The Startup Growth

Your Customers Aren’t Bots!

….and they never will be. Your customers are living, breathing, feeling decision makers who sometimes need assistance to make the best purchasing decisions to meet their needs, and at all times, need a way to resolve their dissatisfaction when their experiences fall short of their expectations – and your promises.

Enter the Chat Bot – and sometimes, exit your customer.

While Chat Bots continue impressive development through exhaustive AI endeavors, deep machine learning, etc., they will never replace the power of a real engagement between people.  And, don’t get your underpants in a bundle worrying about personas, and boomers, or millennials, and so on.  It’s just about communications that work for your customers, not communications that work only for you.

So, if your solution (in whichever industry) is designed, launched and marketed brilliantly, you likely won’t lose a customer to the bots-sphere.  If, on the other hand, you’re the ultimate iterator, you will probably lose a few on the way to your desired business zenith.

10 Practices to Retain Your Customer:

  1. Structure your chat bots to respond to technical directions, not sales.
  2. If your bots are supported by real agents, make sure your agents don’t communicate like bots, and that their sentence structure is positive to customers, not negative.
  3. Make sure your design is so clean that no one can tell when your chat bot transfers to an agent – keep those transitions seamless.
  4. Don’t interrupt your customer’s inquiry with a greedy effort to cross sell them.
  5. Offer a way to your customers to elevate their inquiry if your bot design doesn’t resolve their inquiry.
  6. If your elevation protocol is to merely transfer your customer to another bot or agent, you’re missing the point of elevating a customer complaint.
  7. Don’t use phony introductory statements in your bot structure about how you’re going to do your best to resolve your customer’s concerns – it’s insulting – you’re instant messaging while hiding behind the veil of technology.
  8. Display your scoreboard of effectiveness – if you end your chat sessions with customer surveys, have the courage to post the responses – no one believes you care, so it’s just another insult.
  9. Make sure your customers in queue are aware of their wait time – not how many inquirers are in front of them, but how long they’re going to have to wait – in minutes.
  10. If the wait time exceeds your inquirer’s expectation, give them another option.

Most important?  Don’t fool yourself into believing your bot platform is a great solution – it’s not.  It’s a way for you to avoid direct contact with a customer and every customer knows it.  The customer will forgive a brand’s reluctance to a point, but when they need an answer, or a solution, they’re going to support those brands that support them.