Chatbots combine two trends in the world of e-Commerce: enhanced customer service and automated business processes. These handy little features provide support to online consumers in the form of text or audio responses, and give the impression of interacting with a real person.

Some popular chatbots that we are all familiar with include Siri and Amazon Echo. Certain versions are meant to feel more “real” than others, and some can even pass the Turing test, which determines the extent to which a machine is distinguishable from a human. Either way, the main goal of a chatbot is to help companies quickly and conveniently respond to customer needs.

Let’s explore 6 ways in which incorporating chatbots into your online shop or mobile app can improve your customer service capabilities.

1. Reduce the need for 24/7 customer service teams

Want to reduce operational costs without compromising customer satisfaction? Chatbots can answer customer inquiries at anytime, day or night, 365 days a year.
They can also handle requests at extremely high volumes, and bots work with the same efficiency in every time zone so you can avoid hiring a team for the night shift. While these implementing these elements would be expensive with solely human personnel, chatbots offer the same standards of service without the added costs.

2. Chatbots offer immediate automated responses

For customers, waiting for a response to their question or assistance from a representative can feel like an eternity. Why? Because we live in a digital age of instant responses where answers can be found with the touch of a button, especially in the e-Commerce industry. The longer your customers have to wait, the more likely they are to take their business to one of your competitors.

On the other hand, customers are more likely to purchase a product or service when they receive an automatic response to their inquiries. Clearly, there is value in incorporating chatbot services into your customer support functions.

3. Choose the bot that is right for you

As bots become increasingly advanced in their capabilities, you now have the option to select the bot that best meets your needs. Perhaps the best choice for your business is a flexible chatbot that can provide general answers to a variety of questions. Or you might do better with something more thorough that can answer a limited set of questions with robust, comprehensive answers. Maybe your perfect chatbot falls somewhere between these two options. Take the time to explore the possibilities and select the chatbot with the highest chance of creating an exceptional experience for your customers.

4. The better alternative for customer service

It is not uncommon for a number of your customers to ask similar questions. While the answers to these questions may appear on your website’s FAQ page, many people fail to take the time to use this tool correctly. Chatbots are a convenient way to respond immediately and individually to questions frequently asked by customers. Your customers will be grateful to avoid long wait times and tedious menus with faster, easier chatbot answers.

Emails are another common inquiry format, but they often require longer response times, pulling your employees away from other important tasks. Incorporating a chatbot into your customer service toolkit allows your customers to find answers to their questions anytime, anywhere and help you deliver excellent customer service.

5. Chatbots are preferred by Millennials

Millennials are without a doubt one of the largest and most active demographics of online shopping. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to examine the behaviour of millennial consumers. Today’s online shoppers crave convenience, and they want to have their customer service needs resolved at the source: online.

Chatbots offer this convenience by providing consumers with instant means of communication while they shop. If you can keep customers from leaving the site of your ecommerce, you increase the probability of them completing a purchase.

6. Show customers that you are sensitive to their preferences

As technology continues to speed ahead, winning consumer loyalty will require your business to provide innovation and the best solutions technology can offer. You will also need to demonstrate that your company cares about the customer journey that you have created.

Chatbots not only show that you are on top of the latest digital advancements, but are also a great way to let customers know that you are paying attention to their preferences, and taking action to meet their expectations.

Where there is a customer, there is a need. It is entirely up to you and your organisation to provide your customers with high-quality, convenient, and effective support that encourages loyalty. By automating your customer service portfolio, you can offer more to your shoppers, while making processes more efficient. Quick, convenient, and comprehensive: chatbots = value.