Businesses are increasingly automating their sales and customer support services as a mechanism of reducing costs. One such technological disruption is the advent of chatbots which is becoming highly popular in the business world. A chatbot refers to a service usually powered by rules with certain instances utilizing artificial intelligence to interact with individuals using a chat interface. Industries such as Retail and Finance will need chatbots to solve some challenges faced by the sectors including efficiency, customer satisfaction or even issues relating to fraud prevention. Additionally, chatbot is an essential tool banks and other service industries can use to reduce operational costs.
Offer 24/7 Customer Service
It is the most obvious reason for the emergence of chatbots. With banks integrating this new technology it is possible now for customers to call their financial institutions any time of the day and access a response from a bot on their various questions.
In 2014 31.8 million consumers of financial services in the US suffered a breach of their credit cards. Indicating fraud prevention is a major operational strategy for many banks and other financial institutions. Even though technology drives some of these events of fraud, chatbots offer an effective approach towards dealing with fraud prevention. An automated notification via chatbots will notify customers of any activity affecting their financial product or service either it is with or without their consent. Thus, connecting the bank with customers 24/7 aided by chatbots helps in fraud prevention. Additionally, if there is a transaction that the customer needs to report or if there is a theft of credit card, it can be immediately be brought to the notice of bank via chatbots, instead of calling the call centers or using other mediums which have less ease of use or are more time consuming.
Testing of User Engagement and Push for Relevant Content
Financial institutions offer a variety of services and products including credit and debit cards, financial planning as well as mortgages. Many customers do not have knowledge of all these products yet they are in business with the financial firms. Similarly, users have varied financial options depending upon effectiveness and attractiveness of each bank more so, how customers find the response of the banks at the time of a specific need. Chatbots are useful in gathering such competitive information from consumers. Additionally, financial institutes can conduct surveys about their customer service and/or products with the help of chatbots or conduct pilot tests before launching a new product.
Promote Brand Consistency
Variances in tone, message and communication strategies of customer service agents may impede strengthening of an organization’s brand. For this reason, chatbots offer an excellent tool towards promoting brand consistency because the automated voice via chatbots offers the same tone and mood in received messages for the end user. The chatbot speaks what the company speaks, unlike real people who may have different variations of the same message.
Chatbots and Retail Industry
Retail industry experiences the enormous challenge of handling many clients at the same time while ensuring quick service. In the present e-commerce world delivering a personalized customer experience is also a headache for most marketers. The emergence of chatbots offers retail industry an opportunity to improve engagement with target audience as well as build strong loyalty towards their businesses.
Improved Customer Service via Chatbots
Issues such as returns or assistance to locate the nearest store or the availability of a particular product are a part of store’s customer service. In the past customers relied on the use of emails, phone calls or by live chats to have such issues addressed. However, chatbots with no use of human workforce are revolutionizing resolving of customer service issues through mobile messenger apps. Maybe this interest in chatbots is due to the fact that an average person is likely to spend 80 percent of their daily time on mobile phones. An example is the Tommy Hilfiger chatbot that deals with client enquiries. Consumers prefer self-service when that channel instantly solves their queries or answers their questions.
Notifying Customers about New Collections or Products
The fashion and luxury retail industry operate with constant communication about latest collections. Chatbots continue to replace mainstream approach of marketing via emails which require customers later to visit store website to view the recently listed items. In the present case on the use of chatbots engage customers in a cheerful manner thereby stimulating clients to even browse the content more which is imperative to engaging customers. Engaged customers are 300% more likely to spend, which makes it absolutely important for the brands to keep their customers engaged. Also, it is convenient for customers to view the items sent on chatbots apps without necessarily moving to the website which is significant towards improving sales conversion rate.
Finally, chatbots are useful to retail stores as they help in the processing of orders, especially for e-commerce businesses. Additionally, help in locating of items in vast stores by acting as personal shoppers as well as locating nearest store for consumers.
Understanding Consumer Preferences
Intelligently built chatbots, having machine learning algorithms, have the potential to learn the tastes and preferences of each customer. This is stored in their memory and helps in better serving the customer, showing products which are more likely to be purchased by that customer, therefore, improving conversion rates and hence, the sales. Given the vast variety of options that a customer is facing nowadays, it is possible that the customer may miss out on products they are most likely to buy. But with machine learning and intelligent design, the customer will see those products first and therefore, increasing the turnover.
Intelligent chatbots facilitates sales for the ecommerce company. Just like the staff in the retail stores, chatbots act like personal shoppers facilitating sales. The only difference is that they are near perfect and are available 24×7. Most of the millennial population tends to avoid human interaction while shopping and look out for self-service mediums which can answer to their queries. A chatbot is a perfect fit for this. With chatbots on duty, a customer can seek information on products at any part of the day (or night). A chatbot will learn the tastes and preferences quickly and keep them in its memory to better formulate and send tailor-made offers to different customers, which has the highest probability of conversions. It can also provide direct checkouts without leaving the site, thereby reducing the time to buy.
It is without doubt chatbots are revolutionizing the way businesses carry out operations. An evident advantage of chatbots to businesses in the Retail and Finance industries is the improvement of operations, improved customer service as well as reduction of operational costs. For instance, chatbots contribute to saving on customer support services by at least 30 percent. Not just Retail and Finance industries, even Insurance, Healthcare, Hospitality and other industries can be tre