Between technical issues with a device or network and unexpected charges, there’s a lot that can go wrong for the average mobile user. When this happens, they’ll want to reach out to their carrier to ask what’s up. They’ll want answers as quickly as possible. This also means that you should have a mobile customer support companion to get ahead!
Many carriers are now offering chatbots for customer support to help customers find the information they need fast to troubleshoot. These bots might be found within the carrier’s app or on social media services like Messenger and Twitter.
In addition to helping consumers solve problems, chatbots for customer support can increase loyalty, too. That said, not all are successful. You’ll want to ensure you’ve learned from the best when building a mobile carrier chatbot. Taking a cue from some of the best mobile carrier chatbot examples out there, let’s delve into some chatbot best practices.
Keep Things On-Task
People turn to a chatbot because they want something done quickly. While adding a healthy dose of personality and banter is always good, it’s important that you keep the conversation focused on the matter at hand.
Take Ask Optus (the customer service chatbot) for example. You can say anything to the agent and it’ll answer back, but off-topic responses will end with a simple directive. “If you need help with anything Optus related, feel free to ask me a question.” The assistant refuses to stray off-track and keeps conversations from getting confusing and labyrinthine.
Offer Contextual Information
This is related to the previous tip. Always have contextual information or resources related to the customer’s query somewhere in the response. Verizon’s Ask Verizon assistant keeps an FAQ beside the chat to help customers find the information they need. It also suggests resources based on the user’s query. Starting the conversation with an FAQ can also help users who have trouble phrasing a query.
Your app is the obvious home for a mobile customer support bot. But you’d do well to offer the chatbot on multiple platforms, too. Let’s say your user is having trouble connecting to the network on their device. In this case, they can’t really use their phone. That means they can’t access your mobile carrier chatbot in the app, either. If your assistant is offered on social media or your website, users can troubleshoot issues on another device.
Hand Off to a Human When Needed
Chatbots don’t replace humans. Instead, they let us work more efficiently. You need a protocol in place for handing a user off to a live human when a problem arises—and you need to make sure there isn’t a wait time.
Tinka, the virtual assistant for T-Mobile Austria, accomplishes this with ease. When she can’t fulfill a task, she’ll seamlessly connect the user to a representative. If one isn’t available, she’ll suggest emailing and help users get set-up.
Offer Other Channels for Communication
Your mobile customer support bot shouldn’t wait for an error to occur to offer human assistance. Your onboarding might mention the other channels. Perhaps even offering to schedule a phone call or appointment with in-person support at a store.
People like having options—especially if they aren’t quite ready yet to trust a chatbot with their problems. So, informing them up-front of other channels can help alleviate anxiety and concerns.
Learning about your users and their needs can help improve the troubleshooting experience. One small but effective way to personalize service is to greet users by name. The assistant should also remember a customer’s conversation history. Finally, you may want to offer an opt-in service that tracks what resources users have already checked on your customer support site or app. With this data, your chatbot can better learn its users’ needs.
Connect to Relevant Products and Features
Often, users might reach out hoping to strike a deal or save a buck. When this happens, your bot should suggest related products or services that meet their need and save them money. This instills trust in your brand. Also, it awards your customers with a small feeling of victory for nabbing a bargain.
Let’s look at Vodafone’s TOBi. It is always available for a chat in the My Vodafone app. If you ask it about roaming charges for an upcoming vacation, it’ll give you the information you need. But the bot doesn’t stop there. It’ll also suggest a roaming product you can add to make the charges cheaper.
Make Your Mobile Customer Support Bot a Mascot
Your mobile customer support chatbot can be more than just an assistant for customers. It can be a substantial face for your brand, driving engagement and buzz. Remember Tinka, the assistant we mentioned earlier? T-Mobile promoted the assistant by having her vanish from the website. Users began to wonder what happened to her… until a staged UFO sighting provided some answers. As the story from T-Mobile goes, TInka (a “superheroine” sporting a new look than her old one) emerged from the UFO ruins to help customers. The event caused much stir and excitement around the brand online.
Iterate Based on New Queries
Each day, Telefonica takes a look at what customers asked Sofia. They assess which questions went unsolved. Then, work to find answers to those queries and add them to Sofia’s database. Likewise all chatbots for customer support should adapt to what their users need. Doing so makes it smarter and better able to serve your customers.
Collect Feedback & Other Metrics
In addition to finding content for your mobile customer support chatbot’s data base, you might want to delve into other key chatbot analytics and metrics. Collecting feedback can help you discover:
- Customer perception of your business/brand
- Common product issues (for example, an issue with a newly-released phone)
- Areas/topics your customers talk about most
- Most active engagement times
- Engagement and retention rate
Altogether, these metrics can help make your customer service chatbot better. Also they make your customers happier.