Those in the know are well aware that conversational AI, and more specifically chatbots, are going to become a big part of our working lives over the next few years. Recent research has revealed that 57% of businesses reckon that chatbots deliver large ROI with minimal effort. And that’s just one reason more and more companies are choosing to make them part of their workforce: chatbots also lower costs, enable smooth client interactions, and allow teams to focus on high-value tasks while they handle routine queries.
In this day and age, no employee should be spending large parts of their working day on mundane repetitive tasks. No human employee, that is: today’s AI-powered chatbots are able to perform a considerable number of day-to-day tasks with efficiency that is equivalent to that of their human counterparts (and sometimes better).
In doing so, chatbots contribute greatly to creating positive, rewarding customer experiences. Let’s find out how chatbots can make a difference to your company, and ultimately, to your customers:
Key Areas in Which Chatbots Boost Performance and Productivity
1. Process automation
As mentioned above, chatbots are great at automating mundane tasks and allowing your teams to focus on core business activities. Important but nonetheless repetitive tasks such as answering FAQs can be handed over to chatbots, who unlike human agents are able to respond to several queries at once, master several languages, make themselves available 24/7, and never ever be tempted to answer back.
Onboarding new staff can be time-consuming, repetitive and expensive, especially when a company is going through an extensive hiring or restructuring phase. It’s a process that can’t be neglected, however - onboarding forms a big part of a new employee’s impression of a company and plays an important role in employee retention. Chatbots can bring a conversational element to existing onboarding software, making it more engaging, and take the weight off the shoulders of HR teams by providing instant, accurate responses to queries.
3. Continuing professional development
Providing opportunities for continuous learning and professional development should be a priority for every business. Companies can use chatbots to integrate learning systems into existing workflows and make the whole experience not only more entertaining, but also a more integral part of employees’ day-to-day work, therefore improving performance across the board.
4. Data collection
One of the main advantages of chatbots is their ability to collect data from different sources, analyse it and transform it into actionable insights. This is applicable to a variety of business aspects: lead qualification, recruitment, digital marketing and performance monitoring, to cite but a few.
5. Human Resources Operations
While the words “bots” and “human resources” may seem like a contradiction in terms, chatbots enable HR staff to concentrate on strategic development by taking over key operational tasks. Bots provide information about company policies (such as travel and annual or family leave) in a fraction of the time a human agent would require, streamline the recruitment process and reduce the risk of human error.
6. Lead qualification
Chatbots’ ability to collect and analyse vast quantities of data really pays off when it comes to sorting high quality leads from those that merit less attention. By cross-referencing information drawn from previous conversations, web searches, social media profiles and more, chatbots enable sales personnel to focus on closing bigger deals while nonetheless providing information and a positive brand experience to lower-quality leads.
How Chatbots Help Shift the Focus to Customer Experience
By streamlining operations across the board, chatbots enable businesses to focus on creating a positive company culture and prioritising strategic development. This is extremely important when you take into account the fact that today’s digital consumers are more and more exacting and difficult to satisfy (at least according to Jeff Bezos - and who are we to argue?). Consumers are increasingly seeking positive brand experiences rather than just transactions, with research indicating that this year, customer experience will overtake price and product as the most important brand differentiator.
Here’s how chatbots help your teams focus on creating positive brand experiences:
They streamline customer support operations
As we’ve seen above, chatbots are great at handling routine queries and enabling your customer support team to focus on more complex cases. Artificial intelligence software maps questions to the most common responses, providing customers with swift, accurate answers from your company’s knowledge base. It’s essential, however, to take a strategic approach and ensure that your chatbot is able to consolidate queries from your company’s different communications channels, recognise and escalate tricky situations to trained support staff and ideally, offer multilingual support.
They enhance the cross-channel customer experience
Over the past few years, messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber have emerged as priority communication channels between businesses and their customers. Statistics show that over 2 billion messages are exchanged between consumers and companies each month. According to Facebook Messenger, 56% of customers prefer to communicate with brands via texting rather than call centres. And not only do messaging platforms offer companies the chance to respond quickly and accurately to queries: in some cases, chatbots are able to accurately predict user actions and proactively communicate with them. As sentiment analysis continues to evolve, so will the degree of precision offered by chatbots.
They help you scale customer experiences
In this day and age, one-size-fits-all customer journeys are no longer enough to meet client expectations. Chatbots enhanced with AI capabilities enable businesses to create scalable, customised customer experiences without resorting to manual programming. By analysing buyer interactions across different communication channels, chatbots are able to pre-empt customer enquiries and deliver a personalised, high-quality customer experience without the customer even realising that they’ve been interacting with a bot.
Well-programmed chatbots based on a strategic approach enable businesses to collect and analyse high-quality data, in turn contributing to streamlining operations and boosting informed decision making. While the benefits of chatbots go far beyond CX, improved workplace productivity and operational efficiency are an essential steps towards ensuring a great experience for everyone along the value chain.
Interested in how KeyReply can help you boost productivity in your workplace? Get in touch.