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Mar 22, 2022 2:39:45 PM

Why Direct to Consumer (D2C) Manufacturers Need Smart Chatbots

What customers expect from D2C businesses during times of high demand.

 

Who doesn't know them? Top brand name manufacturers that sell directly to consumers. Brands such as ARMEDANGLES, Canyon, Radon-Bikes or Chilly's. These shops have the challenge but also the opportunity to control the entire customer experience. They survive on the quality of their customer service and products. If I am dissatisfied or have a problem, it is particularly annoying because I cannot simply go to a shop to have the problem fixed. So I visit the website and look for a contact or send an email, which takes a lot of effort and greatly reduces my customer experience. If I have to wait longer than 2 weeks for a response due to "delivery bottlenecks by Corona", frustration sets in and I read reputation damaging comments on social media.

Now by definition, D2C stands for a completely customer-centric approach that requires a very direct relationship with the consumer.

Regardless of whether it is pandemic or post-pandemic time, we expect an immediate solution to our request with as few touch points as possible. Those who understand this not only increase my customer satisfaction, but also relieve the burden on their own customer service, which in turn can give agents time to give high quality customer service. 

This is exactly where service automation comes in.

Chatbots are a simple self-service tool, but their efficiency and effectiveness should not be underestimated. Set up correctly, they provide fast and reliable help when it is needed most. Chatbots are the embodiment of a direct customer relationship and improve the customer experience, customer satisfaction and, in the long term, their loyalty through their always-on availability, ease of use and fast response.

Especially in the manufacturing industry, these shops create products that customers might have for a lifetime, or at least for a significant amount of time (for example, a mountain bike). Manufacturers should support their customers with excellent service and invest in this relationship for the duration of the product’s use.

Why it's worth getting a chatbot this year. 

1. Improve the customer experience (CX)
Provide proactive customer communication 

The best way to solve a customer issue is to minimize the number of service requests coming in the first place. By resolving these issues in advance through a single chatbot conversation or sharing automated order updates, we see reduced ticket volumes and more time for valuable customer conversations.

2. Increase efficiency
In the omnichannel approach

Building a strong self-service layer with a chatbot integrated on the website, app and messaging channels such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp helps to reduce the high volume while providing strategic omnichannel support 24/7. The chatbot acts as a first line of defence for service staff with defined escalation strategies in case human support is needed.

3. Increase effectiveness
For more effective and personalised support

A chatbot becomes more powerful and effective when it is connected to other customer support tools. The most useful integration after different handover channels is the CRM system. It equips the bot with relevant customer data so that it can solve highly personalized queries without having to call in a service agent. Equally important is the integration of your individual tech stack, which enables the chatbot to provide order status, inform about product availability, handle complaints and returns, etc. The more integrations the chatbot has, the more helpful it is in keeping the customer engaged and informed.

4. Understanding customers better

Valuable insights to improve customer service holistically and sustainably.

In addition, this provides valuable customer analytics and clear actionable insights. The data collected ranges from conversations, including requests and solutions, to feedback through interactions with the chatbot and can be used for continuous CX and revenue improvement.

Best-Practice: ARMEDANGELS Case Study

Challenge:

  • ARMEDANGELS wanted a sustainable, digital customer service solution to support their growth long-term as they scaled up..

Result:

  • Within 2 months of launching, their chatbot MAATE handled 30% of their overall ticket volume.

Worth knowing in a nutshell:

  • 74% CSAT
  • 87% self-service rate
  • 20% reduction in first reply time

"Offering 24/7 support through automation helps us grow and expand our business in a sustainable way. But it also enables our customers to take action on their own and we make sure their voice is heard and doesn't get stuck on hold"

Rebecca Lange, Senior Customer Success Manager, ARMEDANGELS

Read the whole case study.

If you want to learn more, I also recommend our other resources:

AUTHOR

Chris is Key Account Manager for e-Commerce, Fintech and Retail in the DACH region at Solvemate. He provides interdisciplinary consulting on automation, scaling and personalization with tailored solutions and a common goal: saving time and enabling meaningful customer conversations. In his free time, he likes to sit on his (e-)mountain bike or surfboard in the meditative swell of the Atlantic Ocean.