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The Value of Bots in a Post-COVID-19 World

How Chatbots & Voicebots Can Optimize Costs & Improve CX

For many brands & customer service organizations we’ve spoken to over the past few weeks, the Coronavirus pandemic is presenting new and daunting challenges for customer care. As inbound requests catapult, companies are scrambling to keep customers happy while quickly onboarding new reps to meet the surging demand. This fresh demand is further complicated by the shift to remote work and physical distancing models, and the added struggle of keeping employees on message - and on task - as legislation, public health information and internal processes continually shift.

In the midst of this new normal, artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, including chatbots and voicebots, are allowing companies to react quickly without sacrificing customer experience. AI solutions help you stay on top of higher-than-normal inbound chat volumes, deliver consistent messaging and reduce hiring needs— all of which make your customer experience better during both crisis and calm.

Have you thought about how AI solutions can help your CX program stay cool and collected during COVID-19 and beyond? Here are a few of the biggest wins companies are seeing thanks to AI solutions, and how you can incorporate them into your workflow for immediate results.

Cut wait times and costs, while driving sales

When inbound chat volumes go through the roof, whether that’s due to a global crisis or a Black Friday sale, your contact center feels the heat and the customer experience can suffer. Take some airline customers, for example, who experienced wait times of up to 2,299 minutes (that’s 38 hours) in the days following government-imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

With chatbots fielding customers’ initial inquiries, the majority of simple requests (such as straightforward questions about reservation details or a company policy) are quickly processed and resolved without ever needing a human agent. Multiple requests can be addressed simultaneously. And because chatbots learn from each conversation, their capacity to quickly triage and deliver better, smarter service only grows over time.

With an average time savings of over 4 minutes per enquiry, chatbots and natural language processing will save companies about $8 billion per year in customer support costs by 2022, according to a recent report from Juniper Research. On top of cost savings, chatbots can also drive sales by making recommendations, upselling and cross-selling based on a customer’s previous orders and preferences.

Allow agents to focus on more sensitive issues

By taking the load off your customer service team, chatbots and voicebots free agents up to address more challenging issues. That means your highly qualified staff can focus on doing what they do best — assessing the situation, minimizing friction and providing quick and easy resolutions. With more customers able to resolve complaints through self-service, agents can deliver even better service to customers with more complex inquiries. Considering that a 5% increase in customer retention is all it takes to see more than a 25% increase in profits, smart companies are investing in technologies that ease the experience and keep customers coming back.

While live chat has the highest satisfaction level of any customer service channel at 73%, voicebot solutions are poised to grow as voice assistants become a fixture in consumers’ daily lives. A recent study of conversational commerce showed that customers who used voice assistants a few times were highly satisfied when it came to making financial transactions (87%), ordering food (87%) and purchasing products (86%).

Reduce hiring and turnover

Attracting and hiring skilled customer service agents is already challenging enough without the added complexity of a global pandemic. What if you could reduce additional hiring needs by incorporating AI solutions into your workflow? When you leave the canned responses and quick fixes to bots, you reduce the burden on human agents and drastically cut operational costs. 

Chatbots and voicebots are available around the clock. They don’t need breaks, sick leave, or holidays. And they can actually help protect human lives in crisis situations like the one we’re in now. Not only that, but your agents are relieved of the monotonous tasks that make their jobs tedious, create dissatisfaction and lead to high churn.

Keep everyone on message

In these uncertain times, your customers are reaching out for assistance and information, and it’s critically important that everyone in your contact center is consistent. With processes and messaging changing quickly during a crisis, AI assistants can help your team stay on message with accurate responses and quick reference information. And your bot can easily be updated with new information, too, providing the instantaneous, on-demand answers many of today’s customers (in particular, millennials) are seeking.

You’re already moving quicker than ever to respond to the current crisis. And luckily you can move quickly to ramp up your contact center response, too. By incorporating an AI chatbot or voicebot into your process, you can slash the stress, stay collected and keep communication rolling as demand for service fluctuates now and into the future. And your customers will walk away happier than before, too.

Chatbots CX Voicebots

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