An image displaying an example of Salesforce’s AI customer service chatbots.

How To Create Customer Service Chatbots

Customer service chatbots handle simple customer concerns so agents have more time for hard cases.

When customers reach out to a company for service, they expect fast response times and resolutions, no matter what channel they use. Agents, however, can only handle so many cases at a time. How do you scale support?

Enter customer service chatbots.

These chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to answer common customer questions. They help customers resolve simple questions and concerns quickly and free up agents for complex, human interactions.

Tips for Creating a Customer Service Chatbot

Customer service chatbots tackle simple, repetitive tasks that don’t require the soft skills and experience of an agent. For example, if a customer asks how to reset a password or wants to know an estimated delivery time, a customer service chatbot quickly answers the question by accessing relevant information automatically. At the same time, your agents stay focused on solving complex problems and building relationships with customers.

If your company is just beginning to invest in a customer service chatbot, your first objective is to identify the most common tasks and customer requests to determine what to automate. Keep the following six tips in mind when designing your initial AI-powered chatbot implementation.

1. Personalise every greeting

You train customer service agents to be friendly, greet customers by name, and often recognise their status or tier of service. Your AI interface can do the same things within your customer service chatbot. Program chatbots to pull in values like “First Name” for customers who are already logged in to ensure chatbots greet them in a natural way.

2. Move from static to conversational

Most customers don’t want to fill out a form online and then wait 24 hours to get a response. A customer service chatbot that dynamically asks different questions based on customer inputs is more engaging. It also helps resolve the customer’s concern faster. Even if an agent ultimately steps in to help, they will already have the information collected by the chatbot available in their agent console.

3. Create interactive FAQs

Instead of prompting customers to visit your FAQ page, have chatbots bring the answers to your customers. Load your top-level FAQ questions — including any follow-up questions and their corresponding answers — into your AI interface. With natural language processingopens in a new window (NLP), chatbots recognise language as it’s used in everyday interactions, making it easy for your customers to get the answers they seek.

4. Deploy customer service chatbots to additional channels

You’ve likely enabled service across a few digital channels — like mobile messaging, web chat, and social — so your customers can reach out the way they prefer. But the average customer now uses many different service channelsopens in a new window to communicate with companies. That means there are plenty of opportunities to evolve customer service to meet ever-changing expectations. Start by digging into your analytics to find the channel that gets the most traffic for your business, then find the top 10 most common requests on that channel. Save time for your agents by programming your chatbot to answer those requests.

5. Engage customers with rich text and content

Basic text is good for answering simple questions, but rich text — including boldface, italics, fonts, font sizes, and font colours — delivers the wow factor. Imagine being able to insert images or even interactive menus into a chat conversation. Based on customer questions, your chatbot shows a menu of products, a selection of knowledge articles, or more options for customer support, all within the chat.

6. Embed process automation in chatbots

Enable customer self-serviceopens in a new window with guided, step-by-step directions right within the chat. Ask your team which tasks would be easy for customers to complete on their own — these are the ones your agents could execute with their eyes closed (like replacing a lost credit card). Once you’ve identified a few simple tasks, program chatbots to guide customers from start to finish. In the case of complex issues, the chatbot may still have to hand off the conversation to an agent. But the agent is well-primed because customer service chatbots collect information that helps them resolve each case quickly.

Create better customer experiences at scale with customer service chatbots

Your customers will appreciate how customer service chatbots provide quick, efficient resolutions to their questions and concerns. Meanwhile, your agents will stay focused on complex customer service challenges instead of answering frequently asked questions. And you will easily scale customer serviceopens in a new window to handle any influx in cases, whenever they come your way.

Discover what chatbots can do for you.

Dig into the details about how AI-powered customer service chatbots can:

  • Streamline service
  • Scale support
  • Satisfy customers