When it comes to providing good customer service, everyone wants to stand out.
As intense competition in the home service industry has pushed the bar of expectations higher and higher, 24-hour customer support has become the new norm.
In order to adapt to this new reality, companies across all industries are starting to incorporate the use of chatbots to provide around-the-clock customer service without the need to scale up their support team as well as boost sales and marketing efforts.
In this article, I’ll teach you what chatbots are and how home service providers can use them to take their business to the next level.
What Is A Chatbot?
A chatbot is an automated chatting service that relies on rules or artificial intelligence (AI) to give accurate responses to queries based on user input and data.
In other words, a chatbot can take a specific question from a visitor, automatically identify the user intent behind the query and instantaneously come up with the right action to resolve it.
Some chatbots can even use the power of machine learning to get smarter with each user interaction, making it possible for them to tailor their responses based on the unique needs of every visitor.
Businesses use chatbots on their websites, social media platforms and messaging apps to immediately address any questions or problems a user may have at any point of interaction with the brand.
Why Should Home Service Providers Use Chatbots?
With ever-diminishing attention spans and a general lack of time, people nowadays want to get the information they need quickly.
This is where chatbots come in. Implementing such technology can help businesses provide a stellar customer experience, build rapport with target audiences and solidify brand credibility — all while balancing the workload related to helping users between the customer service team and the chatbot.
With the digital age upon us, most customers expect a business to be available at all times, every day, including weekends and holidays.
When potential customers who are interested in your product or service don’t have their questions answered in a timely manner, they’re likely to leave and start exploring what the competition has to offer.
For most businesses, bridging that gap solely with the customer support team is an insurmountable task.
In contrast, chatbots are available at any time of the day and night, providing help even outside of your regular working hours.
Instant Answers To Customer Queries
The first response time benchmark for live chat across all industries is, on average, one minute 36 seconds if you aim to achieve a customer satisfaction score of 92%.
Trying to live up to expectations by relying on the support team is difficult and requires you to allocate additional resources to ensure lightning-fast response time, whereas chatbots can immediately process a large volume of questions regardless of the time of day or night.
Lowered Business Expenses
As your company scales, so does the amount of resources needed to provide great customer support.
Salaries, benefits and other overhead costs associated with growing your support team inevitably chip away at your bottom line, limiting your ability to expand your business.
In contrast, chatbots don’t come with a wide range of expenses and can reduce customer service costs by as much as 30% while having a near-infinite potential to scale up.
More Sales And Revenue
According to PSFK, 74% of consumers prefer chatbots for getting instant answers.
Combined with the fact that chatbots lead to an average of a 67% increase in sales, capitalizing on the opportunities to serve potential and current customers that otherwise would have been untapped is a great way to improve customer satisfaction.
But there’s so much more to chatbots than merely assisting your support team. Chatbots can generate more sales and revenue for your business by helping you turn visitors into qualified leads, schedule sales calls and meetings, or even come up with personalized product recommendations.
How Home Service Providers Can Use Chatbots
As a versatile tool for growing your business, a chatbot can be applied in a myriad of ways to provide world-class customer support, reach your target audience and supercharge your sales and marketing efforts.
The case for the most optimal use of a chatbot can vary for each business based on a set of unique factors — from the industry in which they operate to the strategic objectives they have.
However, for home service providers — which make up a majority of our client base — we see that chatbots tend to be most effective when it comes to the following tasks:
• Answering questions and inquiries.
• Scheduling discovery and sales calls.
• Generating and qualifying leads.
• Confirming orders.
• Providing personalized recommendations.
• Collecting customer feedback.
In order to maximize the value gained from using chatbots, you can adopt the technology across multiple online platforms that serve as the frontline of the customer experience: your website and social media platforms, as well as most popular instant messengers such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Although it is possible to set up a chatbot from scratch, most businesses don’t have the time, knowledge or resources to do so. For that reason, the best way to get started is by using a third-party solution.
When seeking out a platform, look for simplicity and ease of use. But if you need something more complex, you may want to explore solutions like IBM Watson.
Ready To Get Started With Chatbots?
Chatbots are the future, and the future is already here. With the rapidly growing chatbot market projected to reach $10.5 billion by 2026, more and more companies are going to rely on them to automate their operations.
And as the technology powering chatbots becomes more advanced with each year, setting one up for your business early on would help you yield an exponential ROI in the long run.
This article is written by Matt Lee and originally published here