By Lindsay Sanchez, Chief Marketing Officer
Customer satisfaction. It’s been a top priority for businesses since the first dollar exchanged hands. A happy customer comes back, recommends you to friends, keeps your business running. That’s why it’s critical for the “digital experience” to provide that same level of service.
Websites that generate sales are those that prioritize the happy customer. Ease-of-use, product availability, and access to helpful information are all dimensions of customers’ needs a website must satisfy to convert. But developing that positive “digital experience” can be a daunting task that still leaves many companies perplexed.
Virtual Assistant. Actual Conversations.
Fortunately, technology is finally catching up to facilitate a huge development in online customer service. The latest advancements in Natural Language Processing have led to new chatbots that introduce a concept that goes hand in hand with the “digital experience” – it’s called conversational commerce. At its core are bots that assist customers with a human-like intuition that website interfaces have always lacked.
Bots speak to your customers, respond to their unique requests and anticipate their needs. In addition to the robust content offered by your site, the bot exists in the background and recognizes each individual to legitimately personalize the experience. This makes your website more flexible and helps customers find answers faster. It also can lead to better conversations regarding your “digital experience.”
In an article from CIO Magazine on chatbots making it personal Avinash Roa, global business head of consultancy Wipro Digital, weighed in on the size of the task to make bots highly personalized to individual preferences.
“That is no trivial task, requiring companies to continually refine their machine-learning and natural language processing algorithms – the key ingredients that let bots assimilate human conversation. The biggest challenge in building an effective bot is to solve the issue of personalization. The bot has to know and understand you (who you are and what you want) in order to process and retrieve things,” Roa said.
It Clicks With Customers
Customers want to connect with companies online. Bots become the personal assistants that allow customers to skip clicking around and get right to the point of their visit. By engaging your customers and satisfying their inquiries, bots make navigating a web site more enjoyable. That can often translate into customer loyalty – and a loyal customer can benefit your bottom line.
According to a recently published white paper, “Conversational Commerce Changes Customer Service Conversation,” engaged customers:
- Are 5x more likely to choose your company for future purchases
- Are 7x times more likely to respond to your promotional offers.
- Spend 300% more than unengaged customers each year and are
- Are 90% more likely to make more frequent purchases.
In a recent FastCompany article on chatbots and the future of web design, John Brownlee states “What I discovered building a chatbot was that I could actually convey something that a traditional personal website never could, which is my character and personality.” He also makes an important point – “Chatbots can be custom-tailored to express different sides of a brand’s personality based on who they are talking to.”
Taking Bots Cross-Platform
Your website is not the sole source of your customer interaction. Bots can cross applications and navigate different channels to find your customer anytime and anywhere. That means bots can respond in real time to inquiries submitted via text, social media, web, voice or email.
Going above and beyond in the old days meant recognizing your customers, anticipating their needs and surpassing expectations. It took a personal touch that technology and automated self-service previously lacked. Now, bots get to know your customers. They make better recommendations and provide better direction. They make customers feel valued, informed and capable of taking action. It revives “the way things used to be” via a technology that’s the future of business.