The adoption of chatbots has been rising steadily for years now, helping businesses not only increase conversions and sales, but also improve customer experience and satisfaction. In this article, you’ll learn a bit more about the role of chatbots in customer service and how to successfully launch a chatbot on your website.
Chatbots: how it started vs how it’s going
The first chatbot in the history of Computer Science, named ELIZA, was developed by Joseph Weizenbaum in the early 1960s at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It wasn’t until 1994 that the term ‘chatterbot’ was coined. ELIZA operated by recognising keywords or phrases from the input to reproduce a response using those keywords from pre-programmed responses.
Almost 30 years on, chatbots are used across a huge variety of industries to help people diagnose illnesses, learn new languages, buy goods, make dinner reservations, keep up with the news and even ease loneliness. Where chatbots have truly thrived is in customer service.
But not every customer is quite so willing to trust a Chatbot with their service enquiry. Puzzel research found that 18 to 24 year olds are almost five times more likely to have used a chatbot in the last year than 55 to 46 year olds (34% and 7% respectively).
According to  Forbes, 60% of millennials have used chatbots, 70% of which reported a positive experience at the end. The bots offered these customers instant gratification through conversational engagement — while taking a significant load off the shoulders of customer service agents by reducing call, chat and email enquiries.
Top tips to successfully launch a chatbot on your website
It’s clear that no two customers, or their enquiries, are exactly alike. Some cases are more challenging than others, and some customers prefer a more empathic human approach. That’s why it’s critical to set up your chatbots to accommodate the diverse range of visitors to your website. Here are our four tips for successfully launching a chatbot your customers can trust:
- Speak the language of your customers: Make sure your chatbot’s Natural Language Understanding (NLU) supports all major languages from around the world. Can the chatbot software you choose recognise and support multiple languages? Can it seamlessly transition between languages, and recognise slang? If you have an international customer base, language inclusivity is essential.
- Train your bot for mundane tasks: You’ll save time and resources by training your chatbot to take care of routine, repetitive tasks so your agents don’t have to. But remember to make sure that it knows when to transfer the customer to a live agent. Avoid building one bot to answer numerous queries. The best bots are narrow and deep.
- Automate your sales support: Train your chatbot for upselling, tailored offers and assisting with checkouts to cut down on cart abandons. Make sure you’re not attempting to automate overly complex contact reasons, and that your bot can transfer smoothly to a human agent when needed.
- Choose a chat powered by contextual AI: You’ll need your chabot to react to customer behaviour and value, choosing the best workflow at every stage of the digital customer journey.
- Listen to your customers: As in all areas of customer service, the most important steps in setting up a successful chatbot is testing, capturing the relevant metrics and listening to customer feedback. This is absolutely essential to ensure that your chatbot is delivering results and providing a positive customer experience. A chatbot may be more likely to be forgiven for making a mistake than a human agent, but your customers still need to trust that they’ll get the help they need more often than not.
Want to learn more about chatbots your customers can trust?
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