When you think of quality customer service, you typically think of human interaction. We think of the expert sales person who made the shopping experience enjoyable and fruitful. In today’s paradigm shift away from brick and mortar shopping and towards ecommerce we can look to AI as an added element of customer service.
Artificial intelligence can enhance the customer service experience in a number of ways. First, it can help answer simple questions quickly, it can drive down operating costs for the seller and it can also serve as an aid for customer service representatives.
Answering Basic Questions Autonomously
In a recent article, Chatbots Magazine describes the most basic function for chatbots in retail is to act as the shop floor assistant. Many chatbots in their current form are equipped to answer initial questions that can either help a customer find a product directly or lead them to a customer service representative who is an expert in the product they seek. With advancements in artificial intelligence, chatbots will evolve further to handle more novel situations.
Roughly 97% of consumers use their phones while shopping to inquire about additional information. When shopping for bigger, more expensive durable goods such as appliances, shoppers typically ask more questions to help make a decision. Chatbots embedded in websites or apps can help consumers quickly answer some of these basic questions. A busy working mom shopping for a new refrigerator on a weekend doesn’t want to spend time in a store scrolling through websites trying to find simple answers. A chatbot can save her time and headaches to make faster, more informed purchasing decisions. Chatbots magazine also predicts that chatbots in retail will soon start presenting personalized coupons to shoppers to sweeten the deal.
Assisting Customer Service
Chatbots don’t need to extract the human element out of customer service. In fact, they can enhance it. Customer service representatives can use chatbots to quickly call up information about existing customers to tailor their shopping experience. They can also use them to answer questions quickly without prolonging the time it takes to service a customer. Customer service representatives are often required to be experts in the product they sell or service. This takes time, investment and training. Chatbots can speed up the training process through serving as an aid and allow new representatives to hit the ground running.