What is CRM, and Why Does it Matter?
Customer Relationship Management, commonly referred to as CRM, can be defined as a combination of all the strategies, technologies, and software companies use to manage interactions with prospective and existing customers.
CRM is important for businesses to build lasting relationships with their customers, helping foster loyalty and customer retention, which directly translates to higher revenue. They also help pinpoint strong and weak points in customer relationships.
Therefore, businesses with good customer relationship management strategies typically see higher profits. Meanwhile, companies without one tend to struggle to form strong bonds with their customer base due to the lack of valuable insights and miss out on potential profits.
Chatbots are some of the best and most popular CRM tools out there due to the time they save by automating real-time customer support.
Want to know more? Keep reading to find out what customers think about chatbots and how chatbots can support your CRM.
What Do Customers Think About Chatbots?
Chatbots are no longer the new novel technology everybody is trying to get their hands on. These days, chatbots are relatively ubiquitous across most company websites and mobile apps.
A study conducted by Mastercard shows that 87% of consumers are aware of chatbots, 66% of consumers have used them before, and 65% of them were satisfied.
We find ourselves in a time when customer experience requires more attention than ever before. The standards for a “good experience” have been raised.
Since there are plenty of capable companies on the market, customers will no longer stick around if they feel they're not being treated well.
Chatbots cannot fix all customer service issues a company may have, but they can surely complement the customer experience in significant ways. We've reached a point where they're an expected feature on most websites, and many industry insiders argue that this proves consumers like chatbots and are eager to interact with them.
But what do customers like about chatbots exactly? Well, let's have a look.
Why Do Consumers Prefer Chatbots?
Let’s dive right in and find out why consumers like chatbots.
- 24/7 Availability
Since chatbots are not real people, they're available to help customers anytime, every day of the week. Regular business hours do not apply, and customers love this.
- Immediate Responses
Consumers do not like waiting. In fact, nearly 60% of consumers name long waiting times as the most frustrating part of any customer service experience.
Furthermore, consumers are more likely to refuse to wait on hold to be assisted. Instead, opting to find another company they feel won’t make them wait.
Since the responses from chatbots are automated, customers receive answers to their questions far quicker than by email or phone.
People’s phones have essentially become an extension of themselves. The convenience provided by chatbots on mobile devices allows consumers to receive assistance on the go and at their fingertips.
- Popularity of Text
Consumers are growing more and more reliant on text communications rather than voice calls, with many people outright preferring to text with a chatbot than talk to a human.
Because of this trend, chatbots make it possible for people who prefer texting to get the help they require while using their favorite method of communication.
- Comfortability with Machines
Some people can get anxious or shy when talking with strangers, even if they are dedicated customer support agents.
Chatbots allow people to get answers to their questions without leaving their comfort zone and interacting with someone over the phone.
Additionally, the pandemic strengthened most people’s comfort with machines, resulting in a trend toward their preference.
Those who may have previously scoffed at Alexa or Siri now find themselves relying on the technology entirely.
The same goes for chatbots. Those who may not have used them in the past find that they can be just as helpful as live agents and are choosing to interact with them more frequently.
The Key Ways Chatbots Support Your CRM
Now that we’ve informed you about why consumers like using chatbots, let’s explore how chatbots can support your CRM.
- Automate support
Chatbots are incredibly intuitive and capable of automatically identifying and addressing a customer’s needs. By allowing the chatbots to answer your frequently asked questions, you free up your customer support agents to focus on the problems that genuinely require human assistance.
- Boost Customer Satisfaction
As we discussed in the last section, customers hate waiting. However, you can use this in your favor by offering them immediate answers! Chatbots give instant replies, and your agents can tailor the responses over time to make the chatbots even more intuitive.
The requests a chatbot cannot fulfill can be automatically forwarded to your CRM, which creates a case ticket and assigns it to a human representative. This way, the customer can always reach the person who can help them.
- Cut Costs
The smarter the solution, the lower the costs. Instead of paying for a 24/7 team of live agents to monitor your website’s chat software, chatbots can perform these functions automatically. This removes the need to pay for a human support team that operates outside regular business hours.
- Boost Sales
Chatbots can be programmed to detect sales and even perform sales actions like recommending services or products. If the chatbot detects a sale, it can prompt the customer to fill out a form that is automatically forwarded to your sales team. In this scenario, the chatbot is essentially an automated lead generator (like an email finder tool) linked directly to your CRM workflow.
Scaling a business can be made easier with chatbots as they can seamlessly handle an increase in customer requests without requiring your company to hire more employees. This kind of scalability is crucial for scaling companies that need to be deliberate in their spending.
Chatbots allow your company to handle more customer service issues without disrupting the flow, or decreasing the quality of support your company offers.
To Sum Up
CRMs are important due to their widespread effects on a business' every aspect. Providing a positive customer experience is necessary for success, and a good CRM can help achieve that.
And as you've had a chance to see, chatbots are some of the most effective CRM tools a company can use. Make your life easier and continue delivering quality customer care by implementing one today!