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AI Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular in the field of eCommerce. Companies use chatbots for several purposes, but one of this technology's most significant use cases resides in customer service and customer experience.
According to a Salesforce report, 23% of customer service companies use AI chatbots. Another study suggests that 62% of customers prefer talking to chatbots over waiting for human agents. These statistics testify to how important chatbots will be in the future. If you’re wondering about the same, you’ve arrived at the right place. Let us understand the different chatbots, how they improve customer experience, which chatbots to choose, how to train them with personal datasets, and more.
Chatbots are of different kinds and are used for various purposes. However, you can broadly classify them as rule-based chatbots and AI chatbots. The two have stark differences, and it is important to know them to understand what kind of chatbots will work well for your organization and purpose.
Rule-based chatbots are built with predefined rules wherein the various conversation paths are written in the form of the chatbot’s code. If a human is conversing with a rule-based chatbot, they have to ask questions that are encoded in the chatbot. Any question outside the scope will not give humans a proper response. As you understand, these chatbots have several limitations and are not made to mimic human conversation style.
AI technology is built for machines to mimic human intelligence. Hence AI chatbots for customer experience are designed to have seamless conversations with human beings. This is possible with the help of machine learning and natural language processing.
Machine learning allows chatbots to persistently learn and evolve as they are presented with new information. Natural language processing helps chatbots decipher the human language and respond with well-crafted sentences in the user’s language.
Although AI chatbots will soon dominate the customer experience department of businesses, currently, rule-based chatbots can also help small to medium businesses. This is because they can conduct a minimal conversation, determine the user’s concerns, and direct them to the right customer support agent. But this is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Chatbots add value to different facets of customer experience and even businesses. They make customer conversations insightful, efficient, and more. Let us understand how.
One of the biggest turn-offs for customers is waiting for the company to respond. In an era where deliveries in eCommerce are made in 24 hours, people want their concerns answered immediately. A chatbot can come to your eCommerce store’s rescue. Chatbots can have predefined conversation starters and help determine the problem the instant the customer reaches out to the support system. Reduction of waiting time makes customers feel they are valued and creates a positive brand perception.
AI algorithms can be integrated with chatbots to study customer conversations. This will help the algorithm understand the issues customers are facing, the root cause, and suggest remedies. eCommerce stores will be able to fix their problems faster, but the AI chatbots will also enable them to preempt several issues which can be solved before contributing to a poor user experience.
AI chatbots can study and learn from massive historical datasets and continuously evolve with each conversation. This will help them personalize customer conversations based on their goals and needs. This is another place where companies can score brownie points as they will be able to make each and every customer special. The chatbot would cater to their specific asks and concerns and provide tailor-made solutions.
Considering it’s difficult for employees to be available 24/7 for customers, AI chatbots can solve the challenge. These can address and solve user concerns at any time of the day. While this would be an advanced stage, the most basic and cost-efficient way to use chatbots would be to answer simple queries and provide basic support through chatbots.
Overall, these are some of the key ways in which chatbots help improve customer experience. But this doesn’t all queries you might have as an eCommerce store owner who wants to use AI chatbots.
While choosing chatbot platforms for your business, you might get tangled and overwhelmed with the many options you get in the market. Each has a diverse set of features, pricing, plans, and more. However, you must keep the process simple and answer three questions while assessing any platform and its features.
- Does the feature/platform reduce customers’ waiting time?
- Does the feature help with the personalization of responses?
- Does the feature directly/indirectly help with improving business goals?
Let us look at a few factors you must consider while choosing an AI chatbot for your business.
When it comes to customer experience, it is not merely responding to customer concerns. It is also about reaching out to them across the different stages of the sales funnel and adding value to them through your products/services. Thus you need to look at features that fit your intentions and goals for each stage of the sales funnel.
AI chatbots and platforms have different pricing plans and packages. Without getting too confused by the feature list and the packages, choose the ones which offer the features you want at the least price.
Considering AI chatbots will be having conversations with customers, several confidential details and sensitive information are being exchanged. As a result, AI chatbots need to have the best security measures to protect such information. Besides this, it is also important for the platforms to have a great customer support team. That way, if there are any issues the eCommerce store’s AI chatbots face, they can be solved quickly with the support team.
You must first understand the different formats in which the chatbot accepts the data as input. Once you do, ensure you prepare the data and transform it into that process. The data includes:
- Your company website content
- Your eCommerce store products
- Your previous customer support conversations
- Sync your social media channels and mobile app (if any)
Besides this, organizations must ensure a few things while training the chatbot.
- Train the chatbot with specific business goals. These can include
- Understanding user intent faster
- Generating more sales
- Providing actionable and satisfactory solutions
- Conveying the brand’s values in conversations through tonality and suggestion.
- Blend machine learning and human intelligence together and have a human-in-the-loop technology. This way, a human will consistently correct the chatbot while training it, and the AI will learn faster.
- Train the bot to finish chats naturally and lead the customer to the next step in the customer journey.
- The customer’s intricate queries are addressed, and their concerns are solved.
- Zoho Desk
- HubSpot CRM
With 18 years of experience in the eCommerce industry, I have successfully launched and grown multiple e-commerce businesses, the 2nd one hit 7-figures in revenue within its first year. In 2022, I joined a European food technology equipment and IT service provider as their Head of E-commerce, overseeing 14 eshops across Europe and South Africa. Selljam is where I share all those ecommerce tips, tricks and hacks learned along the way that I hope will also help you on your journey to success.