Bots

A Winning Customer Retention Strategy: 5 Reasons to Deploy Retention Bots

By 4 Minute Read

Introducing Customer Retention Bots

Attention and investment from AI companies to date have been largely on the automation of general inbound customer service inquiries through the use of machine learning and chatbot technologies.

While cost reduction and customer experience gains can be attractive, the majority of these solutions don’t address the immediate and often more significant commercial risk exposure associated with complex customer journeys such as acquisition, conversion, complaints, collections, delivery, loyalty, and retention. Simple FAQ chatbots alone aren’t enough to help reduce customer churn or increase conversion rates.

However, a shift in focus from customer service chatbots to other use cases has gained traction. For example, PWC believes that investment in more complex, tech-led collection strategies could stem the rising bad debt in the UK energy market’ (£400m in ‘11 to £640m in ‘15) while Forrester believes that the more successful bot technologies will be those that stick to a narrower purpose.

At ServisBOT we have developed a solution that allows you to deploy and blend an army of specialized bots into your organization wherever and whenever the successful delivery of your operating plan is linked to timely and effective engagement with your customers. 

In this blog, I’ll discuss how deploying different chatbots as part of a customer retention strategy can deliver substantial commercial benefits while enhancing the customer experience. Many industries incur high costs due to customer churn. Energy and utility companies, for example, deal with rising churn rates due to increased competition and regulation. This is evidenced by the over 4 million UK households switching providers, representing over £5.2 billion in revenue. Insurance companies face similar challenges as customers seek insurance quotes prior to their renewal date, switching as they find more competitive policy prices.

5 Reasons to Swap Telesales and Snail Mail for Customer Retention Bots

1. Enhanced customer reach 

White mail and email, along with outbound telesales remain the channels of choice for proactively engaging customers. These channels are not leveraged because of their efficiency and effectiveness, but because it’s all that has been available to date. You can now deploy specialist renewal and/or win-back bots via SMS (as well as email, in-web or in-app) to proactively engage your customers using a low-cost channel that has a 98% open rate.

Is it really a stretch to think that communicating with your customers using the channels your customers use to communicate with their friends and family wouldn’t be more convenient and thus result in a higher engagement rate? In fact, if you don’t start thinking about migrating your communications to mobile channels, your competition may eat your lunch. 

2. Perfectly timed customer engagement

The window between a customer thinking about leaving and actually leaving has become much shorter as a result of changes in license conditions, increased competition and consumer access to information. Therefore, the time and way you engage your customers need to move with the times. Relying on traditional channels like telesales, bulk white mail or email that ends up unread or in spam, particularly in reaction to customers who have already canceled, is no longer enough. Deploying a contract renewal and/or a win-back bot with personalized messages to individual customers, at the right time, puts your value proposition in front of your customers before your competitors get there.

3. Improved customer convenience (their time, their way)

Help your customers help themselves with an instant and seamless experience to complete the journey from the comfort of their mobile device within minutes. As stated earlier, why wouldn’t you want to get your message in front of customers using the messaging channels (like SMS, mobile web or in-app) your customers use to communicate with their friends, family, and co-workers. Introducing friction, such as channel hopping (email to voice, for instance) or many steps to completion effort, only serves to interrupt the customer’s journey and opens a window of opportunity for your competitors.

We speak more about this concept in a prior blog, “Why Netflix is a Good Analogy for Transforming Customer Service.

4. Lower service delivery costs

Replace the expense of having human agents on telesales teams attempting to make contact with ALL your customers to try and win them back or secure contract renewals. AI-powered bots can engage in conversations and secure customer contracts using personalized, interactive messages (defined by you). This means you can employ a much smaller group of human agents that focus on more complex customer retention issues. And then, you may decide to reinvest these labor savings in your customer value proposition with special offers designed to increase the effectiveness of your campaign, and your customer loyalty quotient.

5. Differentiated customer experience

Forrester Research shows that people prefer to complete tasks or get answers in a self-service fashion, as long as the experience is completed accurately and efficiently. Low on intrusion and high on immersion, ServisBOT’s like win back and renewal bot provide your customers with a conversational interface that combines chatbot, Artificial Intelligence, human workflow, and API capabilities to deliver an engaging and immersive experience at the point of contact.

By providing your customers with a multiple-choice approach to renewal and win back and a clear path to completion supported by rich media content, you can deliver a customer experience that is consistent with both your commercial goals and your brand values.

The Benefits of Deploying Customer Retention Bots 

In summary, a WinBack Bot, along with bots like Renewal BOT, Quote Bot, and Loyalty BOT, can play a critical role as part of a retention strategy, to engage customers who have already left, are nearing the end of a contract or at-risk of switching to a competitor.

Read the case study from one of our insurance clients who implemented a Quote Bot to drive increased conversion rates for new customers and higher renewal rates for existing policyholders. 

In summary, here are the benefits that chatbots can generate 

  • Reduce customer outreach costs, freeing up resources to provide better incentives for winning back lost customers or incentivizing existing customer to stay.
  • Improve customer satisfaction with interactive and personalized conversations and a clear path to completion.
  • Increase customer reach and engagement by delivering timely messages with high open rates.
  • Boost ability to re-capture lost customers with automation that deploys WinBackBOT the moment you know a customer is leaving.
  • Increase recurring revenue from lower customer churn rates
  • Reduce the costs associated with customer churn. It costs a lot more to acquire a new customer than keep and existing one. 

Check out a sample animation of WinBack Bot.

Check out additional resources like our Insurance Bot eBook or our Customer Engagement Bot eBook.

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