Can Chatbots Improve Your Tech Support Team's Service?
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, January 30 6:00
Tech support teams now know they must provide a variety of ways for customers to request help. It s no longer sufficient to simply direct them to call a particular phone line. Although a phone conversation may have traditionally been the way to resolve software and hardware issues, today s customers often prefer to contact help desks through email, text, an online form, or instant messenger.
Like phone conversations, instant messaging services and chats can be a great way to engage in a two-way conversation with your customers. As chat has become a more popular way to get help, businesses have felt pressured to provide it in order to remain competitive. Unfortunately, over time this also leads to pressure to extend that service beyond standard working hours.
The Chatbot Era
Autoresponders can respond to chats when a recipient of a message is unavailable. However, the technology has been less than stellar, with the robotic nature of autoresponders leaving customers feeling unsatisfied. But as machine learning makes artificial intelligence more sophisticated, businesses find that chatbots are once again a viable alternative to human operators.
One of the biggest benefits of chatbots is their ability to manage customer requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Paying technicians to work nights and weekends can quickly drain your budget, but technology can work around-the-clock without an extra cost. But it s also important to supplement your chatbot with higher-tier support when customers need it. Your chatbots will only be able to answer certain questions. If a customer needs help with something not covered by your chatbot, it should be set to automatically channel the question into a ticket that your tech personnel can then resolve when they re once again available.
The Right Service
Once you ve determined that a chatbot is the right technology for your team, it s important to find the right tool. Personalization is an important feature, so ensure you re able to pull information from your CRM to address each customer. If you can avoid requiring the customer to repeat information that s already in your system, you ll be able to provide better service through your chatbot. At the very least, your chatbot should be able to address the requester by name.
Another important aspect to consider in your search for a solution is ease of setup. Unless you have a developer at your disposal, you ll need software that you can set up yourself. Unfortunately, a boxed solution doesn t allow the customization you might find with a chatbot you commission directly. So you ll need to shop carefully to ensure you choose a chatbot that fits your own unique environment. You may be able to work with a software provider to have their existing software customized for you, so consider that as an option, as well.
Chatbots can be a great way for IT teams to provide support for the most commonly-asked user questions. However, it will need to be combined with an upper-tier, human-based solution to avoid customer complaints. When deployed the right way, a chatbot can enhance the service you re offering at minimal cost.