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Expert: Chatbots may become key to customer service
With more consumers moving into the social space, it makes sense for businesses to be there, too. Twitter recently announced a customer service bot would be introduced through their platform, and that move could be an indicator of where customer service is going.
Kristina: Twitter recently announced a customer service bot; what does this announcement mean for the social space?
Alex Campbell, CIO & Co-Founder, Vibes: Brands are already using social as a way to directly stay in touch with their consumers. In the case of Twitter, this has mostly been implemented through having a service rep standing by to respond to customer tweets in a timely manner. Having customer service bots will ensure that brands and customers can maintain that direct 1:1 relationship that Twitter helped start, but it will evolve so information will get to the customer faster and, and the types of responses will become more sophisticated focusing on things like answering questions about specific customer orders.
Kristina: Millennials, especially, are shown to want customer service options, including chatbots. Do you believe chatbots are the future for customer service?
Alex: Texting has become the preferred method of communications for millennials, so chatbots align perfectly with their communication preferences and can help brands break through to this generation, which is notoriously difficult to engage but has serious spending power. Conversational commerce and chatbots will be able to humanize how businesses communicate with customers, and replicate the personalized aspects of a face-to-face transaction in the digital world. Chatbots aren't the be-all and end-all for every brand, but because they have memory, they are a particularly good fit for businesses where customers make frequent, recurring purchases of the same product.
Kristina: How easy are chatbots to integrate with ecommerce systems?
Alex: The topic of integrations brings up a lot of variables that depend largely on how the brand has set up their transactional architecture. However, the benefit of chatbot experiences is how they can scale. A few of the early retail adapters to bot experiences were simply providing the user back various product requests with URLs to product on their .com. Bot experiences can become more robust and actually offer a more personalized shopping experience as they become more integrated with product searches and shopping cart APIs. Because the UI is still a conversation, it's not as complex as building transactional flows which require a lot more experience design and front-end work on top of the integrations to complete.
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