Automated Customer Service for Retail & e-Commerce Using Chatbot Automation


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Automated customer service can revolutionize your business. Retail chatbot automation and other forms of digital outreach make it easy for customers to get the answers they need through channels they are already comfortable using.

Whether you are new to automation or are looking to revamp existing systems, we want to help. OutPLEX can implement customer service solutions that will satisfy your clients and help you meet your business goals. Our retail clients who include automation in their CX strategy save an average of 40% on their labor costs.

OutPLEX Offers a Wide Range of Customer Service Solutions

We have the expertise from 20+ years’ experience to enable you to connect with customers with a multitude of technologies, including:

  • Digital messaging: Customers enjoy using familiar channels to interact with brands, like SMS texting or messaging via apps like WhatsApp or Messenger. 
  • Automated chatbots: Install a chatbot on your website so your customers can interact and get answers to questions around the clock.
  • Call center services: Some complex concerns are best resolved by a live customer service agent. Our call centers (both domestic and nearshore in Colombia and the Dominican Republic) can provide your customers with convenient, compassionate assistance and complex problem resolution. 
  • Interactive voice response (IVR): Conversational AI voice automation systems have grown immensely and are now very accurate at determining intent and offering appropriate and helpful information. 

Automated Communication Is More Important than Ever

As reported by Forbes, your customers want to be in charge of their own customer service experience. This means giving them the power to:

  • Find solutions on their own: All they have to do is visit your website or send a message. With an expansive knowledge base built by OutPLEX, your automated customer service system can offer answers to thousands of FAQs.
  • Get answers immediately: Customers do not have to wait for an available agent or business operating hours; they get help right away when they need it.
  • Choose which channel they want to use: Some customers prefer texting while others prefer messaging apps. And some customers still want to talk to an agent. Let them connect with you in the way that they like best.

By providing your customers with multiple communication channels, you enhance your customer service experience in a way that can:

  • Increase satisfaction: When a customer encounters a problem, they want and expect prompt (and sometimes instantaneous) answers.
  • Increase retention: Customers who get what they need from your customer service are more likely to remain loyal to your brand than customers who have unsatisfactory experiences.
  • Attract new customers: Stellar customer service is an asset to any company. It can give you an advantage over companies that provide similar services but are not as responsive to their customers’ needs.
  • Improve other customers’ experience: With effective retail chatbot automation, fewer customers will have to call you over the phone. This lessens the burden on contact center agents and shortens wait times for those customers who call or text for support.

How Automated Customer Service Can Improve Your Retail Business

Page 11 of the Conversocial State of CX Trends Report 2021 shows that, although customers remain leery of chatbots, they would be happy to use one if the bot could ensure a good experience. More specifically, the data shows that:

  • The number of people who have had a bad bot experience (54%) and those who doubt the value of bots (55%) are roughly the same.
  • 69% of people would use a bot if it helped solve their problem, but only 58% are “comfortable” with positive, bot-driven customer service experiences.
  • The number of people who are “comfortable” with positive, bot-driven experiences increased by 10% from 2020 to 2021.

In short, despite continuing skepticism, customers are willing to give automated customer service a chance. OutPLEX can help provide your customers with the highest quality automated experience by:

  • Making your chatbot accessible: As the Bureau of Internet Accessibility reports, it is important that all of your customers, regardless of their disabilities, are able to use your chatbot.
  • Programming your chatbot appropriately: By using past customer service interactions, we can “teach” the chatbot how to respond to a diverse array of questions, problems, and requests.
  • Reprogramming when and if necessary: The more the chatbot ‘talks’ with customers, the more it will ‘learn’ about how to solve their problems. We can also make adjustments to the chatbot so that its responses align better with your business goals and values.
  • Fixing problems quickly: If you ever run into technical issues, our 24/7 helpdesk can identify and solve the problem while minimizing downtime and other inconveniences.

What Types of Requests Can Retail Chatbot Automation Cover?

Chatbots are a convenient and efficient way for customers to ask about:

  • Order status
  • Account status
  • Business locations
  • Business hours
  • Sales or special offers
  • Product availability
  • Other simple, straightforward subjects

Customers seeking this type of information can quickly and easily get it from a chatbot by:

  • Texting or messaging your customer service account: Ways to contact customer service should be prominently located on your site. Once a customer texts or messages you through their chosen method, your brand can be stored as a contact like anyone else they engage with.
  • Engaging with a chatbot on your website: When your customer has an issue, the chatbot should only be a click away. Live chat is not as popular as it once was now that messaging has become the leading channel, but continuing to offer a bot on your site is still customary for most retailers. 
  • Typing in a few basic keywords: Your automation should be intelligent enough to respond to your customers’ requests accurately. We can also program the bots to proactively suggest common topics.
  • Following links to other resources: When necessary, a chatbot can offer hyperlinks or phone numbers that contain information relevant to the customer’s resolution or can seamlessly transfer them directly to a live agent.

In short, a chatbot’s chief assets are its convenience and its ability to respond to basic customer queries in a timely manner.

How Other Customer Service Solutions Can Help Your Business

Retail chatbot automation is growing in sophistication and number of applications. However, while it is an excellent first line of defense for customers who visit your website searching for answers, some problems are still too complicated for a chatbot to resolve. Also, some customers just aren’t yet comfortable conversing with a chatbot.

This is a primary reason why you should also employ channels like digital messaging, voice services, and IVR alongside your automation. They can:

  • Tackle complex problems: A live agent or even a detailed email can provide the customer with further information if a chatbot cannot resolve it.
  • Encourage specific actions: Live agents are especially useful for convincing customers not to cancel an account or to add additional items to a standing order. 
  • Tell you how your customers really feel: Both voice and digital channels can follow up with customers after an interaction to make sure everything has been resolved.
  • Make customers more comfortable: Some customers have a natural affinity for a particular communication method. Interacting with them via their preferred channel can increase customer satisfaction.
  • Spread customers across multiple channels: When a variety of customer support channels are offered, each individual channel is less likely to experience a bottleneck or become overwhelmed with traffic.

OutPLEX has over two decades of experience providing retailers and other industries with efficient, cost-effective customer service solutions. When you contact us, a member of our team can explain more about our solutions and how they can benefit your retail business.

Get Started with a Free Quote from OutPLEX 

At OutPLEX, we do more than develop and install retail chatbot automation. We work together with our clients to identify and refine their top goals, create an automated customer service experience that works toward those goals, and adjust the plan or the technology as needed. To get started, call OutPLEX today and get a free quote.

Learn more about our Retail & e-Commerce CX solutions.