Enhancing customer engagement with interactive chatbots

With customers seeking seamless, real-time, and omnichannel support for their queries and concerns, businesses are increasingly looking at AI-powered chatbots for a heightened customer experience (CX). By simulating human-like conversations, AI chatbots can engage customers in natural conversation, understand their needs, and offer tailored solutions.

However, the potential benefits of interactive chatbots extend much beyond query handling. Bots can gather data for valuable customer insights, provide personalised recommendations and guidance, and foster a sense of being ‘understood’ by the brand.

Here, we explore how chatbots drive customer engagement and enhance customer experience.

Value of chatbots in the CX industry

Studies predict that the chatbot industry will be worth $239.2 million by 2025, thanks to the ability of conversational AI to automate support activities and engage customers. Below is a look at how interactive customer service chatbots are adding value to businesses by enhancing CX and improving the customer journey:

  • 24/7 availability
  • Customers no longer like to queue up on an IVR system or wait for an email response. Many industries, such as finance, telecommunications, and healthcare, use chatbots to respond to customers in real time to cater to their demands.
    The key advantage of using chatbots in customer service is their ability to deliver 24/7 support. AI-powered bots are not limited by business hours or human restrictions in handling multiple interactions simultaneously.

    Recent studies have found that 74% of customers prefer interacting with chatbots over speaking to human agents due to the bots’ self-serve capabilities and round-the-clock availability.

  • Task automation
  • While most chatbots can handle routine queries and FAQs, the advanced versions, powered by ML and Natural Language Processing (NLP), can be programmed to

    • Understand emotions and provide case-appropriate responses
    • Troubleshoot complex technical issues
    • Guide users through product purchase and setup
    • Send post-purchase product notifications
    • Route new users to the right place to find information such as product availability, discounts, refunds, and delivery tracking
    • Recommend new products based on customer preferences
    • Perform interactive customer surveys

    According to research, using chatbots for customer service and task automation will enable industries to save up to 2.5 billion human hours and $8 billion in revenue in just two years.

  • Personalisation

  • Customer service chatbots enable businesses to deliver personalisation at scale.

    Based on customers’ browsing history and purchasing behaviour, bots use data analysis and ML algorithms to make highly personalised recommendations. This enhances customer engagement and allows businesses to cross-sell, up-sell, and align their offerings with customer preferences.

    Businesses can also use chatbot-generated data to build detailed customer profiles, which can help them in targeted advertising and posting customised content across diverse communication channels.

  • Feedback collection
  • Customer service chatbots can serve as an effective tool to gather feedback after interactions. Besides direct feedback, businesses can also use sophisticated techniques such as intelligent social listening, sentiment analysis, and text analysis of bot-generated data to identify areas for improvement and improve CX.

  • Industry-specific use cases
  • Since bots learn from business-specific data and ML algorithms, they can be custom-built to meet industry-specific needs. So far, they have found applications across various industries, such as finance, entertainment, real estate, and travel, as enterprise support tools and digital personal assistants.

    Some potential use cases of generative chatbots include financial fraud prevention, help in medical research and documentation, investment support, and end-to-end tax filing support.  

How to refine your customer service chatbot?

The use of customer service chatbots is now mainstream. For the bot to serve as a differentiating factor, businesses must now focus on maximising CX outcomes through chatbot usage. For this, they must continuously refine their bot’s functionality and iterate based on user feedback.

Here are five ways to set up your chatbot for a customer experience that is truly exceptional and rewarding:

  • Give it an identity
  • While your customers know that your chatbot is not human, giving it a name and voice adds personality, makes it approachable, and helps align it with your brand’s identity.

  • Improve the bot’s NLP capabilities
  • Invest in advanced NLP techniques, such as sentiment analysis and entity recognition. This will improve your bot’s understanding of user intents and input variations and enable it to respond with empathy.

  • Create space for human intervention
  • Most customer service chatbots can answer routine queries but fumble while handling complex or unprecedented issues. Ensure that you embed an escalation option in case your customer wishes to escalate the issue to a human assistant.
    Providing an escalation path is crucial in demonstrating that you value your customer and honour your service level agreements (SLAs).

  • Continuously iterate with new information
  • Chatbots, like all technology, will become redundant if not updated regularly. Train your chatbot with the latest customer data and continuously update its knowledge base. You can consider integrating it with an ML pipeline for ongoing learning.

  • Integrate audio-visual elements
  • Integrate media elements like images, videos, and links into your chatbot to increase customer engagement and improve its responses.

*For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed organisational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like living organisms will be imperative for business excellence. A comprehensive yet modular suite of services is doing precisely that. Equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organisations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

How can Infosys BPM help?

Infosys BPM’s digital interactive services offerings include solutions for enterprises seeking to transform and thrive in a rapidly changing ecosystem. We assist businesses in creating breakthrough digital solutions that enable strategic insights, business excellence, and enhanced customer experiences.

Recent Posts