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The holiday season is coming, and everyone is looking for the perfect gift. For ecommerce businesses, that time of year has always meant more customers, more money, and more work for support teams. It’s going to be even more challenging this year. To minimize their exposure to potentially getting infected with COVID-19, many customers who’d typically shop offline will now turn to online shopping.
The economic uncertainty and higher unemployment caused by the pandemic will cause people to spend less overall than they did in the past. However, people will be spending more online. PowerReviews Holiday Consumer Survey reveals that we’re about to experience a massive shift to ecommerce. 64% of respondents said that they’d spend more online than they did last year. This means that agents that already had their hands full during the pre-pandemic holiday seasons will now have to deal with even more chats.
Long hours and dealing with customers in a shopping frenzy can result in a heavy drop in your customer satisfaction levels. But you probably want those holiday shoppers to become loyal customers and come back next year. How can you do that while still handling the never-ending storm of chats, emails, and calls? The answer is chatbots.
What’s a chatbot?
As per the 2020 Chatbot Guide, “A chatbot is software that simulates human-like conversations with users via text messages on chat. Its key task is to help users by providing answers to their questions. Chatbots can chat with multiple users at the same time and provide information within seconds. Because of that, they are now used on a wide scale to help both businesses and consumers communicate with each other on websites and mobile messaging apps.”
Hear me out before you close the tab this article is on. Poorly implemented chatbots can indeed annoy your customers and harm your business. However, if you stick to chatbot best practices and properly launch your bot, you can free up your customer service team’s time and improve the shopping experience on your site or app.
How to make a chatbot work during the holiday season
The most important thing to figure out with your team is the goal of your chatbot. Because, if you try making it do everything and act like a human agent, it will turn into one big mess. So, here are a few common use cases for chatbots during the holiday season.
Take care of frequently asked questions
Sometimes customers just need to make sure of something, even if that information is already clearly stated. Like, for example, if shipping is free. If you’ve been using LiveChat for a while, you've probably prepared canned responses for questions like this. The problem is that answering those questions takes up valuable time. Your team could be helping customers that have more complex issues or need advice on choosing a particular item.
To figure out what the frequently asked questions are, talk to your team. They have a long list. You can also go through your archives and check the most common tags added to conversations. Once you’ve created a list of common questions, use a chatbot to answer them for you. Add text, buttons, gifs, carousels, and other types of rich messages to suggest to users what they can talk about with the AI helper.
Provide 24/7 support
Your customers want to know if that candle is available in lavender, or they need to find out where their package is at 2 a.m. on a Sunday? If you make them wait, they’ll either get annoyed or visit your competitor’s website.
Chatbots answer questions for you during this time by, for example, offering package tracking. They also collect information that will help you provide a personalized answer when you are back online. If an interaction with a chatbot is smooth, a person will be more likely to wait for your response and buy from your business.
AI assistants also help when your agents get so busy that they can’t handle any more chats in a way that says, “We care about you.”
To avoid rushing through a conversation with a customer who is about to make a big order, use chatbots to qualify leads. This way, customers who mean the most to your business are served first and get your undivided attention. Visitors who might land on your website accidentally and have no intention of buying will go no further once the conversation with a chatbot starts.
Turn holiday shoppers into loyal customers
People are used to poor customer support during the holiday season. With chatbots, you free up more of your team’s time, making it possible for agents to show that they care. If you positively surprise your customers during this magical, but also very stressful, time, you’ll create long-lasting relationships with them.
More and more companies use chatbots to show their brand’s personality and improve the buying experience. For example, use bestsellers to create a chatbot scenario that helps customers choose the perfect gift by asking simple questions like, “Who is the gift for?”
Fuse AI scalability and a human approach
ChatBot automation will help you boost customer experience and lighten your workload. Deliver an instant, dynamic, and personalized experience your customers will love, and give your team the time to focus on more complex client questions.
Connect ChatBot with LiveChat in a few steps to take your customer service to the next level, and create multitasking chatbots that can sell, support, engage, and more.
Check chatbot efficiency
Ok, so you’ve integrated ChatBot with LiveChat, and you’ve worked with your team to make it perfect. How do you know if it is helping your business? Your customer service team will probably tell you. Still, if you want to see the data to prove it, take a look at the reports in LiveChat.
The chat satisfaction report
The number of chats has doubled or tripled, but your customer satisfaction level wasn’t affected? If you haven’t increased the number of agents, you can be sure that chatbots had something to do with it. Additionally, customers can rate your chatbot agents. Check and see how they stack up against your human agents. Later, draw your own conclusions about how and where to use chatbots effectively.
The queued customers report
If you are using chatbots to answer frequently asked questions, the number of queued customers should decrease. Many of them won’t need to go past the conversation with your AI helper.
The tracked sales report
If you use the sales tracker, you can check the number of chatbot conversations with a bot that ended with a purchase. Compare the number to the cost of having a chatbot on your team, and you’ll know if it’s the right thing for you.
Now it’s all in your hands. If you want to try chatbot right away but feel like you don’t have time, we have a solution for you. Create your ChatBot account and use the LiveChat template we’ve prepared. Edit it so it fits your needs, and you’ll have a working chatbot in less than 30 minutes. With an increased demand for online shopping this holiday season, you might find your business doesn’t have enough agents’ hands on deck. Or on keyboards, for that matter. If that happens, chatbots will be there to save the day.