Did you know that 48% of customers are more likely to return to a website that is equipped with live chat?
As a means to enhance customer service, live chat has taken the eCommerce industry by storm. Until just a few years back, problems of slow response times and unhelpful answers were major obstacles to the success of live chats.
So, where do we stand today?
Times have definitely changed. A new breed of interactive agents is taking over and you better be ready to meet them.
Yes, we are talking about chatbots.
Embracing a customer-centric approach, companies are leveraging this type of software to boost revenue. Considering their efficiency, 24/7 availability, and agility, chatbots might be just what your eCommerce business needs!
Let’s look at some of the reasons why customers love chatbots.
Chatbots are Always Available
In this age of globalization, businesses may have customers that are not bound to a particular city, country, or time zone. Alternatively, it is possible that your customers like browsing the internet for products and services after midnight.
What should you do then?
Human beings need time to breathe, eat, sleep, and relax, thus leading to this:
Does this mean that your customer service will have to be confined to the traditional 9-to-5 setting?
Not really. All thanks to chatbots!
Be it 5 PM or 2 AM, these interactive agents will be ready to engage with customers and answer queries. After all, sleeping and eating are not things they need to do.
When frustrated or confused, customers get the support they require at any point of the day, they start trusting your brand.
According to research by HubSpot, 90% of the customers rated immediate response as a “very important” factor when it comes to customer service.
Furthermore, for two-thirds of the respondents, waiting on hold or re-explaining their problems was one of the most frustrating aspects of customer service.
These statistics might not seem alarming, but it is the time when convenience and comfort dominate.
While there are concerns revolving around the not-so-human nature of chatbots, its 24/7 availability simply cannot be sidelined.
In fact, a survey by Userlike showed that 65% of people choose an immediate response by chatbots over waiting for human support.
By looking into questions and complaints 24/7, chatbots make customers feel valued. This is why they’re likely to trust you and keep coming back to you.
Chatbots Improve Customer Experiences through Data Collection
Chatbots are not just experts at answering queries but are also masters at gathering information. Until quite recently, the primary sources of gathering data were emails, surveys, consumers’ social media activities, etc. However, chatbots open the doors to new opportunities.
Having a pool of information on your users’ demographics and behavior can help a great deal.
Featuring products relevant to users’ preferences and search patterns helps them find what they were looking for, and eases the decision-making process.
For example, personal care and beauty retailer, Sephora, uses chatbots to assist customers in finding the right products, thus, improving sales conversions.
For many shoppers, doing away with all of that sorting and scrolling through long lists of products is a blessing!
Well done, Sephora.
This was as good as killing three birds with one stone. By means of its chatbot, the organization has managed to do the following:
- Increase sales
- Accumulate data to guide future purchases
- Boost customer retention
All in all, chatbots can help eCommerce brands by personalizing consumer experiences and fostering loyalty.
Chatbots Garner Feedback to Avoid Losing Customers
Regardless of what your business is all about, obtaining customer feedback is highly valuable. It helps to know what your customers think about your business such as:
- Are they happy?
- Do they have any recommendations or suggestions to make?
- What are their existing pain points?
However, many unhappy customers don’t complain at all. While many simply don’t bother, some find the process of filing a complaint too tedious or difficult.
These are the people that silently take their business elsewhere, and/or tell everyone they know of their unpleasant experience.
A survey by Sprout Social revealed that the third quarter of 2017 saw 46% of consumers calling out or complaining about businesses on social media.
To reduce the number of unhappy customers, obtaining honest feedback becomes important.
This is where chatbots can help.
Each time customers make a purchase, bots can ask them how satisfied they are.
You can also experiment with chatbot surveys—the act of presenting traditional surveys to users in a conversational form. This makes the process of giving feedback fun, engaging, and interactive.
For example, CONVRG revealed a 70-80% response rate on its chatbot surveys—more than 3 times higher than that of its email surveys.
Unhappy customers will eventually look for alternatives and abandon your business. If a customer expresses disappointment when asked for feedback, bots can offer immediate compensation.
After understanding the issue at hand, discounts and coupons can be offered to customers to ensure that you do not lose them. This is precisely the moment to win their trust back, and eventually, drive customer retention.
The next step should be to make a note of all of these complaints and alter your strategies accordingly.
Seeking valuable feedback is one of the best ways to keep a finger on the pulse and foster customer loyalty in the long-run.
Chatbots Paint Brands as Technology-Friendly
As per a report by Salesforce, 75% of customers expect businesses to use new technologies to enhance the customer experience.
So, when companies give them that, they will be keen to try it out at least once. Furthermore, a pleasant experience will make them want to revisit your business.
Chatbots make for a platform where customers’ feedback is valued and their grievances are heard.
Chatbots improve customer experience by attending to them instantly and answering their questions accurately. Additionally, the use of chatbots also indicates that a company is technologically-advanced and is using technology to serve their customers.
Businesses that are up-to-date with the newest forms of technology send across the idea that they want to provide the best service possible. These are also companies that are on the constant lookout for new developments—leading customers to instill trust in them.
Chatbots Enhance Customer Engagement through Personalized, Human-Like Conversations
Interactivity is one of the key metrics for measuring customer retention. Chatbots can go way beyond sending out information or looking into customer queries.
- Ask quirky questions
- Get to know customers better
- Send birthday wishes
- Crack jokes to increase likability
- Make small talk
A great example of an eCommerce chatbot that does this is Mitsuku. This bot has won the Loebner Prize Turing Test 5 times. Her witty and humorous personality is loved by customers.
According to research by software company, PEGA, 63% of customers think that organizations should prioritize getting to know them better.
Furthermore, adding a personalized touch is like putting a cherry on top. Basic questions like, “How may I help you today, Jake?” or “What kind of books do you like to read, Maria?” can go a long way in boosting customer loyalty.
Over to You
Messaging is being increasingly used by businesses and individuals alike. As of November 2019, WhatsApp alone had more than 1 billion users exchanging over 65 billion messages per day.
In this light, customers’ desire to interact with companies similarly is only natural. If you give customers what they want, you’ll gain their trust, and encourage repeat interactions and purchases.
So, whether you’re trying to increase online sales or get repeat business, chatbots are a gold mine you must consider tapping into.
What are your tricks for improving customer retention? Do you have any questions about deploying chatbots? Tell us in the comments below.