Anyone who owns or manages a retail or eCommerce business knows that staying on top of customer service demand can be a major challenge. Customers have many questions, but they typically revolve around the same issues. These include:
- “Is this item in stock?”
- “Do you have this item in another colour or size?”
- Order Status
- “My order hasn’t arrived yet. Where is it?”
- “How long will it take for my order to arrive?”
- “How much is shipping to X?”
- “Do you offer free shipping?
- Returns and Warranty
- “My item is defective. How do I return it?”
- “What is your warranty policy?”
Retail businesses can always consolidate answers to these questions in a single FAQ page on their website. But there’s a good chance your customers are still asking these questions through chat and email, even if you already have this page on your site.
Retail chatbots help businesses keep up with all these questions, and offer many other benefits. We take a closer look at some of the below.
Speed is everything in the fast-paced world of retail. It’s why people are willing to pay for services like Amazon Prime, which is estimated to have generated $25.21 billion in annual revenue in 2020.
This need for speed also extends to customer queries, so much so that 73% of customers consider valuing their time as the most crucial feature of excellent customer service. Chatbots offer a simple solution to this problem thanks to automating instant responses to common questions.
This means customers no longer have to wait in a call queue or stay on hold for several minutes just to be transferred to one of your customer service agents.
According to the Baymard Institute, nearly three in four people abandon their online shopping carts on eCommerce sites. That means that for every 100 potential customers that add items to their shopping cart, nearly 70 will leave your site without completing the purchase.
Historically, remarketing emails have been the most popular way to recover abandoned carts. But chatbots offer a more engaging way to win customers back on the channels they already use. Plugins on platforms like Facebook Messenger enable chatbots to send shoppers cart abandonment messages and relevant discounts, sales and offers to convert undecided shoppers.
Today’s customers want businesses to be there for them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is particularly true in eCommerce, where retail companies serve markets in different countries or time zones. In fact, 74% of UK customers feel frustrated when a brand’s customer service is only available during business hours.
Unfortunately, having a dedicated team of customer service agents working around the clock is not an option for many retail businesses. Even outsourcing to a call centre can still be too expensive. Retail chatbots present a more cost-effective option as they don’t require a team of live agents to be available at all times.
Chatbots can respond to most repetitive common questions in real-time, instantly helping customers resolve their queries. Of course, some customers will inevitably have questions that are too complex to be understood by a bot. In cases like these, the chatbot can generate a customer support ticket, scheduling a call or chat with one of your agents on the next business day.
Andy is the co-founder and CEO of Futr, a tech start-up providing superpowers to critical support teams across the UK. Futr was born in 2017 when Andy and co-founder Lee Skyrme saw the massive opportunity to use cutting-edge artificial intelligence to transform the way we access public services. Four years later, with the support of an amazing team and fantastic VCs, Futr is proud to include the police, the NHS, and many amazing charities and social services as valued customers.