We’ve said it before and will say it again: Consumers now demand 24/7 customer service in industries from banking and finance to healthcare.
Enter chatbots, or website chats, AI-powered systems that engage customers over websites and apps. The chatbot market is forecasted to grow to $1.25 billion U.S. by 2025. Juniper Research found that chatbots could save $7.3 billion in operational costs globally in 2023, up from an estimated $209 million four years ago. Let’s explore how a website chat tool could benefit customer billing and payment experiences.
How website chat works
Website chat works by programming pre-set rules (or triggers) to respond to specific human questions with scripted answers based on keywords or yes/no actions. These are all built off artificial intelligence algorithms, allowing customers to interact with the website chat like another human. AI also enables website chats to get smarter as they answer more questions.
Because they’re not human, website chats can’t answer every question. They can, however, use pre-programmed information to direct customers to FAQs, a Help Center or other resources that could provide an answer to their inquiry. If this doesn’t work, a website chat can connect a user to a live customer service representative.
How website chats save businesses time and money
Customers likely ask many questions that a website chat could service. Incorporating website chat technology into your online environment can reduce employees’ time and effort in answering these inquiries. The Juniper Research report found that banks using website chats could save up to four minutes per inquiry, which is $0.50-0.70 per interaction, and 862 million hours. Website chats also quadruple the speed of response times on average and boost customer support satisfaction scores by 24%.
By automating more tasks, website chats free up your customer support team to focus on more complicated customer support questions. Website chats can also reduce overall labor and overhead costs since they are less expensive than the total cost of hiring more team members.
How website chats enhance the customer experience
Customers are no longer willing to sit on hold waiting for support, nor are they interested in firing off an email to a business’s “help” alias that gets lost in the ether. They want answers to their concerns and questions right now.
Website chats can do just that. They can immediately respond to questions and provide a basic answer, resource or live agent who can help, so customers aren’t stuck waiting minutes or even hours. Sixty-two percent of consumers prefer a website chat over waiting for human agents to answer their requests.
In an omnichannel world, website chats provide customers with another channel for connecting with your business. Like with payment methods and channels, we know that giving customers an additional option boosts convenience and how fast they pay. Website chats also allow customers to access help more quickly via a computer or a smartphone.
Website chats can personalize user experiences on your site as well, customizing conversations to customers’ needs. This includes suggesting the next best action depending on their request, providing offers based on their buyer’s journey and even up- or cross-selling certain products, like a high-interest savings account or personal loan. In fact, 35% of business leaders claim website chats assisted them in closing a sale. If you are already sitting on a treasure trove of customer data and incorporating it into your paper billing statements, why not leverage that on your website as well? Then you are truly creating an omnichannel experience for your customers.
You’ve probably noticed that website chats often share a link to a customer satisfaction survey at the end of the conversation. This is an excellent way to get feedback on your business and its customer service. You can also use this intel to improve your products and services specific to customer needs. For the record, the average satisfaction rate of conversations with website chats without any human interaction is 87.58%—two percentage points higher than when dealing with a human agent.
Trial website chats at your business
Want to learn more about how website chats can save you time and money in the billing and payment process while boosting customer experience? Reach out for a demo of our EverView platform to see how you could incorporate webchat into your digital billing and payment strategy.