What Your Customers Think About Using Customer Service Chatbots

Chatbots have become very popular because they save time and resources by automating customer support services. Bots are often used to address common customer inquiries, allowing human agents to focus on solving more complex problems.

We’ve seen our share of bots go to work within organizations. There’s a long list of companies that have been able to lift productivity, boost customer retention, increase customer referrals, and facilitate a better overall experience for their customer. 

With all these benefits, there’s still an important question that might be nagging you. What do your customer’s think about using bots in their interactions with you? Read on and find out.

What do consumers think about chatbots?

Before we dive in, let’s consider the knowns. 

  1. Consumers hate to wait

In a survey of “more than 2,500 consumers, nearly 60% of respondents believe that one minute is too long to be on hold,” PRWeb reports. “In addition, 32.3% of consumers believe that customer service departments should be answering immediately—with no hold time.”

  1. Customer experience is more important than ever

Not only do 80% of customers believe that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, according to Salesforce research. more than two-thirds (67%) say their standard of what defines a good experience has been raised. With 76% of consumers and business buyers saying that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, the pressure is on for organizations to get the customer experience right.

Chatbots aren’t the silver bullet to correcting any and all service issues, but they can complement the support experience. Chatbots often act as the front line, giving customers a quick friendly greeting and providing answers to common questions — fast. And because we know that #1 holds, whether we’re talking about waiting in line for coffee, or waiting in a queue for support, it’s important that companies respond to customers quickly.

  1. Most consumers have already interacted with a bot

Voice of customer (VoC) platform Usabilla released a report showing that humans love AI and chatbots.The company surveyed 1,000 US consumers in August 2018 who used customer service options such as FAQs, chatbots, or automated options that allowed them to completely avoid human interaction for a customer service issue.

Nearly three out of four (70%) respondents said that they have used chatbots already, and of those who have not, 60 percent said that they would feel comfortable doing so.

All of these findings back what everyone already instinctively knows. Consumers want real-time interactions, and chatbots deliver. According to research, the majority (86%) of consumers would choose getting an answer from a chatbot over filling out a form on your website.

Why Consumers Like Using Chatbots

According to ZDNet, 54% of consumers would always choose a chatbot over a human customer service rep if it saved them 10 minutes. There are three simple reasons why consumers like using chatbots:

  • Always On

Chatbots don’t need coffee breaks, holidays off, or long weekends. Chatbots are the always-on extension of your contact center. Customers like that they can get some support no matter when they need it, even if it’s outside of your normal business hours.

  • Fast Responses

Unlike human agents, chatbots can access information with greater speed and consistency. Consider how quickly a bot can look up an order and provide a customer with a tracking number. Even transferring the customer’s conversation, either to another bot or to a human agent, happens with a lot less frustration and friction from the customer’s end than, say, being placed on hold during a phone call.

  • Convenient Access

With so much time spent on their phones, consumers appreciate how easy it is to engage with and respond to a chatbot on mobile messaging. Customers get the help they need, when they want, and wherever they prefer. Rich messaging experiences, such as those provided by Apple Messages for Business and Google’s Business Messages are examples of how bots can present options to schedule appointments, add products to a shopping cart, or look up order information. These experiences are beautifully-designed, media-rich, and offer simple touch targets for customers to engage on-the-go.

How Consumers Use Chatbots

Chatbots are on the company front lines in a wide-range of industries. Research shows that there are even some transactions that the majority of consumers expect to do without any human interaction. 

Things such as scheduling appointments, receiving order status, updating personal information, and getting updates on recent transactions are common customer inquiries easily handled by bots. But, chatbots aren’t just for common, redundant tasks. 

In the Forrester Webinar “How to Successfully Deploy Messaging and Bots In Your Business,” we heard from two very different companies using messaging and bots. Devlin O’Neill discussed how Lululemon is using bots to help retail customers find the right product, while Thomas Crawford from the Mortgage Center spoke about helping homeowners refinance.

As stated above, consumers are becoming more comfortable with chatbots. The reason is clear – whether it’s getting a product recommendation, promotion, or a reminder that their credit union can refinance their home, consumers want to get the information they need fast. If they feel like a solution gets them information more quickly and allows them to achieve a goal (like getting a better mortgage rate), they’re more likely to engage with it and feel satisfied with that interaction.

Redefine Support With A Chatbot In Your Organization

When the experience is done right, consumers love engaging with bots. Your customers will expect to find your bots to be quick, easy, informative, friendly, and dare we say, sometimes a little fun.

Quiq’s digital engagement platform enables you to design and deploy bots across your entire organization on all of the channels your customers want to use. Any combination of native Quiq customer service chatbots, bots developed in third-party bot platforms and human agents can participate in a conversation. Schedule some time with a conversation expert to see how bots can go to work for you and your customers.

Formal vs. Casual: Which Style Is Best for Customer Service?

How to Win Over B2B Customers and Build Trust

Interactions with business-to-business (B2B) customers are usually best suited for formal language. The goals are to increase trust and solve problems for current or potential clients while maintaining high standards.

A formal tone supports those aims and allows customer service experts to nimbly navigate corporate structures. Agents may engage with several decision-makers to guide their choices. Formal language shows a consistency that impresses people from highly structured industries.

Questions about using a formal vs. informal communication style also arise when helping customers with medical or legal issues. Those people frequently reach out when dealing with serious matters. A formal style is typically best for handling them, even when addressing consumers.

An informal style could make people conclude customer service agents don’t recognize the severity of their circumstances. They could also decide getting in touch was a mistake and go elsewhere for help — creating missed opportunities for agents and their employers.

