Black Friday continues to break sales records year after year, and should exceed R$ 6 billion in e-commerce alone, according to a survey by ABComm. More than ever, the high volume of orders concentrated on the date will put the brands reputation to the test. The judge, as we know, is the customer, and his judgment – whether he will buy again, whether he will praise or speak ill of the store or the product – depends on the experience during the entire purchase process, which includes delivery and the eventual exchange or return request.
If we are to reflect on the needs and desires that have guided the consumer in the last two years, CX Trends 2022 has brought us some valuable insights: 8 out of 10 Brazilians expect to be answered immediately when seeking support, while being willing to interact with chatbots to solve simpler and recurring questions. However, to solve more complex issues, it will be necessary to count on the human factor. Otherwise, the customer may leave frustrated with the journey and the brands involved in it.
In periods like Black Friday, marketing actions become more and more frequent and, if they are well executed, the attraction of customers is greater. At first, he will be attracted by marketing, but it is the good service that generates loyalty and new sales. So, here’s the invitation for reflection: will your store be prepared to meet the high demand of this period? And, more than that, if one of your customers has problems with delivery or needs an exchange, will he be well attended, considering that the number of calls can increase at this time?
Sustaining the high demand for service on important commercial dates, such as Black Friday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, is not an easy task, but chatbots – robots that communicate with customers through a chat, simulating human conversations and using as based on a set of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence guidelines or tools – they are good allies.
Automation, which has been gaining more and more space among brands of different segments and sizes, is capable of performing services at scale, contributing to bring more agility in solving problems – at least, those that do not require human involvement. Chatbots can also help, transferring the initial information passed by the consumer to a service agent, who can then solve the most complex demand.
After the first contact, agents can humanize the service with a personal interaction. Supported by advanced CX solutions, agents can enrich and personalize interactions by analyzing data that customers themselves have previously shared with bots. In addition to personalization, this strategy eliminates communication friction, preventing the consumer from having to keep repeating their demand.
Of course, there are people who don’t like being served by bots, which is understandable, since until recently this type of interaction was more limited. Today, however, the scenario is different, and bots provide a more fluid, efficient experience that is very close to what it would be like with a human agent.
So if you ask me which strategy you should invest in, my answer will be: both. There is no path to success without using both. According to Zendesk’s new report, the CX Accelerator, more companies are using bot-human cooperation. The combination jumped from 52% to 64% between 2021 and 2022. Additionally, 57% of companies using bots cite agent productivity as the biggest gain.
This data shows that a high performance team is not only made up of qualified employees. In order for them to produce more, in less time and with above-average quality, it is necessary to unite the human mind with automation and AI tools. Even because, not even the best agents are able to collect and analyze the huge amount of data that machines receive, especially to obtain answers in practically real time.
If support teams are overworked and poorly prepared, it will be virtually impossible to maintain the level and quality of customer interactions required today. It is in this sense that the chatbot also enters as an element that positively impacts the entire service chain and improves the consumer experience.
Therefore, those who know how to explore the best of technology and the human agent will do better this Black Friday, regardless of the size of their business. Looking at your business today, do you think your investment in customer experience is well balanced? Or is there still room for improvement? I’m not talking about more investment, but about applying the right resources in the right places. In other words, balancing chatbot technology to support any company’s greatest asset: people.
Fernando Migrone is Zendesk’s Vice President of Marketing in Latin America
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