Customer Service Bots: A Guide to Your Secret Weapon for Stellar Service

Do you want to drive your business forward? Start by delivering amazing service to your customers. No matter how great your products and services are, and no matter how wonderful your marketing efforts are, if you aren't giving customers what they need, they're not going to stick around. What your customers both want and need is good service. 

How can you improve your customer service and provide effective support to your customers? Harness the power of technology. Customer service bots use artificial intelligence (AI) to engage with customers even when you and your team aren't available. This is a tool that lets you deliver customer service 24/7 without any human intervention needed. 

Are you ready to learn more? The following is a closer look at key information you need before setting up your own customer service bots and taking better care of your online customers. 

What Are Customer Service Bots?

Before defining what customer service bots are, consider what they aren't. Customer service bots aren't a replacement for customer service agents. They're meant to empower your customer service and support team and to help them be more effective. Not only do bots handle issues when your team isn't available, but they can also field and resolve simple questions, freeing up your team's time to handle the tougher stuff.

Customer service bots combine machine learning (ML) and AI to allow your customers to ask basic questions in a messenger format and get answers to those questions quickly. Bots leverage the information and resources you already have, including your knowledge base articles and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to resolve customer issues. They can be trained to respond using the tone and voice you determine best.

Benefits of Using Customer Service Bots

There are a variety of reasons to add customer service bots to supplement what your team is doing. For starters, using a bot increases the likelihood that customers or potential customers will ask questions and engage. From that first touchpoint, you'll be able to gather information, giving you more context on every customer, including their journey and their needs. Additional benefits include:

  • The ability to provide instant resolution to customer questions and/or route customers to the right spot quickly
  • Reduced hold times in addition to providing 24/7 support
  • Bots keep learning, so you can train them and quality will improve over time
  • You'll be able to customize answers to best resonate with specific types of customers

Tips for Getting Started With Customer Service Bots

Before a customer service bot can effectively do its job, it needs to have access to stored data and information like customer information and preferences. This is what helps the bot speak with customers about their needs and helps to quickly solve the problem and communicate effectively.

Additionally, you need to use bots to humanize your brand. Your customers aren't going to want to engage in a robotic conversation. Instead, adding human elements to your bot makes it feel more authentic and conversational. It also humanizes your brand and makes customers feel like they're interacting with a brand that understands what they need. Setting up bots so that they respond to customers and prospects in a human-like manner makes it easier to boost conversions.

Giving your customers personalized recommendations delivers a smooth, improved user experience. Every visitor comes to your website and your brand with unique problems and issues. Addressing each one makes a difference. Training your bot to give customers relevant product and/or service recommendations helps move the sales funnel along while also making customers feel seen, heard, and validated. 

Some of the Best Customer Service Bots 

It's not hyperbole to say that the right customer service bot could revolutionize your customer service and ultimately boost your bottom line. Some offer task automation while others offer integrations. The best customer service bot for your business is the one that meets your unique needs. To help get you started, we've rounded up several of the best options:

  • HubSpot's Chatbot Builder: A free tool that offers free live chat, links to self-service support options, and integrations with many of HubSpot's other tools
  • Mindsay: Easy to use and doesn't require tons of code to build your own bot
  • Bold 360: Uses natural language processing for more personalized conversations
  • Xenioo: A bot-building platform that makes it easy to create the bot you need for nearly any kind of interface, allowing you to better maintain a smooth, consistent customer experience across all your channels while also facilitating the handoff from bots to human customer service reps
  • Mobile Monkey: A comprehensive platform that supports a variety of channels, including web and live chat, Facebook Messenger, SMS, and omnichannel marketing
  • Freshdesk: This AI, self-service omnichannel customer service provides custom ticket statuses, a user-friendly dashboard, and reporting/analytics
  • ItsAlive: This chatbot building platform uses recipe workflows that make it easy to build your own standout customer service chatbots
  • Reply.ai: This customer service chatbot is designed to use AI to help answer customer questions while still delivering an amazing customer experience

Choosing a Customer Service Bot

With many robust options on the market, there’s no shortage of customer service chatbot platforms and builders to choose from. Each has its unique strengths and drawbacks. Ultimately, to choose the one that best meets your business needs, consider factors such as:

  • The number of people who will be involved in the system
  • Which teams will use it most?
  • Do you need it to support multiple channels or function native on your website?
  • Does the chatbot incorporate Natural Language Processing and speech support?
  • Is the speaking tone in line with the brand’s aesthetics?
  • Does the chatbot provide full access to an interface that lets you measure its impact and efficiency?
  • How do the features, support, pricing, and reviews compare to other options?

Today's customers have high expectations. By choosing and using the right customer service bot, your business will be primed to meet and exceed those expectations in delivering stellar service and a memorable customer experience.