Telecoms boast of a large customer base and changing customer expectations has made it challenging to rapidly meet the demands of their customers. Telecommunication businesses invest heavily in customer support but this is yet to yield a full return. Customer satisfaction levels for telecoms continue to decline compared to other industries in the private sector
Chatbots offer telcos effective ways to deliver better customer experience. Chatbots in telecom offer a means to provide instant and convenient customer service as well as self-service options across multiple channels.
5 Chatbot Use cases in Telecoms
1. Automate FAQs
This is the most common chatbot use case across all industries. Your support agents spend a bulk of their time answering simple recurring questions from customers (either about their devices or subscriptions).. Support agents do not have to spend time answering these categories of questions, a chatbot can be put in place working around the clock across different channels.
Subsequently,when your customers have inquiries, they don’t have to wait on the phone for a long time to get answers. Likewise, your support agents don’t have to spend their day answering the same monotonous questions repeatedly.
By automating answers to common questions on your web chat and on other channels, you free up your support channels as customers can get answers to any question from different channels.
2. Customer self-service
chatbots can help customers solve simple issues on their own. A customer might want to move to a new data plan through integration into your backend systems, you can automate the processes for meeting this request in your chatbot. Your chatbot can assist your customers to solve minor issues.
Customers surprisingly do not want to report every issue to you. . The rate of adoption of self-service channels is enough proof. So, with a telcos chatbot, you can empower your customers to self-serve on their preferred messaging channels.
3. Purchase subscriptions
In some emerging markets like Nigeria where the prepaid model is in use, customers purchase internet subscription either from the telcos mobile app or from their bank apps. Telcos in these markets can make the renewal process easier by enabling customers to purchase internet broadband from more channels.
For most telcos, their customers renew their subscriptions either via their (telcos) mobile apps or from their banks. Using a chatbot, you make the renewal process easier by enabling customers to purchase internet broadband from more channels.
4. Sending notifications
You rely on push notifications and alerts – mostly SMS and emails – to pass important information to your customers. In addition to sending SMS and emails, you can send important notifications and alerts (like data balance, service notification etc.) to your customers on their preferred messaging app.
The chances of customers engaging with the messages sent on messaging apps is quite high as they spend a lot of time on their messaging apps. If the message requires a customer to complete an action, quick replies available on messaging apps make it easy and faster to do so. For example, if you send an alert, informing a customer of a service time out, it can be followed with options to contact support or ask a question which the customer performs within the messaging app.
5. For surveys and feedback
Beyond customer service and self-service, telco chatbots are helpful when conducting surveys or soliciting customer feedback. The traditional way using forms and emails is not as effective. Customers rarely respond to them.
Telcos can use chatbots for customer satisfaction surveys. Given that chatbot surveys take place in customers’ messaging apps which are conversational and in real time, they elicit more response from the customers.
Why should Telcos use chatbots?
1. Improved customer satisfaction
By introducing chatbots you improve customer satisfaction because you give customers instant answers to questions at any time on their preferred channel. They have more options when they need assistance. They can either turn to the bot for answers, self-serve or speak to support agents. Long wait times become a thing of the past because they don’t have to speak to customer support for every problem .And when they call support, they get through quickly as minor issues that would have clogged support channels have been moved to the chatbot.
2. Cost reduction
Chatbots are the greatest efficiency innovation. This is first because you aren’t building new infrastructure as you would in the case of a mobile app. Rather, you’re leveraging an existing structure to drive business gains.
You also improve the quality of your service without an astronomical price increase. For instance, if you’re offering 24-hour support, introducing chatbots will not remove the need for 24hr support staff. Rather, it will reduce the number of support staff needed to keep a call centre going after working hours.
In peak seasons, you eliminate or reduce the numbers of additional hires required when you have a chatbot. Unlike humans, chatbots can attend to an innumerable number of people at the same time and asides periodic maintenance, bots do not go on break or get tired.
3. 24/7 support
24-hour support has been the goal for a lot of businesses, because they want to always be available to assist their customers .. Only large businesses with larger revenues have been able to achieve this, however at an exorbitant cost. Chatbots democratized access to 24-hour support. Now businesses of all sizes – especially small businesses who have limited funds at their disposal can deliver round the clock support at little cost.
4. Omnichannel experience
Customers are on different channels and they expect you to be available on these channels too. It can be frustrating to customers and a poor experience if your support is relegated only to emails and phone calls.
Chatbot provides an opportunity for telcos to provide an omnichannel experience, enabling customers to reach them from various channels while the experience remains consistent. With a platform like eBanqo, you build once and deploy across channels, keeping the experience consistent regardless of the channel the customer is on. For instance, you can have a chatbot on your website (a web chat) ready to assist prospects and customers on the website. You can extend this experience to Messenger, WhatsApp and Twitter, so that a customer doesn’t necessarily have to visit your web chat before getting help or completing any action.
A telco chatbot helps you to deliver on the omnichannel promise. You extend your services and help to customers no matter where they are and by doing so, you get the opportunity to convert prospects who are active in these channels
5. Higher job satisfaction
The primary reason why the customer service industry witnesses a higher turnover rate compared to other industries is decreasing job satisfaction (insert link). When agents spend a bulk of their day answering the same simple questions several times, boredom creeps in and satisfaction decreases.
When chatbots handle these simple questions and tier-one issues, you give your agents more time to focus on higher-value interaction. Their attention and expertise will be directed to other aspects of their job that cannot be automated or needs human input for properly executed.
6. New jobs and opportunity to upskill
Whenever AI is discussed, people introduce the claim that it is at the expense of human jobs. As mentioned in the previous section, AI is not a direct threat to jobs. Rather, it helps workers channel their efforts to areas where they’re really needed. Also, the adoption of AI and by extension chatbots by businesses create additional roles and opportunity for upskilling. Support agents can become AI trainers, charged with the responsibility of monitoring the chatbot performance and content, alongside managing automated processes.
eBanqo for telcos
The chatbot market is saturated with many providers, making it very important to choose a solution that can deliver an efficient and personalized service.
eBanqo offers a custom solution to Telcos. With eBanqo, you can extend your offerings into different messaging channels, provide a convenient yet faster customer service,automate FAQs and offer self-service. On the platform, you have insight into customers’ behaviours and how they’re interacting with the chatbot to uncover more opportunities.
To see how eBanqo works in telecoms, request a free demo.