For the first time since 2015, the use of messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik, Viber, Telegram, WeChat, Line (the list goes on) took over the use of social media in terms of monthly active users. The change happened at about the 2.5 billion mark, when the number of people using messaging platforms started to climb sharply. As of the end of 2016, messaging apps boasted around 4 billion monthly active users to social media’s 3.5 billion (these figures are global). So, why use chatbots?
The rise of the messenger platform
With such huge consumer adoption comes huge opportunity, and so businesses began to embrace the messaging channel in an attempt to serve their customers where their customers spend their time. Customers want to communicate with businesses on their terms and are no longer willing to download stand alone apps or visit company websites. Luckily for businesses, lots of messenger platforms allow for the development of chatbots, meaning companies can be there without actually having to… be there! Here are just a few reasons why businesses are beginning to invest in bots:
Increase first contact resolution
Reduce overall call agents
Vastly reduce triage calls
Streamline call routing to appropriate departments
Flag high priority calls through sentiment analysis
Increase and or create upsell opportunities
Profile customers based on chatbot integrations
Integrating profiling data into existing CRMs
Automate and streamline post call administration
Leverage chat analysis to understand chat trends
Streamline customer satisfaction surveying
In-built 'Next Best Action' recommendations
Automate DPA checks
Although these benefits are undeniably transformational for businesses, it’s important to remember that bots are not unbreakable and they can’t do everything that humans can - they’re designed to work in conjunction with humans agents.
"$8 billion per year will be saved by businesses globally through AI and chatbot adoption Juniper Research."
The customer viewpoint
So chatbots make perfect sense from a business perspective, but what about the customer viewpoint? It turns out there’s a huge demand there too. We looked at just some of the reasons customers would use a chatbot, and listed them in order of popularity:
24 hour service
Quick answers to simple questions
Ease of communication
Ability to register a complaint
Efficient complaint resolution
Good customer experience
Quick answers to complex issues
Friendly and approachable
It’s clear that customer demand is changing (and increasing). There’s an expectation that businesses are now contactable anytime, anywhere and through any channel, and messaging platforms, chatbots and AI make this possible. In short, it’s definitely time to make messaging a core part of your communication strategy.
When it comes to benchmarking against competition, price is often at the forefront of business owners minds however, according to Gartner, 89% of businesses compete through the level of customer experience they’re able to deliver.
Businesses can’t afford to offer limited customer support; 24/7/365 multichannel support is a must and with 5 billion people sending more than 100 billion messages every day via multiple messaging apps, chatbots are a no brainer.
In summary, it’s imperative to have a presence on the channels that your customers choose to communicate through whether that be Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, Kik, the list goes on. With 64% of people choosing to message a business instead of picking up the telephone and a mammoth 94% of customers who “dread” contacting customer services, it’s become essential to integrate a 24/7/365 customer service platform into your business. AI and automation are becoming integral and Gartner recently found that by 2020, 55% of major brands will have some kind of AI initiative in place, many of which will be focused on customer service.