In the past couple of years, the idea of the “virtual assistant” has developed from a novelty à la Clippy — the renowned unruly cartoon paper clip that appeared in initial versions of Microsoft Office — to sophisticated and progressively convenient human replicas such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri.

As AI bots can do much more than simply set cooking timers and resolve customer issues. They can comprehend human speech and writing, in addition to answering queries communicated in conversational language. Due to its huge potential and ability, AI systems are being employed by an increasing number of companies in the hope they could boost customer satisfaction (CSAT).

Chatbots may not be perfect but have the potential to make ordinary customer experiences feel simple, perfect and sometimes even custom-made.

Chatbot Convenience Improves Customer Satisfaction

A normal person with tech knowhow has no shortage of screens to look at. A new study by Common Sense Media found a person spends almost half a day looking at numerous digital gadgets. The recent rise in the use of chatbots is being sparked by prevalence of chat and text messaging. Without doubt AI technology is fast becoming part and parcel of every business.

Once a buyer has a couple of positive experiences interacting with brands via chat services, they’ll look for similar expediency in other engagements. Experts believe this buyer mindset is what is making AI bots more popular and essential in business today.

Businesses stand to improve their customer satisfaction scores by simply employing chatbots which offer seamless and satisfactory customer experiences. In January, Apple announced its plans to enter the business-messaging field showing other companies the way to capitalize on this growing consumer appetite. The company is paving the way for chatbots powered by iMessage, its exclusive chat and texting platform.

Experts see Apple’s foray into B2C communications as revolutionary and life-changing. This is because most people can now have clear and reliable communication with businesses creating a huge database of various customer interactions which was unimaginable a few decades ago.

Other platforms, chiefly social networks, are also looking to take advantage of the revolution driven by AI. Studies conducted as recently as 2018, have shown that 90% of people have used social media to interact directly with a brand. AI bots are crucial to acknowledging customers’ queries around the clock, and to that end, Facebook has several thousands of active smart bots on its Messenger service.

Beauty retailer Sephora is just one of numerous brands who are employing AI bots on Facebook Messenger and rival app Kik. The bots’ tasks include controlling the Sephora Reservation Assistant, which assists consumers reserve in-store makeover consultations. Thanks to its efficient branding, simple navigation, and a consumer’s aptitude to plan a makeover in five fewer steps than in person, the Sephora Reservation Assistant maintained an 11% rise in appointments during the busy holiday period.

Chatbots Assist Create Brand Consistency

Even the most consumer-centric brands can occasionally miss the mark when it comes to the service they deliver. Business Insider’s 2016 customer service report noted that unfavorable service experiences can have lasting consequences, as well as brand distaste and the spread of undesirable feelings to friends and relatives.

In gauging the numerous points on the consumer journey, management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company classify reliability as the most crucial factor in increasing customer satisfaction scores. McKinsey noted that consistency through all phases of the customer-brand engagements can boost CSAT scores by up to 20 points. With the correct programming, AI bots have the capacity to provide accurate and reliable responses to customer requests.

Natural language bots can also master how to converse in a brand’s unique voice. Take Staples, for instance, which gave its trademark Easy Button a mind of its own with the Staples Easy System. Integrated with email, SMS, Slack, Facebook Messenger and the Staples app, the Easy System offers clients numerous ways to engage with their brand. “Hi, tell me what you need,” says a welcoming sound once you clicked the Easy button. After the client orders a new consignment of pink socks or case of pencils, the chatbot concludes, “Got it. That was easy.”

AI conversation bots can even be employed to assist entertainers interact with their followers. Several top musicians have already had third-parties launch AI bots on their behalf giving their fans a whole new experience. While businesses sell products and services, musicians market their lifestyle and chatbots can help their fans understand them from a whole new perspective. These interactions venture into the realm of customer service when fans query about meet-and-greets, tour dates and upcoming album launch. Thanks to smart bots, people can get prompt responses without much hassle.

Personalized AI bots Earn People’s Trust

Millennials have a repute for insisting on experiences that are accurately personalized to their precise wants and needs, but the truth is, most customers currently expect this level of bespoke service.

Evie chatbots have the capacity to combine preferences derived from initial customer service experiences and apply them to present and continuing customer engagements. These kinds of hyper-customized incentives may include product endorsements, product pairings or alerts for shop openings in a client’s locality.

However, collecting a lot of info is not always a necessity for making customers happy. A personalized experience can also be accomplished by asking a couple of easy questions. British Airways has an interactive, emoji-based chatbot that asks customers about their perfect holiday, obliging them to respond with emojis. Using the results, the bot offers customers personalized commendations that best suit their attitude and disposition.

Artificial intelligence and deep learning bots are a great addition to any customer service strategy, but it’s crucial to understand that they are only one part of being able to offer an effective customer experience. Chatbots should work with human agents so as to deliver ultimate customer satisfaction.

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