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5 Ways Chatbots Are Redefining Customer Service

Posted by Tiffany Taylor and Alison Arthur on 15 Mar 2021

Chatbots are popping up in more places than ever, whether we realize it or not. From receiving personalized product recommendations to simply checking the news or local weather, bots are designed to deliver seamless on-demand experiences without relying on human intervention.

One of the most popular platforms for chatbots is Facebook Messenger. It’s estimated that some 300,000 chatbots are now on Facebook Messenger, facilitating approximately 8 billion messages per month between businesses and users. Facebook Messenger is by far the most used messaging app, with over eight times as many users as its rival, Snapchat. Considering that eight out of ten (79%) adults ages 18-29 use Facebook, Facebook Messenger is a natural place for businesses to invest in chatbots to reach younger consumers.

With all the chatbots currently available on Facebook Messenger and other independent platforms, what are some ways that businesses use them to deliver better customer service experiences? Here’s a closer look at five different ways that chatbots are being leveraged to create positive brand interactions.

  1. Facilitating personal banking

Many of the most common household names in banking are investing in chatbot technology to help serve their customers. Bots are being used to facilitate everything from balance transfers and credit report updates to locating the nearest ATM. Chatbots can help make common banking transactions quick and seamless, helping customers resolve inquiries without intervention from customer service representatives. The result is a more personalized and on-demand experience for banking customers.

  1. Paying bills

Chatbots are also being used in Facebook Messenger to facilitate bill payments across a variety of industries. From anticipated monthly charges associated with mortgages and auto finance payments to unexpected bills related to healthcare expenditures, payments can be made without leaving the Facebook Messenger app. Our chatbot Ella is a prime example. As part of our Orbipay electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) solution, Ella lets customers perform tasks such as making account inquiries, resolving issues, and paying bills. All within the convenient interface of Facebook Messenger.

  1. Facilitating more personal and relevant interactions

Chatbots can potentially do a better job of recommending relevant products and services to individuals than human customer service representatives by automatically and more quickly connecting data from multiple sources.

In banking, for example, an agent on a call with a customer will simultaneously need to listen to the customer to ascertain what the customer is asking for while also understanding what the customer already uses and what may be the best recommendation for them—in real-time.

By collecting and recalling past and current interactions as well as pulling data from other, integrated sources, Chatbots can do the job faster and more accurately—and without any human biases or errors.

Amazon’s recommendation engine, powered by purchase and chat histories as well as likes and dislikes, now generates 35% of its revenues.

  1. Driving in-store visits…and sales

The retail beauty giant Sephora uses its Facebook Messenger chatbot to facilitate reservations for in-store makeovers. In a few easy steps, customers can choose a store location and book an appointment with a beauty professional. Using its chatbot to drive these in-store visits and one-on-one consultations has paid off for the company. Sephora has seen an 11% higher conversion rate for appointments booked on Messenger than for any other channel.

  1. Managing hotel reservations and stays

Hotels are also leveraging chatbot technology in Facebook Messenger to service their customers from booking their reservations to settling their final bills. But the real power of these bots might just be in the personal touch they can provide guests throughout their stays. Chatbots can process everything from extra pillow requests to room service orders without tying up hotel staff, creating efficiencies for guests and employees alike. In addition, chatbots also give hotels a unique view of their guests’ preferences and behaviors. This data can be used to help identify upsell opportunities during guests’ stays and provide rich data to help personalize future visits.

What’s next?

While Facebook Messenger is an easy entry point for businesses to deploy chatbots for customer service, other platforms are continuously emerging. And, while typing requests through chatbot interfaces is quick and easy, using voice commands is an even simpler way to deliver on-demand customer service. Intelligent personal assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant take chatbots to the next level by responding to voice commands and performing specific tasks, like paying bills. The result is a faster and more personalized customer service experience than ever before.

The Bottom Line: Customer service delivered via chatbots is a force too big to be ignored. Understand the touchpoints in your business where chatbots can be leveraged to create positive interactions through the channels your customers use most.

 *This is an update on an original post published September 2018


Alacriti created Ella, an AI-powered chatbot that facilitates seamless, personalized, and context-aware interactions between you and your customers through messaging apps, intelligent personal assistants, and directly on your website. To find out how Ella can transform how you engage with your customers, contact us at (908) 791-2916 or info@alacriti.com.

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Tiffany Taylor Blog Contributor Tiffany Taylor is a technology marketing professional with broad expertise in a number of marketing disciplines and financial technology expertise including payments, retail and digital banking, core processing, and lending. As the owner of Tiffany Taylor Marketing, Tiffany brings a well-rounded perspective to FinTech marketing and creative content development.
Alison Arthur Product and Content Marketing Manager Alison creates timely product marketing and thought leadership content that keeps Alacriti's community informed on the latest developments in billing and payments technology. With a background in payments and financial services, Alison specializes in composing content related to technology, security, compliance, and overall industry trends.

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