Chatbot for Customer Service

Your customers expect nothing less than 24/7 online customer support. Providing efficient and effective customer service round the clock is on the wish list for most modern businesses. But in today's online world, that’s easier said than done. Being online 24/7 is difficult and expensive. Often, customers end up getting disappointed with a less-than-perfect online helpdesk, and go back to sending an email, calling, or worse – simply giving up.

A customer service chatbot has the ability to turn things around. It engages with customers on your website 24/7, offers them help, answers their questions and solves their problems online without the need for a human operator. The customer service chatbot also helps your support team by taking care of repetitive incoming queries and leaving them free to focus on unique support cases.

What is a Customer Service Chatbot?

A customer service (support) chatbot acts as an automated 24/7 support representative on your website. It can answer hundreds of questions instantly, help customers navigate your website, and provide them with step-by-step guides, documents and multimedia content to help them solve their problems online.

Your visitors can talk to the chatbot in their own words and get instant answers to their questions. By learning to respond to all frequently asked questions, the chatbot reduces the number of support enquiries reaching your phone or email. And in case a customer has a complex or atypical issue that the chatbot can’t solve, it connects them with your human support reps through a built-in form or LiveChat intervention.

Surveys and analytics have shown that most incoming support calls and emails are for repetitive questions that have simple answers. As such, streamlining customer service operations with the help of a customer support chatbot should be a priority for every modern business.

Why are Customer Support Chatbots So Good at Online Service?

Today’s customers expect customer service to be speedy, simple, and capable of resolving all their issues online. The problem is that while websites are good at hosting and presenting information, they are pretty bad at providing customer support.

The fact that a website is packed with content doesn’t automatically mean that this content is easy to find. Over and over again, websites have fallen short when it comes to guiding customers and helping them find the support they need. When they have support questions, most customers are looking to go online, ask their question and simply get an answer. But more often than not, they don't find the right FAQ when they need it. It’s equally common for a customer to need an answer to a specific question, and then give up simply because they didn't find this answer within a few seconds.

Besides the fact that it’s hard for your customers to find answers to their queries online, your website also doesn’t get updated with the questions that your customers are really asking. As a result, your support team ends up handling repetitive tasks that can be easily solved online through an automated 24/7 support representative on your website.

A customer service chatbot dramatically improves this arrangement. It gets the customers' attention, shows them that there is a tool that provide them support, lets them ask their questions and helps them solve their problems instantly.

Here are a couple examples of real conversations between a customer and a customer service chatbot:

Example 1: Customer service chatbot on a footwear store’s website
Chatbot: "Hello! Welcome to ABC Shoes store. I am the ABC support chatbot, how may I help you?"
Customer: "I want to return shoes I bought"
Chatbot: "I will be happy to help you with our Return and Exchange Policy.
You can get a full refund within 14 days of purchase for shoes in their original box. You can click here to read more about our Return and Exchange Policy.
What is the reason you want to return the shoes? Please choose one of the options: Wrong size, Wrong Color, I regret buying it, Other reasons."
Customer: "Wrong size"
Chatbot: "You can return or replace the items you have purchased in any of our stores around the country within 60 days of purchase. Or you can send us the shoes in their original, unused condition and we will send you a replacement in the right size."
Customer: "How do I know the right shoe size for me?"
Chatbot: "All our featured brands have a Size Chart to help you find the right fit for your footwear. You will find the chart on each brand page below the available sizes.
Do you need any additional help?"
Customer: "Yes, where should I send the shoes to replace them?"
Chatbot: "To replace your shoes please download the following Exchange Form.
Please fill the form and send it with the shoes in their original box to:
ABC Shoes, 111 example street, New-York.
Do you need any additional help?"
Customer: "No, thank you!"
Chatbot: "I am glad I could help!"

