The rise of the online robo-advisor

The rise of chat technology — from chatrooms to live chat — has led to a growth in customer expectations. Thanks to real-time communication technologies, instant gratification is now a customer service necessity.

The problem is, without the right resources, customer expectations for on the spot support at any time are impossible to meet. Hiring a round-the-clock workforce is expensive. So is employing enough team members to ensure instant service availability for every customer.

So, in the struggle to keep up with customer expectations, companies have turned to bots. Where 24/7/365 communication is expected in real-time, the robo-advisor can rise to the occasion. But what exactly is a robo-advisor, and how can it help your business?


Customer expectations

For today’s online customer, accessibility is golden, and convenience is key. And websites have had to evolve to reflect these heightened standards.

Think the huge, ongoing market growth in live chat software over the last decade. Or think the rise of online knowledge bases and dedicated customer portals. These trends show a need for both real-time support and self-service options. Each of which must be available on the customer’s whim.

In other words, customers want choice and empowerment. That is, they demand smooth self-service, while at the same time expecting support as and when they need it.

Your customers still want human interaction. But they want it only when that human interaction brings the most speed and convenience. Where human contact would create delay, efficient self-service options instead become desirable.

As a result, businesses must achieve a balance. On one side, providing round the clock support; on the other, empowering customers to help themselves.


The era of the bot

It is against this backdrop that customer service bots have risen to reach widespread adoption. Our own demands for always-on service, coupled with high tech expectations, are responsible for the rise of the robo-advisor.

And bots represent the best of both worlds. They give the option for customers to get instant help at any time, while still acting as a signpost for self-service. Plus, agents gain reprieve of tedious FAQs and basic requests.

Indeed, bots have established themselves as a new engine for digital conversations. They’re less and less a novelty — growing more into their role as a staple customer service channel. Now, chatbots stand alongside time-tested customer service channels such as phone, email and live chat. (Despite their relative youth.)

So, we’ve entered an era where chatbots represent an increasingly conventional route for customers to interact with brands. Robo-advice is all part of the omnichannel mix, and we welcome its convenience.


The robo-advisor of today

A robo-advisor can serve many functions, and you can find them in many walks of business.

Claims chatbots, for instance, parse customer claim requests and automate scheduled follow-up calls. This reduces the time spent fact-finding, alleviating the admin-intensive nature of processing claims.

Robo-advisors also exist for tech support. These chatbots incorporate AI for a smarter handling of support tickets. They allow oversight, monitoring and transfers to happen all within one chat channel.

For other customer services, chatbots are acting as robo-advisors for general queries. They handle FAQs so your team doesn’t have to. In doing so, they’re reducing the need to spend valuable human resource on quick, basic requests.

Or, for another example of today’s robo-advisors, consider sales chatbots. This type of robo-advisor find all products that match a customer’s request. Then, they provide a direct portal to that content. This makes the sales process feel more conversational, while driving speed and site efficiency.


Understanding the role of the robo-advisor

For all this utility and growing familiarity, robo-advisors are still misunderstood. A bot isn’t intelligent. It cannot ‘think’ or make spontaneous decisions. Instead, it supplies pre-programmed answers, based on keywords it’s been trained to recognise.

So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the robo-advisor is a replacement for human support. It’s an extension of your offering – a way to meet round-the-clock service demands without breaking the resource bank.

When used correctly, a robo-advisor is a boon to both your customers and your customer service team. Be part of the rise and try robo-advice for yourself.


Useful links

From chat rooms to chat software to chatbots: the rise of instant messaging

Customer contact: cat got your website’s tongue?

Chatbots: what are they good for?