Fueled with the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, chatbots are taking over the modern business spaces. They help utilities boost their bottom line by facilitating enhanced customer experience while minimizing the related operating costs.
The utility sector operates in the service-oriented domain. This implies that treating customers well is a prerequisite.
Utilities are expected to offer speedy and more satisfying customer services in the current climate of deregulation (thanks to covid-19).
In this context, let us first understand what the prevailing customer service challenges in front of the utility sector are:
Customer volume: Public and private utilities have to serve millions of individual customers. And each one of those customers wants easy access to quality service.
Seasonal call surges: Customers need timely assistance in times of calamities. Emergencies give rise to a surge in service calls.
Cost control: It is crucial for utilities to enhance the quality and accessibility of their customer service frameworks. However, they also need to find ways that help them manage their costs while ensuring the best possible customer experience.
Operating in the new reality: Utility companies have so far relied on traditional call centres to satisfy customer needs. However, in the current pandemic scenario, human-led operations may no longer be the best option.
Benefits of the chatbot for utility providers
Chatbots or conversational agents connect with human users and offer customer support by stimulating a traditional human conversation.
With the progression happening in AI technology, utility companies can realize the power of bots to boost customer services at comparatively lower operating costs.
Following are the main benefits of chatbots that can help utilities revolutionize their customer services:
Reduce staffing needs for call centres
Chatbots not only replace the human staff for a call centre but also improve the overall customer service. For example, chatbots can collect more data; thereby, it can help customers better. It can identify intent faster and divert increasingly high-order service calls away from the human support team. In addition to that, machine learning capabilities help chatbots understand new customer phrases and acknowledge context faster. Ultimately, it can provide answers more quickly and to more topics.
As chatbots don’t hold the capacity to identify that a user is confused or frustrated. In scenarios like these, a human support professional can take over the call to ensure that the bot itself won’t be the source of customer’s confusion or dissatisfaction. And, the live agent can route the customer back to the bot for additional information.
Besides that, chatbots gather robust data about the nature of customer’s queries. Thus utilities can provide apt solutions and improve its customer service program and processes.
Offer accessibility across multiple devices
Utility companies can take advantage of the multichannel approach in revolutionizing their relationship with customers. Utilities can offer the best customer experience through their preferred access point. For instance, a user can avail of the service through dialogue over text messaging, smart speaker assistant, social media channels, or even a direct phone call.
Around the clock availability
With human support professionals, a user may or may not avail of the required service at any given point in time. However, digital assistance in the form of a chatbot provides consistent customer support. Its around the clock availability ensure that customers receive relentless and satisfying services.
Enhanced quality control & streamlined retraining
Chatbots are codable programs that be retrained as and when the need arises. If any new issue comes up, the chatbot executes the new guidance across all channels. Thus, eliminating any bottleneck or gap becomes much easier with digital assistance.
Utility companies can revolutionize their customer services with the digital assistance enabled by AI chatbots. However, they will need an IT partner who will help them realize the chatbot value fully.