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Predicting the ROI of chatbots

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Jeff Epstein
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“It will take too long to see the benefits.” “Bots will replace agents.” “Will we really be able to see the ROI?”

Unfortunately, all too often, managers and senior leaders in marketing and customer experience fall victim to the myths associated with using chatbots, responding hesitantly to suggestions of employing chatbots in the contact center.

Unlike a Magic 8-Ball, implementing chatbots actually can be predictable, and is not as risky as outdated or underinformed notions might lead you to believe. In fact, it can completely transform your customer experience strategy, enhancing your human agents’ capacity and speed while improving your bottom line quickly and tangibly.

Making the case for adding chatbots to your business — and making sure they’re performing as expected once you have them up and running — hinges on having a way to predict the value they would add before you take the plunge. Comm100 uses industry data in its interactive Chatbot ROI Calculator to realistically predict both the cost and profitability of bringing AI-powered chatbots into your organization. Success and growth come hand-in-hand, and AI-powered chatbots can be instrumental in servicing a growing customer base.

Calculating ROI

Companies should not only implement chatbots because they’re trendy and help agents, but because a business may really need the automated help. If a contact center is overwhelmed with queries, customers aren’t satisfied with response times and agents aren’t happy with their jobs, a chatbot — or perhaps more than one — could be the fix.

The upfront cost of anything can be intimidating, and even more so for small businesses. With proper planning, the chatbot solution can be suitable for companies of any size. Using tools like Comm100’s Chatbot ROI Calculator, businesses can see the investment and return before taking the plunge.

So, how large would the return be for a contact center with 25 agents? Expect that the agents work a typical work week — eight hours a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year — and each agent earns $50,000 annually. The average chat lasts roughly 12 minutes, and the agent can handle about three at a time. To top it all off, the business expects chat volume to grow 10% over the next year.

Using the Chatbot ROI Calculator, plugging in all the above information, businesses can see the impact of bringing a Comm100 AI-powered chatbot into their contact center. With a bot, the team will be able to handle an additional 78,000 chats per year. That increase in chat would cost the business $1.44 million without the chatbot, because they would have to hire three more agents to do the same amount of work. With the chatbot, it will cost the business $1.34 million per year. This all generates a savings of $94,564 per year, an ROI of 59.3%.

In just one year, a smaller sized — 25 agents — contact center would see sizeable ROI and a substantial amount of generated savings.

It’s not all about the money

Bringing chatbot(s) into the contact center is not a universal solution, granting every business with the same cost and savings. As seen in the example, results and ROI depend on the size of the live chat team, operating hours, agent compensation, average length of chat, number of concurrent chats per agent and anticipated chat volume growth. Further, ROI of chatbots is not strictly monetary. Yes, the investment will result in savings, but it will also result in more satisfied agents and customers, who are more likely to work harder for your business and be repeat buyers.

On average, an agent can handle three to five chats simultaneously. Of course, this capacity depends on the difficulty of the questions asked. By bringing a chatbot into the equation and programming it to handle the simple, mundane queries — such as generating account balances or retrieving a flight status, for example — the agent now has more time to focus on more in-depth conversations and problem-solving for consumers, resulting in higher quality and more efficient interactions. Chatbots aren’t taking over for agents, they’re simply allowing agents proper time to focus on intricate interactions that the AI can’t properly solve.

In true domino effect fashion, when chatbots give back time to agents, the agents are more available to interact directly with consumers via live chat. As a result of more attention to their queries and quicker response times from agents, consumers are more satisfied with interactions, increasing brand loyalty and revenue, resulting in a larger ROI.

Bottom line: companies of all sizes from all industries could benefit from chatbots if implemented correctly and cost-effectively. Agents won’t lose their jobs, it’s not too expensive and companies can quickly see the benefits.

Check out Comm100’s Chatbot ROI Calculator to see the impact implementing chatbots can have on your bottom line.



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