Providing valuable, mindful customer support is a key component of the Customer Experience. You can have all the touchpoints, flashy product pages, and optimized purchasing interfaces out there, but if you don’t have resources to handle customers, you’re likely to lose sales.

One way eCommerce websites are maintaining response rates is by introducing chatbots into their stores and social media platforms. By automating parts of the Customer Experience, you’ll be able to regulate customer service without compromising human connections. 

What is a Chatbot?

Chatbots are software driven by AI that are programmed to field and complete lower level tasks. When prompted, chatbots comb through a database to retrieve information that most closely matches the entered query. They use keywords and logical sets of rules to accurately retrieve the information that your customers need.

There are several types of chatbots used today. The most common are those that communicate via voice and messaging platforms. Think Siri or the chat portal on your favorite website.

These chatbots are usually programmed with Natural Language Processing, allowing them to more naturally understand and respond to human speech. In addition to communicating at a high level, chatbots can also learn as they manage queries. If customer satisfaction seems to be decreasing, chatbots can recognize this, learn what went wrong, and send similar interactions to a customer service team member in the future.

Why Use a Chatbot in eCommerce?

Chatbots in eCommerce are predominantly used to handle common customer requests, solve basic problems, and suggest helpful actions. Throughout the Customer Journey, any sticking points your customers encounter can potentially lead to a lost sale. This, in turn, affects the overall Customer Experience, reduces customer engagement, and decreases the potential for brand loyalty. 

On the business end of using chatbots, you’ll have the opportunity to elevate the roles that your customer service team plays in interacting with customers. Instead of spending emotional and intellectual energy on simple requests, your employees can engage in more meaningful customer interactions. When your employees feel more valued, they’ll be more invested in your business and deliver a better Customer Experience.

What Can Chatbots be Used for in eCommerce?

When introducing chatbots into your eCommerce business, focus on facilitating human interactions instead of cutting them out completely. There are many rudimentary tasks that chatbots can handle for you that still meaningfully contribute to customer satisfaction and the customer relationship.

Live Chat

Using chatbots in live chat functions with your customers is a great way to provide immediacy. Your customers don’t want to wait in a queue or call a number. They want solutions to simple problems or questions right away. Live chatbots are a great way to deliver a positive experience without requiring direct employee interaction. Chatbots are also available 24/7, meaning you free up time and resources while delivering customer service.

Social Media

You can rely on chatbots on social media as well to connect with customers and help facilitate customer loyalty. Many customers live a large percentage of their social lives on sites like Facebook and Instagram. By providing chatbots in messenger, you can engage in relationships with customers without the need for a representative. Chatbots on social media can provide relevant links to direct customers back to the product pages on your eCommerce site.

Personalized Experiences

Chatbots can be programmed to pull up relevant customer data to fulfill customer expectations. The next time a customer drops into a chat with a product issue, the chatbot will be able to pull up the exact product and date of purchase. Likewise, a return customer can find product suggestions by engaging with chatbots in much the same way they would purchase a product shown to them via a marketing campaign.

When used in these ways, chatbots can lead to understanding customer needs and providing a good customer experience.

eCommerce Chatbot Experiences

When relying on chatbots to facilitate the Customer Experience, it’s natural to be concerned about the customer’s perception of your brand. Any time you look to another entity to handle a crucial part of your business, you’re taking a risk. However, the common risks associated with the Customer Journey actually decrease when using chatbots.

Every customer service representative no matter how well-trained will have an emotional response to certain customer interactions. Chatbots don’t have that problem. Chatbots are truly customer-centric in the sense that they only exist to help the customer find what they need to connect with your products.

Integrating chatbots into your Customer Experience Management system is an excellent strategy to remain competitive with similar companies while delivering an excellent customer experience.

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