Research from the global consulting company Gartner shows that by 2020, chatbots and other automated solutions will handle 85% of customer service interactions.
Companies are transitioning to automated customer service for many reasons. For example, it offers faster response times, can predict customer service issues, and is increasingly cost-effective. Additionally, when coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) and connected to back-end operational systems, these automated systems become incredibly powerful and provide a tremendous level of customer service and customer satisfaction.
Keep reading to learn more about how artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and Microsoft cloud solutions are improving customer service across industries.
What Are Automated Bots?
Automated customer service bots use machine learning to help customers resolve issues without having to interact with your representatives. Machine learning uses complex mathematical algorithms to analyze large volumes of data, identify patterns, and create new conclusions. In addition to machine learning, sophisticated bots utilize natural language processing, which allows them to understand and process oral and written language.
RELATED ARTICLE: How Machine Learning Works: A Mathematical and Visual Analysis
To the average user, an automated customer service chatbot looks like any other online messaging service. However, rather than discussing their problems or questions with a human, customers chat with bots using powerful software tools to understand and resolve issues. Once properly trained and implemented, customer service chatbots offer prompt, reliable, and efficient service. And if they can’t resolve a customer’s issue, they can automatically connect that person to one of your live representatives.
Bots Can Improve Your Customer Service Experience and Reduce Costs
Increasingly, modern consumers expect real-time responses to their customer service queries. And many consumers would rather not call you on the phone. According to a survey from SalesForce, 72% of people think customer service phone calls aren’t the best way to get support. In addition, approximately 81% of millennials use social media for customer service issues. In other words, most consumers want automated bots, not call centers.
Besides meeting consumer expectations, automated customer service chatbots offer numerous other benefits:
Anticipating and Preventing Customer Service Calls
Unlike a human customer service agent, an automated system can monitor your website and app activity to identify issues as they develop. The bot can then intervene and help—even before the user becomes frustrated and decides a customer service call is necessary. This can help you build a reputation for exceptional service and build brand loyalty.
Cutting Your Customer Service Response Times
Shockingly, 24% of companies take more than 24 hours to respond to an online sales lead. You can avoid the inevitable delays associated with call centers and protect your brand’s reputation by implementing sophisticated customer service chatbots. An automated system is always on and can respond to questions and issues in real time, whether it’s within regular business hours or over a holiday weekend.
Reducing Your Customer Service Costs
It costs thousands of dollars to hire and train a human customer service representative. Then, if they leave your company, you’ll need to repeat the entire process. When you implement automated customer service bots, you only need to train them when you’re implementing the system or making changes to your customer service processes. This reduces costs and creates efficiencies. Additionally, you can reduce your human representatives’ workload by shifting routine tasks to bots.
Personalizing Your Company’s Customer Service Experience
You have a remarkable amount of data about your customers and their habits. When you use an automated customer service bot system, you can customize their experience. For example, a bot can identify a user’s recent orders, converse in their preferred language, or recommend an alternative product based on their previous purchases.
The Microsoft Azure Bot Service Streamlines the Automated BOT Design and Implementation Processes
The Microsoft Azure platform offers powerful, reliable tools for the design and implementation of high-performing, automated chatbots, including:
- Azure Bot Service: a robust development environment that integrates with your website and popular messaging channels like Facebook Messenger, Cortana, Skype, and Slack
- Cognitive Services: use AI to implement speech, computer vision, knowledge, search, and other capabilities
- Language Understanding: build natural language understanding and machine learning capabilities into your bots in twelve languages — and counting.
Together, Microsoft’s tools let us create sophisticated, conversational bots that are responsive, reliable, and cost-effective.
Stratus Innovations Group: Creative and Cost-Effective Enterprise Cloud Solutions
If you’re ready to learn more about how automated customer service bots could improve your business operations, contact Stratus Innovations Group today. Our team builds and manages innovative Microsoft Azure solutions for businesses of all sizes. To request more information, complete our online form or call us at 844-561-6721.
Crossing the generational divide: Providing customer service for today’s consumers. (2015). Desk.com. Retrieved from https://webassets.desk.com/static/ebooks/desk-customer-service-across-generational-divide-report.pdf
Levy, H.P. (2016, October 18). Gartner predicts a virtual world of exponential change. Gartner. Retrieved from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartner-predicts-a-virtual-world-of-exponential-change/
Oldroyd, J., McElheran, K., Elkington, D. (2011, March). The short life of online sales leads. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2011/03/the-short-life-of-online-sales-leads