Customer support is one the most resource-intensive departments in a company. Staff spend their day answering queries, on the telephone with customers, communicating with other departments, and much more. It is also a part of the operation that is hard to link to an ROI.

Although the concept of “customer success” is gaining traction in the startup world (particularly in SaaS), it is still tough to report the real value a customer support team can deliver. Therefore, anything reducing the need for manpower in customer support is considered a good thing. For example, on a basic level, we have seen companies add a knowledge base to their website — a self-service area customers can browse to find answers to their questions.

With the current chatbot revolution, along with the extraordinary growth of messaging applications, there is an opportunity to save money and deliver a better experience in customer support.

Chatbots can handle the basic requests

Chatbots can deal with basic requests. As a company, the autoresponder function of a chatbot is invaluable. Make sure you list the most common questions customers ask you.

– What time do you open?
– Are you open on Sundays?
– Do you have any promotions on right now?
– Are pets allowed in your hotel?
– What is your refund policy?
– Does your software integrate with Salesforce?

…and so on.

Create a list of as many of these common questions as possible. Be sure to rely on actual data, real questions you have been asked many times. Each of these questions may be answered by a machine, most likely with little human interaction. Set up a chatbot that reacts on a keyword or key-sentence basis. Let it do its job while you deal with other things.

Don’t lose the human touch

Two statistics will interest readers of this article. The first is that 50.6 percent of consumers believe a business should respond to their queries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means that over half of your audience wants you to be responsive at all times. With the help of the programmed robot at your side, you will be able to satisfy these valuable customers.

The second statistic is that 63.9 percent of consumers believe a business should be available and contactable via messaging applications. This is good news for your chatbot. It can respond ubiquitously across all the messaging applications your audience uses, instead of forcing customers to download an app or contact you in a way that is convenient for you, but not for them.

It is important to remember that people talking to you through messaging applications require a conversation. Your users will most likely expect you to interact with them on a personal level. Although a chatbot can handle basic requests, some of your customers will want to talk to real people and will require complicated support to answer some of their more difficult questions.

The best way to handle this? Set up a chatbot autoresponder to handle the first contact from your customers. If a customer asks one of the fundamental, easy-to-answer questions you have prepared answers for, you can deliver an immediate solution and a great experience.

However, if a customer requires anything more complicated, be sure to have an alert system in place that will let a team member take over. You can then leverage the power of messaging applications to offer an incredible 1-on-1 personal interaction in real time. Congratulations, you saved precious manpower and delighted another customer!