And lower cost is just one of them!

Chatbots are hot in the tech area – and moving quickly to be a presence in contact centers as well.

So a contact center business leader would want to know if  it is worth investing in chatbots, if they have not already done so, considering the time and budget needed to do so. Is there a big enough return on investment?

According to a new report by Juniper Research, global operational cost reductions from chatbots in banking would reach $7.3 billion by 2023, up from an anticipated $209 million in 2019.

Why do businesses need chatbots?

Customers have increasing expectations to do business via any channel and anytime – and chatbots are a possible cost-effective solution to handle routine and repetitive customer service tasks. Automation has appeal as it is an efficient and affordable way for companies to reduce cost and manage contact center workload.

According to Business Wave’s 2020 CX Transformation Benchmark, more than 70% of companies agree that chatbots make it easier for customers to get their issues resolved.

And chatbot technology is evolving and advancing with elements of AI and machine learning capabilities – making conversation with chatbot more human-like and bringing about greater acceptance from customers.

How can chatbots help your business?

Many of the top financial entities like Bank of America, Chase, Visa, Mastercard, Capital One, American Express, Ally Bank, Barclays, Paypal already have chatbots.

1. Lower Operational Costs: Chatbots are evolving, getting smarter. They help customers resolve simpler and repetitive queries much faster, which in turn reduces the inbound voice calls to the contact center, improves efficiency and lowers operational cost. A new report from Juniper Research has found that the adoption of chatbots across the retail, banking and healthcare sectors will realize business cost savings of $11 billion annually by 2023.

Chatbots not only replace voice calls but also reduce email and social media inquiries. Hence, in every query where the customer interacts with a chatbot before trying an agent, cost per query gets lower.

Interaction with chatbots helps in getting the relevant customer information available, which can be used by an agent if that query needs to be transferred. This means faster resolution and a lower cost-per-interaction for companies.

According to Gartner, by 2023 customers will prefer to use speech interfaces to initiate 70% of self-service customer interactions, rising from 40% in 2019.

2. Reduced Labor Expenses: Organizations who use chatbots as a first line of assistance in their customer service have realized significant labor cost savings. While a human chat representative can only chat with three consumers at a time, chatbots can handle an unlimited number of interactions at once. This means that a chatbot can be used to address as many client problems as possible, with only the complex enquiries being sent to a human agent.

3. Cheaper 24/7 Availability: As the name suggests, live chat is live. Businesses these days are expected to deliver customer service 24/7. This expectation creates extra expenses as agents may need to work overtime or in late-night shifts. With chatbots, available 24/7 and 365 days a year, companies can provide support when customers need it and that too at off-peak hours and on weekends.

4. Continuous Savings in Future: Chatbots can be smart enough to learn with experience. This, in turn, improves the customer experience over time. This further leads to fewer customers calling as first ‘touch’ resolution improves, reducing voice traffic and enhancing the savings over time. Many solution providers with experience work with businesses to deploy chatbots and omnichannel services, helping their customers get ahead of competitors.

According to Gartner, by 2022, 70% of white-collar workers will interact with a conversational platform on a daily basis.

Steps to calculate the Return on Investment of chatbots:

Chatbots ROI

Once you compare your current cost vs how much chatbot will cost, you will be able to make a logical decision. Note that chatbots also have a deployment cost. To come up with a correct number, it is always better to consult a provider who has experience with chatbots, and also may be able to help with the manual interactions at a lower cost, so as to get a higher ROI that can be computed correctly.

Conclusion:

Businesses are seeing an increase in chat interaction as more customers look for self-service options, and it is estimated to grow further. An effective way to meet these customer service needs that involve customer interaction is the deployment and use of chatbots.

The capability of chatbots in customer-facing roles is getting better with the integration of AI, and this is directly increasing the role of chatbots in more complex queries.

It is anticipated that by making the AI chatbot the initial point of contact for users, it will be able to scale up from handling 10% of the ticket volume to 70%, enhancing the company’s operational efficiency.

Chatbots provide a scalable one-to-one experience to customers while automating a lot of the repetitive tasks in customer support.

Chatbots enables businesses to quickly manage ever-increasing customer inquiries and reduce cost at the same time. And given the type of technology and ease of connectivity, third-party providers can easily help with deployment as well as take up the manual queries from these chatbot interactions, and manage any fluctuations in demand, including for off-peak hours and weekends.

We, at SLK Global Solutions, with 21+ years of experience and global locations including a customer contact center in the Philippines, provide these and related services for several clients. Typical business value for customers includes 30% cost savings, 15% or more efficiency improvements and high C-SAT scores. You can know more about our contact center solution by contacting us at solutions@slkglobalsolution.com.

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