Customer retention is not easy, but it is absolutely vital to the success of your organization.
Why is that?
Because obtaining new customers is difficult and expensive! In fact, the Harvard Business Review estimates that it can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive to obtain a new customer than it is to hold on to an existing one.
Even on the low end of that figure, it’s a hefty investment. If you have high customer turnover, you’re eating into your profits substantially just to replace the people that you’re losing.
As such, you’re going to want to take every step possible to keep your customers loyal and coming back for more.
That’s why you should consider AI tech initiatives like chatbots.
Customer service is one of the best ways to hold onto your customers. Chat windows, like the one pictured above, go a long way toward making customer service more available and convenient for customers.
But when those windows are manned by AI chatbots, you’re able to have 24/7 support while gathering valuable information on your customer base.
So, how can you use chatbots to help your customer retention efforts?
Read on to find out.
Live human support agents are great, and they should never be abandoned fully in favor of AI. However, AI is able to pick up a lot of slack in your customer service department because it does not have human limitations.
For starters, AI does not need breaks or vacations, nor do they celebrate holidays. When using an AI Chatbot you have reliable customer service 24 hours per day seven days a week.
That’s particularly important if you have customers all over the world. With time zones being what they are, someone who needs help from an American company in the middle of the day in Australia is going to be hard pressed to find anyone working and available.
But if you have an AI chatbot active within your organization, your repeat customers will be able to find capable help no matter what time they contact you.
If customers are unable to get help when they want it, they’re likely to abandon you for a more convenient option. That can’t be allowed to happen if you want to avoid a mass exodus.
When using a chatbot, you’re also freeing up human support staff for more pressing issues. When the chatbot can handle the slew of simple FAQ style inquiries that come in on a daily basis, it means that your human support staff will have more time to handle big issues that go beyond the chatbot’s capabilities.
That’s why automation tools help to keep your business running, even when there’s no one awake to physically run it.
You not only provide an extra service to your customers, but you’re also saving on payroll costs. If you’re not using AI chatbots, the only other alternative when it comes to 24/7 support is to either outsource to a third party organization or bring on overnight support staff.
Both of these options take money out of your pocket and are counter intuitive to enhanced profitability.
Better Understand Customer Concerns
If you want to hold on to your customers you also have to understand your customers.
That’s another reason to utilize AI chatbots. They help you gather data on your customers like never before. If you understand your customers, then you’ll understand their objections and the obstacles that stand in the way of them making a repeat purchase.
When you can anticipate objections, you can also develop a strategy for counteracting them. That’s the surest way to keep repeat customers moving down the sales funnel for another purchase.
Using a chatbot, you can answer customer questions automatically. This saves you both time and money while providing immediate results and a more convenient experience for your customers.
But you’re also getting access to the questions that they’re asking.
You can save all of these interactions and study them in order to make future plans. Are you noticing a slew of similar questions? Maybe there’s an aspect of your product or service that is confusing for your target audience. If that’s the case, you can address those issues directly to remove a potential obstacle.
Then there’s the AI’s ability to learn that can’t be overlooked. As chatbots interact with customers, they will learn to understand your customers better. The chatbot can then provide customers with more complete answers and options that will add convenience and speed to the sales process.
Work Alongside Other Automation Tools
You can set your chatbots up to work alongside some of the best automation tools on the planet, to make for a fully automated process that your sales staff can then use to be more effective in their roles.
If you have a CRM that helps you keep track of leads and clients, you can have it work alongside your chatbot to keep track of any issues and interactions your existing customers have with the AI.
Those interactions can then be reviewed by a sales associate or account manager who will contact the customer for further assistance.
After all, sometimes you need that human touch in order to provide a full support experience. But the chatbot gets the ball rolling and lets you review issues in a way that will better prepare sales staff so that they’re never calling into a situation blindly.
When you’re entrusting these follow up interactions or service issue conversations to human staff members, you’re vulnerable to human mistakes. Maybe one of your associates is having a bad day and they’re rude to a customer. That is going to drive that customer away and into the waiting arms of one of your competitors.
But an AI chatbot will always make a first impression precisely as you want without fail. They don’t make mistakes and they don’t have bad days. In fact, you can write opening dialog and responses specifically for these chatbots, ensuring that your brand and messaging are always communicated in the same consistent voice that reflects the rest of your marketing.
When designing these interactions, it’s important to understand SEO writing as you’re going to be devising custom calls to action that are designed to move your customer toward repurchasing. If you’re unfamiliar with how to create optimized messaging, sometimes it’s better to outsource it so that you can ensure you’re doing everything right.
You have to hold onto as many customers as possible. That’s just a fact in modern business. By trusting in the effectiveness of an AI chatbot, you can gather more information, provide 24/7 support, and design automated responses that will keep your customers loyally returning to you for years to come.