With the new year fast approaching, it’s always insightful to look back at the trends that shaped 2021 and look forward to what’s coming in 2022.
At Mindsay, we’re on the front lines of customer service, working with customer care and customer experience teams every day, helping them better serve their customers. While customer behavior and expectations are always evolving, 2021 solidified a trend that’s here to stay and is now non-negotiable: customers expect personalized and immediate service on their channel of choice. The only way brands will be able to deliver on this promise in 2022 and beyond is through Conversational AI.
Gartner’s 2021 Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies reports that chatbots now represent the #1 use of AI in enterprises, and for good reason. While conversational AI chatbots have been around for several years, the adoption and proper operationalization of chatbots has only accelerated since the pandemic. Brands are now getting better at finding the right chatbot platform (amongst a lot of noise!) and implementing chatbots that are having an undeniable impact on their business.
While consumers increasingly feel at ease with virtual assistants (80% have had positive experiences!), let's not rest on our laurels. The chatbot market is incredibly fierce and we must adapt to constantly evolving consumer trends.
Here’s are the four chatbot trends that we believe will shape better customer service outcomes in 2022.
Today we all use many different communication channels on a daily basis: from email, to social media, to messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Customer service must therefore be on these channels as well.
A recent study reported that companies investing in an omnichannel customer engagement strategy can increase their conversion rates by 47% and enjoy a 90% higher retention rate.
Providing consistent and reliable communication across different channels should be a crucial part of any brand’s customer experience strategy. At Mindsay, the best way to do this is through what we’ve coined the “the one-door strategy.” The concept is simple - give customers a single entry point (or door) to your customer service team. Each customer must first interact with the AI chatbot to either resolve their request immediately or qualify and route it to the most efficient channel.
CX will improve very quickly as the bot deflects numerous basic requests away from the support team, immediately resolving many customer inquiries, or routing them to the right place. Thanks to this omnichannel strategy, TGV Lyria has seen a 50% reduction in the number of tickets created on Zendesk.
In 2022, businesses will have to level up their omnichannel communication strategy to retain their customers by providing frictionless experiences. Companies need to go above and beyond and enable truly seamless, always-on experiences when it comes to answering customers’ questions, selling, and delivering on their brand promise.
Voice is taking the world by storm. According to a report by Accenture, most consumers prefer voice-based over text-based interfaces on messaging platforms. The trend of using conversational bots to assist consumers over both voice and text is on the rise, as it helps provide a seamless user experience.
Conversational IVR (interactive voice response) technology offers human-like interactions by answering questions and making self-service simple. Conversational IVR lets your customers speak naturally to a bot to get the answers they need, without the need for complicated menus. It also can help customers with disabilities, those who have trouble reading small font sizes on a screen, for instance, empowering them to find the information they need in the easiest way possible.
Customers can interact with voice bots to get help at any time of day and whenever they need it most, improving the overall customer satisfaction. IVR can recognize customers and their preferences to tailor their responses based on a customer’s history and offer personalized customer experiences.
Despite the advances in voice bots, there will be times when they won’t have all the answers. However, they are smart enough to know when to pass the customer to an agent to resolve the issue. Still, they will learn from these interactions, so they can respond the next time.
The combination of humans and smart voice bots, will not only improve the customer experience but also the efficiency of your customer service department.
As mentioned before, there are more and more social media and messaging apps popping up every day. Is it possible to serve our customers on all of them? Yes! - with chatbots! In fact, there were already over 300,000 chatbots active on Facebook Messenger in 2018.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about the invasive bot that comments things like, “nice pic! DM me” on an Instagram post. We’re talking about smart AI chatbots that can streamline your customer support, sales, and marketing efforts. To put it simply, any conversation your business has with a customer that leads to more sales or customer satisfaction — you can use a chatbot to do it at a much bigger scale.
A Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp bot will help you:
Thanks to a Messenger bot, Thalys has been able to scale its customer service operations without having to outsource or expand the size of its in-house team of experts. In fact, they were able to improve agent response time by 99%.
Facebook and WhatsApp are important to be on, but let’s not forget about another one of Meta’s companies: Instagram. With more than a billion active users every month, 50% of Instagram’s users follow at least one company. But here is the most important reason why you should be there: 80% of Instagrammers decide whether to buy a product or service on Instagram.
If you have a chatbot on Instagram, people can message you whenever they want through direct messages, and you can use that opportunity to deliver a better customer experience and increase your sales.
The global transactional value of mobile payments is projected to cross $12,407.5 billion by the end of 2025. While bots have been very good at serving customers’ basic needs and standard transactions, they can also be designed to play an important role in streamlining digital payments..
In 2022, businesses will start integrating more payment services into their chatbots to make shopping easier. All the user will have to do is say, "I want to buy the dress in my cart" and the retail chatbot will take care of processing the payment via the connection to a payment system.
More bots will be connected with payment systems such as Paypal and digital wallets, allowing consumers to make payments without ever leaving the messaging platform, improving customer experience.
The privacy and security of digital transactions are a top priority for consumers, and therefore businesses. With the latest advances in AI, chatbots are now able to ensure encrypted transactions that keep customer data reliable and secure. In fact, according to a Juniper study, the integration of AI chatbots in FinTech could save USD 7.3 billion by 2023. While a majority of transactions have already been digitally transformed, the payment processing segment is only expected to grow in the coming months.
Automated customer communications will continue to accelerate through 2022, as more companies realize the power of AI-powered chatbot platforms in serving their customers whenever and wherever they want, at huge scale.
At Mindsay, we focus on helping you build the most effective conversational AI strategy and chatbot for your business. Simply fill out the form here to get started on your chatbot journey!
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