How chatbots can help agents improve customer support
Nothing beats people power, but AI and other technology can give customer support agents the space to work on complex, interesting projects. Speed and efficiency matter more than ever.
Published June 2, 2021
Last updated March 25, 2022
The year 2020 shook SMB and enterprise businesses across the world. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2021, 75 percent of company leaders surveyed agreed that the global pandemic accelerated the acquisition of new technologies.
Customers are increasingly preferring live chat for customer service with 73 percent satisfaction levels as compared to 61 percent for email and 44 percent for phone. Live chat benefits from a human touch—and a human skill set—that differs from phone or email support skills. A great agent can create the sense of a rewarding, even fun conversation with a customer. Customers want to talk to you on the same channels they use for friends and family, so creating an engaging and conversational experience is valuable.
Agents can get overwhelmed during periods of high ticket volume, holidays, or even as a company is growing and scaling. They need a helping hand—and not necessarily a human one.
This is when automation comes in. Automation is a great way to deflect repetitive, mundane queries, freeing up your live agents to focus on more complex, high-value issues. In fact, 69 percent of consumers prefer chatbots for quick communication and 70 percent have a more favorable view of brands that offer proactive customer service notifications.
AI-powered messaging puts your customers first
We recommend an automation-first strategy underpinned with conversational AI. However, to maintain excellent customer service and high CSAT, it is essential to strike the right balance between automation and agents to leverage AI and help humans be more efficient and also have more time for complex, engaging projects.
The top 5 reasons to include an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) in your customer support
1. You can automate repetitive tasks with contextual AI to agent handoff
Start with automating tasks that are repetitive, such as track my order, refund policy, password change, product replacement, and other FAQs that significantly contribute to the stack of inbound customer queries. This allows agents to focus on high-value, high-risk issues that require multiple human touchpoints. It also enables contextual AI to Agent Handoff that brings agents up to speed with the issue before entering a live conversation with the customer, resulting in an enhanced resolution rate.
2. You can drive faster resolution by empowering agents with data
On busy days, agents are generally bogged down by multiple incoming queries, toggling between tools to answer customer queries. Additionally, there may be times when customers may want to get in touch with an agent for a pressing challenge that the agent may not be able to handle. In such scenarios, the virtual assistant can analyze a support ticket and recommend the relevant help article from within the company’s knowledge base. This is all done directly in the agent’s interface. By enabling agents with the correct information when they need it, they can efficiently address their customers’ issues right after they arise.
3. Your support will be more proactive
AI-powered virtual assistants enable businesses to proactively message customers based on user behavior, purchase history, page views, actions, and other conditions. Brands can use a virtual assistant to onboard users with insights and helpful tips within the product itself. They can also alert users about announcements, sales, offers, discounts by sending notifications or simply detecting customers who are struggling on your website/app and nudge them ahead in their customer journey with contextual bot prompts.
For instance, if a user stalls out midway through a purchase, the assistant can quickly step in and say, “I see that you’re trying to place an order. Is there anything that I can help you with?’ This not only results in helping strengthen the user’s purchase decision but also combats negative user experiences that could snowball into bad customer reviews and ratings.
4. You'll personalize every conversation
Consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. Make every user feel special and replace basic experiences with highly-personalized ones that your customers deserve. With intelligent virtual assistants, you can automate much more than just FAQs and deliver tailored communication based on your users’ account information, actions, behavior, and lots more.
Level up personalization with multilingual virtual assistants
They enable businesses to communicate with users in their preferred languages, allowing businesses to connect with customers and build long-lasting relationships truly.
5. You'll deliver support on messaging channels your users already use
Consumers expect swift responses to social media questions and complaints. Deploy intelligent virtual assistants at the frontline of customer support across messaging channels such as Facebook, Google Business Messenger, WhatsApp, LINE, and more. Provide two-way natural conversations that are personalized and consistent with context at the center of every conversation from channel to channel, delivering the sort of messaging experience your customers have become accustomed to in their personal lives. Businesses can also deflect traffic from call-center to cheaper messaging channels such as chat, reducing cost overheads and improving FRT.
Customer experience is the ultimate differentiator
Amidst the waves of digital transformation, changing user behavior patterns, and the COVID-19 pandemic, customer experience has become the ultimate differentiator for companies to truly thrive in this economy.
Potential cost savings and the ability to provide 24-hour customer service are among the top reasons businesses are increasingly adopting an automation-first support strategy.
Using Zendesk support? Up your CX game with the combined power of AI and humans using Haptik or try the Zendesk chatbot, Answer Bot. With Haptik you can automate 80 percent of support queries, freeing up your Zendesk agents to focus on high-value, complex issues.