Business Technology

Chatbots can offer 24/7 customer care – but is the level of service up to scratch?

3 min read

28 August 2018

Former special projects journalist

These days there are so many ways to stay connected to your customers, it can be hard to know where to start. Chatbots sound cool, but will they offer the right level of service?

The way we do business is changing in so many ways, but one of the biggest changes in recent years has been way businesses interact with their customer base.

Customer service is crucial – an unhappy customer can wage war with a business these days on social media and review platforms, and for small businesses in particular this can really take its toll.

As consumers increasingly expect to be able to access information from companies on demand, is it time for solutions such as artificial intelligence powered chatbots to shine?

What is a chatbot?

A chatbot can take different forms, but you may have encountered one as a pop up text box on a website. They offer a way for users to access 24/7 customer service in an intelligent, conversational way.

According to a study by ubisend, 57% of UK consumers know what a chatbot is, and 35% want to see more companies using them to answer questions.

Get your priorities straight

The study also looked at what consumers priorities are when they are communicating with brands. Although reaching the desired outcome came out top (68%), other priorities included: ease of experience (48%); speed (44%) and being able to contact the business at a time that suits them (39%).

Being at the frontline of new technology can of course have pros and cons. The survey reported that 43% of respondents view companies that offer chatbots as innovative – but 35% also reportedly claimed the companies seemed less personal in their service.

In this regard, it is important to work out what your target audience expect to see from you.

Are your customers part of the tech-savvy younger generation? Or would they perhaps prefer to speak to someone in person?

Getting started

If you decide a chatbot is the right customer service solution for your website, there are businesses out there to help you create and manage them – you don’t need to go it alone.

According to Liveperson.com. this is done by analysing a brand’s existing conversations to help pinpoint the best uses for the chatbots.

Remember: just because the technology exists doesn’t automatically make it the right choice for your business. Consider your target audience and how you want your business to be perceived.

Ultimately, if 24/7 on-demand customer service is a priority, it could be the solution you’ve been looking for.