5 Signs Your Customer Support Team Needs a Chatbot

No one can deny that the use of customer support chatbots is on the rise, but many companies that could benefit from incorporating them are not yet doing so. In fact, one source found that only 23 percent of customer service organizations are using chatbots. If you're among the 77 percent who are not yet on board, what's holding you back? To help you decide if your business needs this tech, here are five signs that your customer support would benefit from a chatbot.

1. Your team members are overwhelmed.

Of course business owners want to make sure they get as much as possible from each of their employees, but there's definitely a line between hard work and overwork. Do your customer service reps regularly seem exhausted or overwhelmed? Have you received feedback from them that they get too many calls and don't have enough time to adequately handle them? Do your team members tell you that they skip lunch or stay late on a regular basis because their call volume is just too high and they don't want to let anything slip through the cracks? Do they complain that customers call and ask the same questions over and over? Any of these scenarios are a strong indication that your customer support team needs some relief and a chatbot.

For employees to have a positive attitude and navigate stressful customer interactions successfully, they need help. A chatbot can provide this by answering common questions and taking some of the workload (and pressure) off of your agents so they can focus on the more complex conversations that really deserve their attention.

2. Your customers are frustrated.

Customer satisfaction is a top priority for businesses, yet many still don't optimize their customer support processes as well as they could. Customers tend to get annoyed by common issues like waiting on hold too long, being transferred from person to person, having to repeat information, and not ending up with a satisfactory outcome.

If you have low customer satisfaction scores, poor online reviews, or tend to get negative feedback from your buyers, it's time to consider implementing a chatbot. Not only can chatbots quickly provide customers with answers they need, but they can also intelligently route callers to the right rep should they need further help. The end result is more complete resolution more quickly. In fact, MIT Technology Review found that 90 percent of businesses that use bots in their customer support have seen large improvements in the speed of complaint resolution. This leads to happier customers, and a better reputation for your company.

3. Your business is expanding.

Scaling can be extremely exciting and promising. But if you don't sufficiently prepare for your expansion, you can wind up scaling too much too fast and experiencing challenging growing pains along the way. For one, businesses with multiple locations (especially those spread around the world) need to maintain a consistent user experience. This can be difficult without ample training of your customer support team but can be made easier and faster with chatbots built to create the same experience every time.

Furthermore, global expansion usually requires multilingual support, the capabilities for which most companies don't often have. Certain modern chatbots, however, are designed to provide multilingual support without internal engineering or human-directed translations.

4. You need to increase availability, but can't increase spending.

In addition to physical expansion, many companies want to be more accessible to their customers as they grow. But, human agents need sleep, and it's not practical to pay for staff around the clock anyway. Even if you have customer service reps in different time zones, it's extremely unlikely you have enough people able to cover you 24/7.

Chatbots are the ideal solution to this problem. They can fill these gaps and give your business 24/7 coverage, 365 days a year. More often than not, they'll be able to successfully answer customer questions without the need to loop in live agents, so your company can be satisfying customer questions while your team sleeps. And, the best part is that you don't have to incur the costs of adding additional full-time employees to get these benefits. Chatbots ensure around-the-clock availability and reduced costs, all in one.

5. Your customers are on multiple channels, but you're not.

Finally, do you know where your customers spend their time online? As apps and the digital world have infiltrated our lives, customers are no longer following linear paths to purchases or spending their time online in one place. In fact, most people today jump around from social media platform to website to mobile device and back.

If your customer support solutions are entirely phone-based, you're going to miss out on connecting with a large portion of your customer base.& This is where chatbots shine. They can offer omnichannel support via web, mobile, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS, and other messaging channels. This means you'll be where your customers are so they can find you when and where they need to. Of course, this improves the likelihood that they will get what they want, be satisfied with the experience your company gave them, and remain customers.

There are numerous aspects involved in developing strong customer support, one of which is the technology you're using to power it. If any of these signs resonated with you, but you have yet to explore the benefits of incorporating chatbots into your customer service, now is the time. Your customers and your business stand to benefit in major ways.

Bob Grohs is director of marketing at Solvvy, a chatbot and automation platform provider. He has been in marketing and product management roles at top technology and software companies, including PayPal, Intuit, Wells Fargo, Xero, and Infusionsoft/Keap, for 20 years.