Customers are now more accepting of chatbots than before. When it comes to solving customer queries, most people want an efficient answer. Automated chatbots and messaging are making this possible and 30% of consumers are happy to engage with them because they are helpful.
That’s according to new research from Helpshift, the digital customer service platform, which found that the number of consumers who had been annoyed by chatbots dropped by 19%.
Meanwhile, 83% of respondents would make messaging a core focus of reaching customer support compared to 76% in 2018.
For brands, the findings mean that they can support consumer preferences by adding automation.
“Today’s consumers care about having their time valued above all else, and that’s clear in their communication preferences for interacting with brands,” says Helpshift CEO, Linda Crawford.
“By giving customers the option to have their support needs met through a more convenient channel, brands adopting chatbots, messaging and other automation-powered customer service initiatives are putting customer needs first. But, as the data suggests, customers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the switch to digital. Brands using Helpshift are expanding their agent bandwidth and funneling customer queries through chatbots to efficiently scale during busy periods.”
The average number of unique messages sent by chatbots increased by 35% from Q1 to Q2 among Helpshift brands.
Total issue volume expanded 24% while agent outbound messages rose 8% during that time.
For 96% of customers being able to return to a customer support conversation is an important feature. However, this is a unique feature not every chatbot technology offers.
But the good news is, that 54% of customers believe that chatbots improved over the last 12 months compared to 43% in 2018.
Holiday periods are particularly sensitive to increases in customer service queries. For example, the average ticket volume during the holiday period was 47% higher than non-holiday season. Chatbots which dealt with 64% of holiday issues for one retailer were able to solve queries 13% quicker.
It’s this efficiency that consumers value and want to see more off. Brands must adapt to meet this need.