Remember the days when you’d dread making a customer service call to your network provider for fear of having to deal with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems on the other side of the phone? No one liked having to listen to that familiar monotonous IVR telling you to “Press (silence) 9 awkward voice change to listen to (silence) the menu options again”.
Fast forward to 2019 where essentially the same concept has now been fine-tuned to make not only customer experience, but also customer assistance more seamless than ever before. That dreaded call-assistant has evolved to give us efficient chatbots as well as Deep-Learning and Natural Language Processing fueled voice assistants, and as a result customer engagement is soaring across platforms enabled with conversational AI.
Instant Chatbots Help Tapping Into Leads While They’re Hot
Timing is crucial when it comes to responding to potential leads. A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that the majority of firms respond to leads post a 12 hour period, which substantially diminishes the possibility of converting the lead. At times, responding to a lead within 5 minutes as compared to 10 resulted in an 80% decrease in the lead qualification rate.
By introducing conversational AI into their lead response systems, companies can now instantly engage with any prospect without the need for a human to actually be initiating that conversation from their side. In this regard, conversational AI can have several advantages for businesses. For instance, a small digital agency cannot respond to its multi-national clientele in real time 24×7. implementing instant replies through conversational AI is a great way to engage and capture sufficient lead information to initiate a call back by a sales team member the following day. Meanwhile, several companies are also using conversational AI to nurture their leads by sending coupons to return web visitors.
All this leads us to believe that chatbots have become highly effective in being able to coalesce with a company’s CRM solution, and its round-the-clock accessibility and instant response mechanism are what makes a giant like Gartner predict that by 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be managed by AI, a 400% increase from 2017.
Transforming The Face of Customer Queries Through Conversational AI
If responding to leads has an optimal time frame, customer queries aren’t that different either. Timely responding to your current users can highly affect their perception of your product/service and can eventually be the factor that either makes them one-time users or repeat users. A survey that studied customer response times shows that 84% of customers prefer getting an instant reply to their queries and without appropriate automation, such a task would be highly costly and human-intensive. “Conversational AI has transformed the landscape of customer engagement, emerging as the cornerstone of future communications,” says Aakrit Viash, CEO of Haptik, a leading conversational AI platform.
Haptik enabled the growing cricket fantasy app Dream 11, to effectively respond to over 1 million customer queries during IPL 2018 with a team of barely 30 people. “Customers are everywhere today,” continues Aakrit, “and there are now more than 5 billion registered users on messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Only conversational AI solutions can effectively reach out to these massive number of users simultaneously across several platforms.
The Future Of Customer Interactions: Where Are We Headed?
Overall, one can see a rising trend in human behavior that’s leading people more towards avoiding interactions with other humans in places where technology can replace them. When was the last time you stopped to ask someone for directions? The mere presence of Google Maps replaces that need for a majority of the population to stop and talk to someone. Same with booking movie tickets, flights, or even ordering food online.
The truth is that most customers will embrace technology over human interactions if it saves them time. 54% of customers said they would always choose a chatbot over a human customer service rep if it saved them 10 minutes. Finally, it seems as though the age of customer service calls getting routed to some obscure Indian call-centres are over. So where do we see this shift taking us 5 years from now?