How to Revolutionize Customer Experience with AI Chatbots

How to Revolutionize Customer Experience with AI Chatbots

A good customer experience is vital to every company’s bottom line. According to HubSpot, new customer acquisition costs 600% more than keeping existing customers, but a 5% increase in retention can increase revenue by as much as 95%. These statistics suggest that keeping current customers happy is the most profitable option. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. Long wait times, difficulty getting clear answers, and other customer service concerns can leave customers unhappy - or worse, ready to switch providers.

The answer to a better experience for customers may not lie in traditional methods but in AI-powered chatbots that use large language models (LLM) like OpenAI’s GPT-4. While chatbots are not necessarily new technology, AI allows human-like conversations that significantly improve the experience for customers. Unsurprisingly, implementation is on the rise, with Gartner predicting chatbots to become the main customer service channel for at least 25% of companies by 2027.

With AI chatbots, or by improving existing chatbots with AI technology, companies can help customers access relevant information on their websites more quickly and easily or provide them with more effective customer support. By cutting down the time customers spend searching for relevant information, it’s possible to reduce friction and create a more positive user experience.  

Driving Information Accessibility with AI Chatbots

Today, a vast scope of information is accessible at the click of a mouse, which means that people have new expectations about how easily or quickly they can find the information they want or need. For companies that deal with a high volume of information, a well-designed website may not be enough.

Enter chatbots.

No one likes sitting on hold for hours to ask customer service a question, and while they could email or call with a question, they don’t usually want to wait. Customers today are more inclined to switch to a different service if they must wait too long, especially when their competitors use chatbots to expedite customer information requests. 

Chatbots are popular additions for companies for several reasons, including

  • Providing self-service accessibility for users.
  • Offering a 24/7 solution without long hold times. 
  • Increased employee satisfaction due to less conflict over response times.
  • Lessening the volume of inquiries to customer support teams. 
  • Higher customer satisfaction.

Historically, implementing chatbots required extensive programming with companies predetermining as many of their customers’ questions as possible to set up the appropriate responses. While a helpful first step, this often leads to either generic-sounding replies or a loop of answers that don’t help the customer and ultimately leave them more frustrated

That's how AI can help. With LLMs, the programming work is much easier. Instead of creating pre-set responses that are limited to hyper-specific searches and keywords, the chatbot’s language can now sound more natural as though an actual human is on the other end. 

AI chatbots can learn from the information that a company provides on its website and use it to better understand customer needs and help them find what they are looking for, no matter what words they use to search.

AI Chatbots in Action: Transforming Customer Service

AI chatbots have a huge impact on customer service. BDO Digital, in collaboration with Microsoft, is helping our clients innovate with AI chatbots to improve customer service efficiency. 

Shraddha Shah, Manager of Modern Workplace Applications at BDO Digital, says “Companies are coming to us for more dynamic chatbots than they’ve used in the past to serve end users and customers. We’re using a combination of Microsoft’s AI programs, including Azure OpenAI, Azure Search Services and Azure Bot Framework, to create these more human-like chatbots.”

AI chatbots themselves work directly with the information on a particular company’s website (and only that information). However, the problems they solve are global—delivering a better experience to users, while alleviating concerns about data security, privacy, and sensitive information.

Data Security & Privacy

Data security is crucial to the development process. These conversations are only intended to be information-seeking missions, where the chatbot assists users in finding information based only on specific datasets that are not related to any user. Therefore, they cannot inadvertently give out any information that could be sensitive or personally identifiable (PII) to users.

For example, in healthcare, a patient can ask for billing policies, contact information or how to find their bill, but the AI chatbot won’t pull up their invoice specifically or pull any information from it.

Sensitive Information Detection

One of the biggest concerns clients in highly regulated industries like healthcare or finance express is protecting users from themselves. It goes beyond programming chatbots to guide users away from submitting their own sensitive information. Chatbots should be designed to recognize information like social security numbers, billing addresses or credit card numbers, and remind users not to submit this information.

BDO Digital Principal and National Leader for Application Development Aaron Selle explains “We consider security from the start since users may want to type in sensitive information, not realizing that they could be putting their privacy at risk. The bot proactively detects this and provides guidance back to the user to keep their information secure.”

In healthcare, if the chatbot detects people talking about their medical concerns, their billing information, or other personal data, it should direct them not to share the information, and let them know it won’t be stored and give them feedback on who to contact with their concerns.

The Future is Now—Embrace AI Chatbots to Create a Competitive Advantage

It's obvious that AI is essential for staying ahead and meeting customer expectations, as 85% of Fortune 100 companies and more than 70% of businesses in general are already using technologies like Azure AI. And it’s not just your customers who want AI-driven experiences. Nine out of 10 employees and business decision-makers want their companies to use AI in even more ways.

AI is improving user experiences and making customer support processes and operations more efficient, so the question is not whether you need an AI strategy, but how fast. Since companies that invest in AI strategies, including chatbots, get an average return of 3.5x for every $1 they spend, the time is now.  

Contact us today to explore how to bring AI into your business to create a stronger customer experience.