Providing easy access to the right information and quickly solving the common issues faced by your customers is key to positive customer experiences. And whether you’re a brick-and-mortar enterprise spread out in different locations or an online-only business, there is no instrument of more value than what improves your CX. And there you have your answer — right chatbots integrated with a comprehensive and well-structured knowledge base.
Why chatbots? Well, conversational marketing is the latest trend, but conversations take time and effort. Putting chatbots on the vanguard reduces the pressure on support teams substantially.
According to a survey, 70% of the customers prefer to use a company’s website to get their answers rather than email or phone. And that’s where the need for a knowledge base further signifies itself. Why? Because it’s crucial to include self-service as a part of customer service as your business grows. It is impossible to reply to every ticket raised, and a repository that answers the most frequently asked generic questions is the most obvious choice.
Read on to find out how chatbots and KB platforms are redefining the CX spectrum both independently and synergically.
What is a Customer Service Chatbot, and How is it Redefining The CX Landscape?
For all practical purposes, a customer service chatbot leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to answer your customers’ burning questions. It can be anything from “Where is my package?” or “What are your pricing options?” etc., to whatever you need it to be.
The AI chatbots use the information like FAQs and knowledge base articles you’ve made available to resolve customer queries as quickly as possible. Its technology is advanced enough to recognize different forms of the same question and can even provide instant voice responses in tones you prefer.
If you invest in the right kind of chatbot service, it may even proactively suggest options to the customer before they are done typing. And it has implications that go far beyond query resolution. It means consistent support without human involvement, fewer repetitive transactions, and higher customer satisfaction. The question you should be asking is – how can chatbots not redefine the CX landscape?
That said, there are certain situations where your business might require chatbots more than others. For instance,
- You are in dire need of reducing customer service costs.
- Your customer base is growing rapidly, and you need to provide support in multiple languages.
- 24×7 support is non-negotiable.
- Support is required across all your platforms, including website, mobile app, and social media.
Leveraging chatbots is the best solution for all your support volume issues, and it improves your CLV too.
How Can You Best Utilize Customer Service Chatbots?
Having AI chatbots not only makes your brand appear smart, but as you might have guessed, it also has some groundbreaking applications to offer.
Instant Query Resolution
Chatbots don’t provide suggestions — since it’s all automated, the customer gets complete resolution from the source material provided by you. That includes a knowledge base, FAQs, and more.
Customer service chatbots can go a long way into creating a uniform and consistent user experience for your customers across all channels. With AI at play, there can be no mistake — no typos, no wrong information being sent.
Chatbots can manage customer support for most parts, especially when your team is unavailable. The bot, then, can inform the visiting user of the support timings, and provide service unless human support is absolutely required.
Sometimes even though the customers have the same questions, they expect different replies from the context. For instance, a customer has questions regarding a certain plan or offering you provide — they would certainly not expect answers to questions regarding any other product.
An AI chatbot has insight into the customer’s behavior through their location, business category, spending habits, etc. So, hyper-targeting their requirements is non-negotiable.
Greater Context On Every Customer
Once you have a chatbot, customers will be more likely to use it to ask questions rather than browse silently. There are rather, very few who want to remain an invisible lead- given that you can have the preliminary data in your system, and if they contact you again, it is now much easier to understand their requirements.
With this, your team can get a bigger picture of each customer’s journey. For instance, a customer asking questions only about the pricing will be dealt with differently than the one who cares deeply about the core tech. This information can further improve your chatbot’s performance. Furthermore, if there are certain agendas or issues for which your customers seek human support, the chatbot should be able to cover that as well, and if not, that’s an opportunity right there for the chatbots to train.
Customer Support Chatbots not only use AI for query resolution but also continuously learn to improve their response for future use. For instance, “How do I return my package?” will, in time, will have the same outcome as “Take my parcel back” as the questions have essentially the same meaning and will be added to its knowledge bank.
Moreover, with smart tech, the customers can mark certain responses as unhelpful and the chatbot will most likely never repeat the same answer again in a later conversation.
What is a Knowledge Base and Why Do You Need One?
A knowledge base can be thought of as a comprehensive repository that serves as a self-service tool; something meant to replace the ancient hard-copy user manuals. It is a library of data about your policies, your products, information about every process, and the department governing it. It also includes troubleshooting and 101 guides, manuals, and FAQs. The ultimate goal of investing in a helpdesk KB platform is to make the beneficiaries autonomous, improve productivity and save everyone’s time.
A well-designed self-service knowledge base is useful to not only your customers but also your leads and workforce. For anyone who visits your website or mobile app, it will only help make their experience smoother, and that’s testified by a survey that claims 51% of customers prefer the support through an online knowledge base. As for your employees, the right software will help your team focus on answering the questions that matter instead of repeating the replies all over again.
There is another advantage too. Since your knowledge base articles will be all indexed, it will give you visibility like never before through a huge boost in SEO. You can further optimize it for answering questions related to your products.
The Most Efficient Solution
Moreover, it’s one of the most cost-effective channels of customer support and reduces time and effort substantially by being live 24×7. Going a step further, integrating your knowledge base with your chatbot platform will make your customer experience improve by leaps and bounds. It will make your response time negligible and save time by instantly redirecting your customers to the suggested knowledge base section.
How to Identify an Effective Knowledge Base?
To make the best possible utilization of your knowledge base, there are certain features you should expect:
Your experience is just as important as your customers’. So, your backend system must be smooth, because you’ll end up handling hundreds of tutorials and articles.
Analytics And Reports
Through analytics and reports, you get insight into the performance of different posts on your knowledge base and whether they’re helpful.
User Feedback System
Keeping your users in the loop to improve your knowledge base is a great strategy, and hence there’s the need to learn whether or not your guides are helpful.
The users should obviously be able to search for content on your knowledge base easily through a simple search.
The Knowledge Base Drives the AI Chatbots
Well, that’s an understatement, for the knowledge base serves as the backbone of any AI application you decide to deploy. As for an AI chatbot, the knowledge base is where it will find the resources to come to a final decision. And it’s only logical because, without solid knowledge base management, chatbots wouldn’t have any artificial intelligence at all.
For instance, for any customer making an inquiry about their order status, it would be impossible for a chatbot to help them if it doesn’t have access to your customer database. In a way, that serves as a chatbot knowledge base.
Surprisingly, with the help of machine learning, the data accessible to chatbots goes beyond legacy customer data. Chatbots can just as easily analyze complex information fed to them and solve problems that are not humanly possible in a given time. And that’s only possible when you leverage the knowledge base as a complex architecture that comprises data fed from company policies, the CRM system, FAQs, answers to legacy questions, etc., and not a simple repository.
Text-based chatting is now the most preferred communication channel for customer support, and with the AI advantage, chatbots are on their way to revolutionize your business.
Organizations that have deployed chatbots and have an updated knowledge base system are bound to report a spike in employee engagement and improved productivity over time. These instruments, apart from changing how your customers and stakeholders perceive your brand, give your employees access to your entire knowledge repository.
Without a doubt, online KB platforms and chatbot services are revolutionary technologies that are changing customer support as we know it. However, since their individual applications are limited when siloed, there is the need to invest in a resourceful chatbot knowledge base.
Gowri Ramkumar is the Customer Relationship Manager at Document360, a SaaS knowledge base and hosts of Document360 Knowledge base Ninjas Podcast. She has more than fifteen years of experience in the Technology Industry. Her thoughts on customer experience have featured on several authoritative business publications.