As everyone plays their part during these difficult times, a lot of people are staying at home and avoiding public places. Frontline workers are taking on demand scheduling while food delivery kits seem to be in high demand. Whether you had similar online services or not, one thing is clear. You’ll definitely need one now.
Companies that set up such systems are reporting ballooning customer bases. Naturally, this leads to a surge in case volume which can quickly overwhelm a company. No matter what you’re selling, the last thing you want to do is lose customers because you couldn’t answer their questions or keep them engaged. Fortunately, this is where chatbots step in to complement live customer service teams and immediately resolve issues.
If you’re just starting on chatbot implementation, here are a few crucial tips to point you in the right direction.
Chatbots: 5 Ways to Manage a Surge in Case Volume
a) Collect Sufficient Customer Data for Your Chatbots
As you develop your Chatbot, it’s of the utmost importance to bring in enough data on the customers. Problem is, how do you go about collecting the necessary information? One of the best ways to approach this is by using the invocable method annotation.
This method is used to identify methods that can be run as invocable actions . As such, it’s probably your best friend when it comes to grabbing a lot of customer data to better assist your buyers. This will be a massive step towards improving the efficiency of the bots. With the data, you can use your Chatbot to handle transaction requests such as refunds and issue credits.
b) Identify Low Hanging Fruit
If you’re using a bot that gives your customers three or more menu options, don’t make the mistake of over-complicating things. Start simple and stick to the initial three. After all, you can always branch out from there later on. Likewise, try to identify low hanging transactions such as delivery and fulfillment.
You’ll also need to work closely with a team of admins, high performing agents and premier support agents. They will help you map out all the menu items and type of clarifying queries the Chatbot will most likely ask. Sure, it’ll take a ton of drafts and some trial and error. However, drawing out the decision tree and talking it out will really help you hone in on the right queries.
Pre- COVID, many companies were already using chatbots to help customers track orders, report issues or get refunds. While this has continued throughout the surge, agents can now work directly with customers to resolve issues around delivery, menu, subscription options, gifting and promotion.
c) Be Transparent about Your Chatbots
We’ve all seen it in the past. There are companies with such great chatbots you could almost mistake them for real people. But while it’s important to have your Chatbot mirror the same diction, tone and empathy of your agents, it also needs to identify itself as a Chatbot. After implementation, a lot of companies get negative feedback from their customers who had higher expectations of what the bot can do. That’s why you need to be upfront and provide clear instructions.
For instance, you can have your bot explain what it does. Something like, “Hi (customer), I’m Selly D, a helpful bot. Before we start, I just wanted to let you know that I’m still learning and can only answer queries selected from the menu options.” The bot can also use terms like I’m sorry to stay on brand and match empathy of the agents. By being fully transparent, you set clear expectations for the customers.
d) Meet Customers Where They Are
With higher resolution rates and CSAT, SMS has now become one of the most effective channels. Pre- COVID, a Chatbot would just create a case for your agents to follow up if it couldn’t answer a particular question. However, customers given the choice between SMS and email seem to always favor SMS.
While the Chatbot is available 24/7, your employees are not. So if a query is taking place outside of business hours, the Chatbot lets customers know that all agents are unavailable. It then proceeds to ask the customers if they would prefer a follow up via email or SMS. If they choose SMS, the bot asks for the phone number and creates a case noting what the customer prefers. When the case is routed to agents in the morning, the agent will start an SMS conversation using the provided phone number.
e) Be Your Customers' Heroes
Crisis or not, companies need to maintain clear and transparent comms across all channels and agents. During this period, customers are rating automation resolved cases as the same level as agent resolved cases. What this simply means is that even amidst uncertainty, automation can match an agent.
What you’ll notice is that your brand will become heroes to your customers if you help keep them safe and at home. For instance, doing door to door deliveries means that your customers won’t have to leave the safety of their homes or interact with other people thus increasing their risk of exposure.
Final Word on Chatbots
Things are changing every single day. As such, your company also needs to adjust accordingly to your customers’ needs. Remember, you are not alone in this journey. So as you roll out measures and technologies that will help you sell during this period, know that there’s a large community you can rely on. Talk to your fellow business leaders to find out what they’re doing right and which resources are helping them remain relevant. And finally, make sure you’re using the best tools and technologies for the job i.e Veloxy and Salesforce CRM.
With Veloxy Engage, you can shrink sales cycles and enjoy data mapping software that includes bulk email and tracking. Veloxy mobile helps your reps focus on more productive activities while taking the work out of data entry and updates.
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