According to Forbes, the facts are in:
- Clients using chatbots increased from 67% to 80% in 2019.
- More than 50% of those surveyed admitted to preferring chatbot assistance for simple queries like changing an address.
- 85% of respondents, however, preferred access to live consultants for complex queries like billing issues.
- 64% of companies plan to increase their investment in AI in the coming years.
- 77% of business leaders agree that AI can deal with simple queries. They warn that customer service consultants will have to improve their problem-solving skills to deal with complex questions with which technology cannot deal.
What lessons can we draw from this research?
For businesses to retain their competitive edge, they must blend live support and technology seamlessly. In this article, we’ll look at why striking the correct balance is so critical.
Why Live Support is Still Essential
If only 15% of your clients are willing to use a chatbot to lodge complex queries, not providing live support puts you at a disadvantage. Take the following scenario as an example.
Client A needs to query an unusual amount on their bill. They want instant answers, so they look for the contact details on the ABC Company website.
Instead of supplying the number immediately, the company’s chatbot initiates a conversation. The client answers a series of questions to explain their query. In the end, the chatbot is unable to solve the problem and instead says it’ll refer the question to someone on the support team.
The customer is frustrated because they wanted to call someone for assistance. They wanted the answer straight away. Even if a live consultant calls them back quickly, the client still perceives this as a service fail.
Firms would do better to give their clients the option of speaking to a bot or a person. The successful company uses technology to enhance and facilitate better service.
Why Live Support Teams Must Change
With clients increasingly willing to utilize automated self-help services, live support must change. The agents should be able to provide the answers to more complex queries and deliver outstanding service.
Client help desks of the future will consist of highly-trained and skilled consultants capable of dealing with a wide range of issues. Companies will have to consider providing live support and, where necessary, multilingual support.
In short, customer service agents must provide an enhanced version of service. Putting together a team of unskilled, entry-level consultants will do the company more harm than good.
Why Businesses need to Incorporate Technology
The modern client wants quick and easy solutions for basic queries. Consumers are becoming more accustomed to improved technology and the benefit it provides. Companies can enhance their service with robust self-service options and automation.
Firms should learn what technology it’s targeted clients wish to use and work from there. Teams should take care to balance the needs of the customer with the company’s strategic goals.
How to Maintain the Right Balance
A balanced approach to blending technology and live service allows clients time to adjust. Humans are essentially creatures of habit. Not all people are interested in changing how they’ve done things.
If a business forces that change upon them, it may negatively impact customer satisfaction. Some tips to smooth the transition include:
- Incentivizing the change: Learning how to use new software and apps can be difficult for many people. Unless they understand the full benefits, they’re not likely to embrace this challenge. Companies may motivate clients by providing additional incentives for switching over. Clients might, for example, earn points for using self-help options.
- Teach clients to use the new system: Companies often make the mistake of believing that their new technology is intuitive to use. This could be a severe error. Not all consumers are adept at accepting change. Providing simple training may keep them in the fold.
- Client convenience is the priority: Most importantly, companies should adopt technology that prioritizes the customer’s needs and convenience.
Companies may use technology to improve their efficiency. This should never, however, be at the cost of customer service. Many firms mistakenly believe that clients will rush to adopt the latest technological solutions.
Clients will, however, only do so if properly motivated and if the solutions meet their needs. Before implementing changes, firms must consider the level of technological knowledge that their clients have.
Companies should also always provide live support as a backup for clients who prefer personal interaction.