Are We Growing More Comfortable with Machines than Humans?
Growing automation is no surprise with the present fast paced technological growth. Just a year ago, Sitel Group 2018 Index Report revealed that about 70 percent of customer prefers to communicate with the customer service representatives rather than the automated services, as they could not relay on the digital assistance. Today, the number has increased to 83 percent, but this time customers have chosen the bots over the representatives, states the Helpshift’s latest survey. Besides, Gartner predicts that by 2020, bots are also expected to take over about 85 percent customer interactions all by itself without any human assistance.
Why Bots over Humans?
What has led to the sudden change of preference among the customers? Efficiency is the spontaneous answer. With the changing time, people’s priority changes as well; the next gen user comes in, and their varying preferences and choices could also be a reason. Nearly, 30 percent of customers consider chatbots useful, which is double the number from last year’s report, states Helpshift’s survey. It also reports that there is a drop in customers’ chatbot annoyance by 19 percent. At present, most of the customers being millennial and GenZ opt for messaging as a mode of communication with the customer services, but expects a quick reply. Close to 83 percent agree with it, this is again a rise from the previous year which was recorded as 76 percent. Having said all these, at times while in conversation with the customer care executive, if the call gets disconnected abruptly the customer may not be able to connect to the same agent again, also if the customer is connecting to another agent, the conversation will start all over again. This is not the case with bots; the live chat here assures instant response, and the customer can pick from where the last conversation ended. About 96 percent of customers have concurred with this.
“Today’s consumers care about having their time valued above all else, and that’s clear in their communication preferences for interacting with brands,” says Linda Crawford, CEO, Helpshift. “By giving customers the option to have their support needs met through a more convenient channel, brands adopting chatbots, messaging and other automation-powered customer service initiatives are putting customer needs first. But, as the data suggests, customers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the switch to digital. Brands using Helpshift are expanding their agent bandwidth and funneling customer queries through chatbots to efficiently scale during busy periods,” she adds.
Introducing bots into customer services has only improvised the overall performance, with its live chatting format, 24/7 availability, reduced human error, and it being cost effective. Approximately 54 percent of customers say the services with bots are improvised; the Millennials (66 percent) and GenZ (59 percent) are the ones who have widely embraced the bots. Organizations also prefer chatbots installations over hiring people, as this is much cheaper in comparison with the expenses spent on employees such as night shift allowance, travel allowance, and other miscellaneous expenditures. In addition to this, hiring & training every candidate is cumbersome, as compared to the bots which is just one time investment and fast processing.
The customer satisfaction (CSAT) post bots installations have also increased by 0.43 percent on holidays compared to the working days. The chatbots has handled over 64 percent of issues on holidays for one retailer. Not just answering the initial queries the bots have also taken up the roles of fast food servers, personal assistants and social media managers. We can soon expect these to take up the roles such as Telemarketers, cashiers, Accountants, credit Analysts and more. So world, be ready!