Picture this: You’ve successfully onboarded a chatbot to your team and are ready to implement it on your website. The launch is all set and everything is running smoothly on a technical level. But how do you make sure that your customers really use it? Here are three best practices to strategically drive users to your customer service chatbot.
#1 Make your chatbot the first (and only) point of contact for your customers
According to Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report (2019), about 66% of customers begin with self-service instead of contacting a human agent when engaging with customer service, and 86% expect companies to offer a self-service option. This is the golden ticket for your chatbot. A chatbot helps your customer service team increase the first contact resolution rate, decrease the average response time and the number of missed chats.
Think of your chatbot as a full team member. Not just any, but the one on the front line. Before users get in touch with your human agents, let them go through your chatbot first. This helps you delegate the more simple, repetitive requests and loop them through the chatbot. It’s your secret weapon that enables you and your team to manage your daily workload more efficiently and focus on the more complex and sensitive issues.
How do you do that? The answer is simple: By removing every other contact information and option on your website, such as your customer service phone number, e-mail address and contact forms. This does not mean that these channels are shut down, they are just shifted out of an easily accessible location. This will guide the user to make first contact with the chatbot.
In case the problem isn’t fixable via the chatbot route, the customers need to be given the option to contact a human agent in their preferred mode: via phone, email or live chat. For this, use the native integration between your chatbot and your CRM system, which can be done through a few clicks via API connection. To ensure a frictionless service experience, everything should happen within the same widget. It is important to understand that the goal of the chatbot is not to shield off the user from the customer service team completely, but to assist both of them by acting as a first contact point.
#2 Find the right balance in your chatbot’s appearance
Ever came across a website where the chatbot window immediately opens up, nagging you to use it intrusively even though you just visited the site to browse in peace? The presence and service of your chatbot should (of course!) not annoy your users, but still give a clear signal saying, “Hi, I’m here – just in case you need me.” Until the customer chooses to engage, however, the chatbot should be quiet, but not silent. It’s all about balance.
There are several good options to place your chatbot visibly on your website for direct contact or otherwise refer to it. All of them can be combined accordingly to ensure a great service experience. As mentioned above, your chatbot should be the only visible touchpoint, and should be placed on the pages where your customers are actively looking for support. This includes your contact page, support and help pages, e.g. FAQ.
On top of that, it is useful to feature a clear message on your website’s header or menu which takes the user directly to the chatbot – for instance, a clear CTA saying “Get in touch with us 24/7”. In general, your chatbot should be accessible from every page on your website by implementing a small beacon, e.g. in the lower right corner. By clicking on the beacon, a chat window pops open and the user has the option to interact with the chatbot.
Technically, there are a few small wheels you can turn to make the appearance of your chatbot as pleasing as possible to the users and create an enjoyable service experience. You have for example the option to delay the appearance of the beacon, so that only users who have already spent some time on your website will be able to interact with it. Following these guidelines ensures your users will turn to your chatbot for help without feeling pushed to do so.
Furthermore, customers who are satisfied with the service experience you provide are more likely to increase your annual revenue. According to research by the Harvard Business Review, “Customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.” This goes hand in hand with another phenomenon: 90% of the respondents of the Microsoft study cited earlier, mention customer service as important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand.
#3 Implement your chatbot on every channel
When the decision is made, you should integrate it on all the channels your customers are using to get in touch with you. This includes not only your website or potentially your mobile app, but also messengers like Facebook and Whatsapp.
The goal here is, on one hand, to raise more awareness on the chatbot itself and educate your customers to use it, and on the other hand, to give a consistent appearance of your customer service across all of your channels. It also sets the odds pretty low that your users won’t miss out on your lovely new chatbot colleague 😉
Still have customers contacting you via phone or email? While they’re waiting for a reply or somebody to pick up the phone, refer them to your chatbot. In your automatic response email, you can give them the option to interact with the chatbot to resolve their problem immediately. The same goes for calls: Mention your chatbot in the IVR (interactive voice response) to which your customers listen before being connected to a service agent. Highlighting the benefit of a faster response can potentially drive more users to your chatbot.
Ready to launch your chatbot the right way?
Integrating a chatbot is no good without driving the customers in the right direction to make the most out of your new buddy. You can ensure happy customers and a great service experience by:
- implementing a strong user channeling
- finding the sweet spot(s) of positioning your chatbot
- and broadening its presence through all of your channels.
Do you want to know more about how to successfully launch a chatbot? Learn about the key factors in this webinar.