Example 2: Student support chatbot on a university website
Chatbot: "Hello! Welcome to our Students Portal. How may I help you?"
Student: "Hi, I am looking for a place to study quietly"
Chatbot: "The Library provides quiet study spaces, computers, Wi-Fi and printer access, as well as bookable group study rooms. Note that study spaces must be booked in advance.
What would you like to do: book a study space, find the library open hours, or contact our librarians?"
Student: "What are the library open hours?"
Chatbot: "The library is open during campus opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 10.00pm
Saturday: 8.30am to 6.00pm
Sunday: 10.00am to 6.00pm
Do you need any additional help? Book a study space, borrow books, or contact our librarians?"
Student: "I would like to book a study space"
Chatbot: "To book a study space please click here and fill all the requested details."

Adding a customer service chatbot to your website makes it highly effective at providing technical support, troubleshooting and off-hour resolution with results that include up to 80% reduction in incoming phone calls and emails to your support team.

Top 5 Features of a Successful Customer Service Chatbot

There are many factors that decide how effective your support chatbot will be. But here we will focus on the top 5 features that can get your customer service chatbot to reduce up to 80% of your incoming support calls and emails.

1. Chatbot Triggers and Introduction
The chatbot introduction is basically the first few sentences that start the conversation between your chatbot and a customer. This introduction is used by the chatbot to engage with your customers, welcome them and let them know that help is available as and when they need it.

The chatbot introduction distinguishes your chatbot from other pop-ups or advertisement banners on your website. These few sentences can go a long way in capturing your customers’ attention and getting them to understand that the chatbot is a tool for them to use. A good introduction will welcome your customers and give them options to start a conversation.

2. Chatbot Answers and NLP
The customer service chatbot can be loaded with hundreds of questions and answers to cover any questions asked during the chat. These questions and answers can be edited and customized as per your business needs. Chatbot answers can include videos, images, PDFs, step-by-step guides and external links to great content that facilitate problem solving online.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the customer service chatbot’s ability to understand what people are asking using their own words. Using free text gives the customers the freedom to have an intuitive conversation and find what they need within a few seconds – and without all the fuss around searching the website or waiting for someone to answer them.

3. Q&A Feedback
The customer service chatbot can invite your customers to write their feedback on a specific answer they were provided by the chatbot. Q&A feedback gives your business the advantage of a direct link with customer insights, preferences and behavior.

Your website by itself has no way of communicating to you what your customers are thinking when looking for support. Their opinions, queries and problems have so far only been assessed through website analytics – which reveal just a part of the picture. The chatbot’s feedback options open up a whole new world of information to help you improve your website's conversions for support.

4. AI Self Learning
While talking with visitors, your chatbot AI scans hundreds of conversations in order to learn new questions and recommended optimizations. Once it is online and in conversation with your visitors, the chatbot starts sending you email notifications with new questions it has learned. All you need to do is add answers for these questions and the chatbot will know how to address them from that point on.

The chatbot's AI self learning helps you efficiently discover what kind of help your customers need. This in turn creates successful chatbots that start with a handful of Q&As and within a short period of time know how to answer hundreds of questions with a high success rate.

5. Sending Queries to Human Support
If the chatbot can’t answer a customer’s question, or in case of a complex issue that the chatbot can’t solve, it connects the customer with human support. This can work in two ways:

By Sending Support Tickets to CRM: Support tickets collected by the chatbot can be sent straight to your CRM and to your support team. During the conversation with your customer, the chatbot collects valuable information about the problem they are facing. Your support team can use this information to catch up with the conversation so far and save valuable time.

Through LiveChat Intervention: The chatbot has an option for a human operator to take over the conversation in specific cases or when a customer is asking for human help. The chatbot system notifies your support team when there is an active conversation that requires their intervention, and your support reps can step in from that point.

Ready to streamline your customer support with the help of a customer service chatbot? VirtualSpirits offers a wide range of effective chatbot templates to get you started right away. For any questions about building a customer service chatbot for your website, feel free to contact us.