatization grows because to handle growing volumes in customer service tickets, the companies need more employees. It is not uncommon to see ⅓ of certain companies workforce be employed in customer service. Here is where automation can help you scale your business without scaling your cost base.
And here is 1 reason why not to do a bot – We’re also honest in recommending a bot for our customers and the one case where we do not really recommend it is when you have less than 1,000 incoming customer chats per month. The reason is that such volume can be handled by a human relatively well. Those roughly 32 chats per day can be answered by a human and in such cases using AI and bots might be a bit of an overkill.
With that I encourage you to look around in your organization at the various touch points you have with your customers. Talk to customer service people and digital marketing folks. Understand whether there are any bottlenecks where automation can make your employees and company more efficient. If get stuck, don’t worry, happens to the best of us. Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org (or talk to our bot on the right 👉) and we can share specific advice to help your case.