The advancement of the Internet has brought changes in almost every field. One of those changes is the shift of customer support to the Internet. Email support, live chat, chatbots, and conversations on social media are just some of the countless examples of virtual customer service.
With a bit of help from artificial intelligence, companies are skyrocketing their customer support to a whole new level. Artificial intelligence helps place various customer support channels on one single platform, and it easily automates the tasks that traditionally consumed a lot of human time. Managing customer support has become very easy for companies, and as far as the customers are concerned, they get a seamless user experience at every support channel.
Does this automation mean that we should move on from using traditional customer support channels, such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)? The answer to this question is NO. A lot of users value human contact more than any conversation with robots or AI bots.
Fortunately, you don’t have to pick between AI Chatbot and VoIP. Instead, you can combine these two to make your service even better.
Importance of Voice Calls in the Era of Chatbots
Over many customer service channels, local users still prefer voice calls to get their queries solved. A comprehensive study by BrightLocal shows that around 60% of the customers like to call the company to get more information after finding them online. Moreover, only 16% of the users are inclined to use email support, and people just shy away from using social media for having a conversation.
No matter what type of company you are in, be it SaaS or e-commerce, voice calls allow you to build a more reliable relationship with your customers. With voice calls, the users rest assured that real people are supporting the business, not just AI and bots. Even after being so sophisticated, AI still lacks that human touch.
Customers are starting to notice the missing human elements. According to a study by PWC, around 60% of people globally believe that many businesses have lost the human touch in their customer service. Moreover, 71% of Americans claim that they would rather have a conversation with human executives than AI chatbots.
Overcome the Challenges Faced in Voice Call Support
While voice calls are still the backbone of the customer support industry, they might face some problems, including:
- Low customer satisfaction
- There are just too many tools
- The reporting and analytics is not accurate
- Poor performance and employee dissatisfaction
One of the best ways to improve the effectiveness of voice call support is by switching from a traditional phone system to VoIP. Unlike PBX or analogue phone systems, the data in VoIP is transmitted over the Internet.
In VoIP, there are features like call queuing and call routing, which ensures that the customers connect with the right agent at the right time. Moreover, VoIP can enhance the quality of voice calls, for which all you need is a solid internet connection. This service is entirely cloud-based.
Because VoIP can be integrated with CRM software, you can easily track and collect customer information consistently. This means whenever a lead is converted into a customer; their data will be already there in the system for the customer support executive to use it. It can provide the detail of their buying journeys which can help you deliver personalized support.
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Need to Combine VoIP With Chatbots
Advanced chat technology is an exhilarating prospect. However, we are still a long way from chatbots replacing voice call support. Instead, it is best to use chatbots and VoIP in tandem to produce the best results for both agents and customers.
When people have to ask simple questions or when they expect quick fixes, they prefer chatbot over VoIP. There’s no complex theory behind it. The reason is quite simple- regardless of the time zone, the chatbot provides straightforward feedback in real-time.
Because these virtual agents are based on artificial intelligence, they can support your live customer support agents in many ways. To start with, chatbots allow the agents to work on more complex problems by providing quick answers to repetitive customer queries.
Moreover, you can increase the productivity of your agents by placing a chatbot to whisper in their ears. For example, imagine that there’s a major discount on your website, a bot can easily make it prominent to your customer support executives, and these executives can then pass on this information to the customers if needed. It can save the time of agents by finding various information in a jiffy.
Furthermore, chatbots can help users in making quicker shopping decisions by gamifying and personalising their experience. You can use them to ask relevant questions to your customers and based on the answers, you can suggest the best-suited products or services.
Move Seamlessly From Channel to Channel Using ACD
The use of Chabot with VoIP is just adding yet another channel to make it easy for your customers to reach out to you. Your customers expect to reach you by whatever medium they prefer be it social media, VoIP, SMS, or chatbots.
However, just like adding any new channel, the addition of chatbots to VoIP also requires deep integration. You need to reconsider and redefine the customer journey in order to provide a better experience. The flow of data should be seamless from channel to channel.
To make this flow of data seamless, you can even use something like Automatic Call Distribution (ACD). It is mainly a telephony system that can answer the incoming calls of your customers and redirect the customer to a specific agent, branch or department of the company.
To work and route the calls to the most appropriate agent, ACD needs Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) or Interactive Voice Response (IVR). It streamlines the whole process of communication, which makes it a backbone of the customer support industry.
With the use of ACD, you can:
- Route incoming calls to specific agents on the basis of some predefined criteria.
- Identify VIP callers and provide them with rapid response.
- Acquire usage data like the phone number of callers, time spent on a caller, total number of calls, length of calls, waiting time, and much more.
- Engage in call conferencing, call barging, call monitoring, and whisper coaching.
- Make an automatic call back and put multiple callers in the queue.
Track and Analyse Customer Interactions
Investing money in the integration of chatbot, VoIP, and various support channels will not guarantee desired results if you don’t keep checking their effectiveness.
When your channel has chatbots and VoIP, then tracking and analysing the effectiveness becomes easier. This software provides you with advanced analytics, and all you have to do is select the most suitable metrics to determine the success of your customer support channels.
These metrics can be:
- Engagement metrics like the number of bot sessions initiated, the bounce rate, goal completion rate, etc.
- Customer satisfaction metrics such as the rate of retention and the satisfaction score.
- Conversion metrics like chatbot interaction vs human interaction, interaction rate, conversation duration, feedback rate, etc.
In the traditional call centre, tracking and analysing the data is much more complex. This is where switching to VoIP and chatbots become advantageous.
The skillset of bots and humans are not comparable; they are completely distinct.
The major advantage of human agents is that with the help of VoIP, they add emotions and human touch to your customer support. They are more likely to understand your customers, their needs, their preferences and choices, and more importantly, they can address your customers with empathy. Yes, AI technologies are getting advanced every day, but irrespective of that, humans will always be the ones responding to the complex queries raised by the customers.
On the other hand, you can use chatbots to automate your customer support and increase its efficiency. With its help, you can collect customer data from various channels and use it to increase the efficacy of your human customer support executives. More importantly, these chatbots can provide support 24/7.
Therefore, there’s no need to decide which one of these two, VoIP and chatbot, you should choose for your customer support. Instead, you should combine these two and appeal to different groups of customers.
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How To Use A Chatbot & VoIP Together For Better Customer Service? was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.