Improve Your Website Experience with Chatbots

Improve your customer experience with chatbots

For smaller businesses, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more accessible. Through this we see that many are turning to chatbots for an improved user experience and to automate communications with potential consumers. Google, the brand to follow, currently have about 1 billion voice-enabled devices in the market. This means that one in seven people worldwide have interacted with a bot, with or without realising it. To keep up with Google, business leaders must do what Google does and what Google likes, and right now that is chatbots.

Chatbots are a fast-growing segment. A finance report by Yahoo says that the chatbot industry exceeded 14 billion Rands in 2018 and is expected to grow ten times that by the year 2026. The growth of this industry is due to its all-inclusive benefits offered; to businesses, customers and potential consumers.

In a technology driven world, people are more likely to be comfortable speaking to a bot rather than a real human being. A benefit of the using chatbots for your online business space is user experience (UX). This blog has been written so that you can understand what chatbots are and more importantly, why they enable better user experience (UX).

Understanding what a Chatbot is

“A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation through voice commands or text chats or both. Chatbot, short for chatterbot, is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) feature that can be embedded and used through any major messaging applications.”

Chatbots and Value: A Perfect Match

The goal of this article is to chat (pun intended) about how chatbots enhance UX, although first we must talk about the value they bring – especially combined with human customer service efforts.

Chatbots and value; explained:

  • Constant customer support: To run a business after hours is costly and yet only offering consumer response between the business hours of nine to five can turn consumers away. Here is where chatbots save the day. With the help of chatbots, companies can provide support 24/7/365. Constant available support is value added and makes for a very happy customer.
  • Get qualified leads: A chatbot can be programmed to receive all kinds of information. A chatbot can identity a lead based off of only a few initial questions asked. Once a lead is identified and the chatbot has asked for the customer’s email address, this lead can then be passed onto a sales representative for them to do what they do best. With human communication, they can build a relationship, close deals and win for the business.
  • Chatbots allow for increased social listening: Chatbots allow reps to use social listening tools rather than wasting time filtering through business/product/service-related calls. Giving them the space to engage in organic conversations which are happening on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Allowing them to answer customer questions and therefore increasing brand awareness.

Chatbots and Customer Service

In this fast pace, digitally driven world, businesses needs to make sure that their consumers feel that their needs are of top priority. This next section explores the way in which chatbots improve customer service and user experience.

Flawless service 24/7

Chatbots provide a seamless live chat experience all the time. Chatbots are programmed to respond naturally and this is why they are very easy to interact with unlike some other tech solutions. This means that customers can get what they need easily. Chatbots can integrate into other company resources and systems. Which means they can submit referrals, alert management to issues, and log important data for the company.

Chatbots are seamless, natural and they work around the clock, they are an obvious choice for companies. Chatbots can also be integrated with eCommerce sites (online purchasing), meaning that the customer journey just got a little easier. They can pop up on product pages or at check-out to offer more information or added customer value like incentives.

Essential for Branding

Chatbots are designed to behave as you have designed them to. This is invaluable as companies can design their chatbots around their brand personality, creating a cohesive impression whether it be from sales rep to customer or from chatbot to customer. You can design your chatbot to be exactly what you want, whether it be funny or charming or simply straightforward, it is up to you and your brand. It is important for you to align the tone of your chatbot with your brand, mission and values.

Chatbots Relieve Customer Service Pressures

Evidence strongly suggests that people do not like to make customer service calls. We may go as far as to say people ‘hate’ making customer service calls. A combination of factors contribute to the frustrations of customer service calls, technical problems, social anxieties and noisy backgrounds are a few to name. Hence why people prefer to communicate with a chatbot who no doubt can take care of their needs at first attempt.

Replace and Reinvent Outdated Tech

Wanting to get answers fast is of priority today. This means that people become easily frustrated with interactive voice response (IVR) menus which make customers sit through a menu of options and more often than not filling out an information gathering form is another problem as well.

These two outdated technology options can easily be replaced using chatbots. With a responsive chatbot that understands customer context, your customers will never have to wait through another IVR menu. Forms have also become irrelevant in the data collection process because engaging bots can also assess surveys.

Better Digital Customer Service: Key to UX

User experience and customer service go together like gin and tonic, or cheese and wine, or burgers and beer. (It must be 5pm somewhere) You see they go together well.

When a business starts to focus on UX they are thinking about ways in which their business can better serve their customers through the design of their website and technology make-up.
Chatbots positively change your digital structure in a number of ways:

  • Providing a platform for constant support and interpreted intake.
  • Combining your brand personality and customer service values with your business technology infrastructure.
  • Replacing outdated technology or that of what is no longer needed.
  • Increasing productivity and encouraging social listening efforts.
  • Automating mundane manual processes such as lead generation.

All these points mentioned help create an all-inclusive, focused customer service experience as well as a seamless UX when your customers interact with your brand’s online space. More so, chatbots can be optimized to make them more beneficial and suited to your company.

Chatbots Optimized for UX

A world leader in research-based UX, Nielsen Norman group recently explored chatbot optimization for UX and made apparent the following concepts:

Interaction style: Multiple-choice carousels of pre-decided links and buttons as well as the opportunity for customers to input sentences to tell the AI bot what they need are both needed and rather required. These links and buttons should be easily recognizable for what their functions are.

Menus and resource links: Chatbots are able to offer a number of choices to consumers, including links to other resources according to Nielsen Norman, this can be used best when the links and menus are included in the chatbot window when it may be required to appear.

Guiding conversations: As we advance with technology so should the ability of the chatbot. They should be able and prepared to answer more complex questions as to avoid throwing a customer off or causing them to repeat the entire enquiry process.

Carousels: A controversial aspect in the world of digital products and SEO, although when faced with chatbots they may be the solution to offering full support. Potential options displayed in the chat window using a slider allows for customers to choose what is best for their needs.

Personalization: This is not from the research of Nielsen Norman, but it is important. Retailers today are increasing in online revenue and decreasing in foot traffic and personalization to customers is highly imperative. Chatbots support this by listening and then offering solutions.

SharpSpring & Inspired Marketing: Experts on User Experience

Chatbots provide both an amazing experience for businesses and a consistent customer service effort. They save valuable time, money and other resources when properly implemented whilst also creating a unique customer journey. Chatbots remove the frustrations and replaces them with things which are intuitive.

Both at SharpSpring and Inspired Marketing, we know how automated marketing can shape great UX on your website. We work together with big and small businesses, so can spend less time working on your digital marketing architecture and more time on your customers and the bigger picture.

Article first published by Jamie Embree, Senior Marketing Director of SharpSpring

Inspired Marketing is a SharpSpring Platinum Partner.

Improve your customer experience with chatbots
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