How to Facilitate Better B2C Interactions and Stay On-Brand

Business-to-consumer (B2C) conversations succeed when shoppers connect with entities that address their unmet needs and make things easier or more enjoyable. Adopting a casual style for most B2C interactions works well because it allows agents to come across as highly relatable and well positioned to understand individual situations.

Conversations about lifestyle products or consumer goods often resonate more with shoppers when customer service agents use informal wording. This approach lets service specialists avoid overly stuffy language.

Adopting informal language can also aid customer service specialists who want to excite or inspire. Keeping the interactions casual supports a team’s efforts to convey how products tackle potential buyers’ challenges.

Many B2C companies gain ground in competitive marketplaces by using a humorous tone. An informal style supports such lighthearted approaches when they make sense for the audience or the products being sold.

Formal vs. Casual: Which Style Is Best for Customer Service?

No universal rules define formal vs. informal business communication, although the above examples provide useful starting points. If service teams feel unsure, following customers’ leads by mimicking the styles they use is an excellent practice. The use of emoticons can also help clue someone into the fact the person on the other end prefers informal language.

Employees who interact with customers may have internal documents or their supervisors’ orders to follow as well. Those elements take precedence over broader advice about how best to handle communications.

Learn How to Boost Survey Responses

Decisions about when to use formal vs. informal communication illustrate the evolution of how people engage with brands. The Quiq Conversational Customer Engagement Platform supports today’s business messaging needs by personalizing communications through consumers’ preferred channels. Contact us today or request a demo to learn about the benefits of instant messaging and text messaging in formal and informal settings.

Quiq’s Newest Partner – Snaps Brings End-to-End Sales and Support on Instagram and More

Quiq is thrilled to announce its integration with Snaps, the leading platform for connecting consumers and businesses in messaging. As partners, Quiq and Snaps now offer retailers and eCommerce brands highly intelligent, end-to-end conversations on today’s most popular messaging channels including webchat, SMS, Apple Business Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and more.

Most recently, Quiq and Snaps have updated their integration to deliver hybrid automated and human support for digital retailers on Instagram.

Through Snaps’ integration with Quiq, eCommerce brands can now provide shoppers with 24/7 instantaneous answers to frequently asked questions and personal complex order inquiries with automation or seamlessly connect to a live agent for additional sales or service support.

Agents using Quiq can follow the conversation, take over if desired, and then hand control back to the automated assistant.

Once shoppers request agent support, a transcript of their automated conversation, as well as key user properties like name and email, are passed along to the agent using Quiq’s customer service platform.

Conversational interactions with the live agent will then continue directly within shoppers’ existing chat windows on Instagram.

For online retailers experiencing a surge of customer service inquiries amidst COVID-19 and peak shopping periods, Snaps’ integration with Quiq enables brands to provide faster and more efficient support to shoppers while freeing up agents to focus on more complex support and sales inquiries.

Interested in learning more about Snaps’ partnership with Quiq? Contact us to get more details about our integration and a personalized demonstration of how it works.

Texting Your Customers: How to Increase Survey Response Rates

Consumers’ responses to surveys give brands valuable insights that help them overcome challenges, increase competitiveness, and boost satisfaction rates. However, getting that data is often difficult. Shoppers forget to respond or get confused about how to submit their responses. Dynamic text messages let retailers avoid these undesirable outcomes.

How to Increase Survey Response Rates With Text Messaging

Text messaging enables better communication between consumers and eCommerce businesses. It connects with shoppers in ways they already know and love.

Texting is a preferred communication option in today’s fast-paced world. Its popularity means brands must engage with shoppers and encourage them to answer surveys. eCommerce companies should make interactions personal by including:

  • The shopper’s name.
  • What they bought.
  • When the purchase happened.

Adding a time expectation — such as asking a shopper to complete the survey within the next week — increases the recipient’s chances of taking action immediately instead of waiting. Consumers appreciate getting accurate estimates of how long they’ll spend taking surveys, too.

Adding a direct link to the content within a text message is one smart way to get shoppers on board with giving their feedback. Another approach is to create surveys to take as little time as possible. Formatting a couple of questions so that people can respond by choosing “Yes” or “No” increases interest.

Texting Your Customers: How to Increase Survey Response Rates With Reminders

Consumers have busy lives. Even those who intend to answer survey submission requests may forget. That’s why eCommerce brands should send reminder texts that prompt shoppers to address unopened or unanswered surveys. Giving a reminder with gentle encouragement reaches the consumer without overwhelming them.

A reminder text also offers a chance for retailers to highlight incentives. An eCommerce brand might offer:

  • Coupons.
  • Gifts.
  • Product samples.

Those perks get consumers interested. Many wonder, “What’s in it for me?” Incentives answer that all-important question and get people excited about giving their feedback through surveys.

How to Increase Survey Response Rates With Extra Support

Confusion may make recipients avoid answering surveys. Perhaps they don’t understand particular questions or don’t think they relate to what they purchased — even if those survey parts require answers. Increasing survey response rates with texting happens when consumers feel supported and can get prompt help.

Offering assistance through live text message conversations gets to the heart of why people don’t respond and removes those barriers. This approach creates a personal connection between a shopper and a retailer and increases the recipient’s willingness to give their views. A live conversation also lets shoppers clarify things such as how eCommerce stores use their data and their practices for keeping it safe.

Learn How to Boost Survey Responses

The Quiq Conversational Customer Engagement Platform lets eCommerce companies contact consumers in familiar ways and encourage them to act. Adding text messages and live conversations to content assists shoppers while emphasizing that their voices matter.

Contact Quiq today to learn more. Retailers can also try a demo to see how the platform aligns with survey response goals.