There’s no denying that Johnny 5 was undoubtedly the hero we all needed. Remember how we all fell instantly in love with those sweet eyes and machine coos of WALL-E fame? Tell me that you wouldn’t give all your leftovers to have Rosie help you get the kids ready in the morning, finish the laundry, and cook dinner.
Machines have improved the quality of our lives from the very inception… the Model T, the microwave, the wireless earbuds, and the online chatbot. The future of customer service is on the horizon, and your new secret weapon is an around-the-clock, never-tired, always available, and reliable feature on your website that might even have a face.
What’s a chatbot anyway?
We’re not talking about that little paperclip with eyeballs, but a semi-human service representative that can demonstrate your company’s personality and interact with customers – all right on the homepage of your website. Developed with Artificial Intelligence and armed with significant customization opportunities, these ‘bots’ help companies worldwide have more meaningful and real interactions with their customers.
How human should your chatbot be?
According to a recent study by Capgemini*, most consumers expect their online experience with a chatbot to include human-like features such as a realistic voice, emotional intelligence, and even a little humor sprinkled in. Putting a face to these conversations has shown to be beneficial and makes customers feel that a company has empathy, compassion, and a distinct personality with which they can connect. Trust, transparency and efficiency are on the top of the list for chatbot success, and users prefer that they seem human but acknowledge their machine origins.
What’s the benefit of using a human-like chatbot?
Customer service is a broad and vast industry that touches every aspect of doing business, and companies that do it best have it down to a science. Using an AI-powered chatbot with those perfected human qualities levels up the user’s experience and allows the process to be repeatable. Customers can access quick and reliable answers at any time and even begin to develop trust with a company – all through the website. It provides an avenue for businesses to share their personality more creatively than just text on a page. If a chatbot can tell a joke or two, customers begin to build rapport with a brand sometimes before even talking to a real human.
Additional benefits from a company’s perspective include the ability to interact with potential customers even when the rest of your staff is asleep, or on the phone, or helping customers on location. The data you can collect from these online interactions helps you better understand what users are looking for and how to further tailor your customer service tactics. Not to mention, you look pretty cool if you have a ‘robot’ that can make appointments and deliver answers to all the most important questions.
Chatbots still have a ways to go in their ability to sketch out their dreams and philosophize like Sonny, but hey, they can definitely save the day when it comes to maintaining your excellent customer service, all R2-D2 style.