The Different Types of Customer Service Chatbots

Gladly Team

Read Time

5 minute read

We all knew this day would come. From the foreboding depictions of sci-fi classics like The Terminator and Blade Runner, it was only a matter of time before robots started to take our jobs and human existence became secondary to artificial intelligence.

OK, maybe we’re being a bit dramatic, but when it comes to the advent of customer service chatbots, it’s true that they’re taking over the world of customer service, although maybe not in the way you would expect. AI and automation haven’t replaced customer support agents, but they have impacted the customer support experience significantly.

With the targeted support of chatbots, agents no longer have to play a guessing game to find out what a customer needs. Sometimes, chatbots are even able to solve customer inquiries and problems without the need for human contact.

Whether a customer is calling their bank to unlock their debit card for travel or inquiring about their balance, intelligent customer service chatbots and automated voice messaging have made it easier for customers to acquire information and help themselves.

However, not all chatbots do the same thing. Below, we’ll explore the benefits of the four main types of customer service chatbots: support bots, social media bots, agent-assist bots, and RPA bots.

Support Bots

A support bot (or answer bot) is an AI-powered bot that answers customer questions with relevant information. Below are some of the key features and uses of a support bot.

Benefits of Support Bots

  • Allows 24/7, real-time assistance – The demand and desire to have 24/7 support is a growing expectation that will make you more competitive and improve your customer experience. If you sell a product online that customers can purchase at any time, it’s likely they will need support for that product after hours. Support bots help to fill that demand.
  • Lowers costs – Support bots take the pressure off of your agents and reduce costs by solving inquiries without live agent help. If you’re looking to expand, scale, move into a new region, or provide support after hours, support bots can help minimize costs.
  • Reduces wait times – Utilizing a support bot at the point of contact will, for some inquiries, be enough to solve the problem and complete an interaction. If the support bot isn’t enough and the inquiry needs to be moved to a live agent, the support bots can still lower wait times and provide your agents with the context to improve accuracy.

Social Media Bots

AI-powered bots are built to automate tasks and engage with customers on social media platforms like X, Instagram, Facebook, and more. They can even reduce costs by giving you a greater reach across social media chat messaging without involving live agents.

Benefits of Social Media Bots

Social media bots will reduce overall wait times because inquiries can be settled within the social media platform, without the need to reach out to a live agent or move the conversation over to email or a phone call.

Additionally, social media bots are ideal for not just solving inquiries, but also for building your brand and engaging with customers on a platform where they spend a good chunk of their time.

Agent-Assist Bots

Agent-assist bots are “personal assistants” for human customer support agents. They’re mostly utilized for in-house purposes like training, onboarding, and information gathering.

Benefits of Agent-Assist Bots

  • Onboarding/training – intelligent agent-assist bots can provide new hires with another tool to learn the key components of their position. This type of customer service chatbot can answer questions, provide support, and guide new hires through the onboarding process. Additionally, because your training could predominantly take place through an agent-assist bot, your managers are then able to reclaim their valuable time.
  • Conversation triaging – One of the first steps agents typically have to take when they jump into a new conversation is to read what’s been discussed so far and decide whether to respond directly or allocate it to the right person or department. Agent-assist bots help automate and streamline this process for you.
  • Response suggestions – Advanced agent-assist bots will be able to recommend responses to your agents based on what’s been said in the conversation. In addition to making agents’ lives easier, agent-assist bot suggestions will also speed up the resolution time.
  • Noise reduction – Intelligent agent-assist bots understand the difference between when conversations need to be re-opened and when certain exchanges are just noise. Commonplace exchanges like “thank you” or “take care” will not reopen conversations unnecessarily.
  • Social media integration – Agent-assist bots also have the capacity to detect any engagement or inquiries made on social media and automatically open conversations to resolve inquiries that require additional support.

RPA Bots

Robotic processing automation (or RPA) bots automate repetitive customer service tasks so agents regain their valuable time. RPA bots organize, assign, and categorize your interactions with customers based on the way you define and design the triage process.

Benefits of RPA Bots

  • They don’t interact with customers – They work as an underlying layer of support for your agents and the various workflows you have set up in your system.
  • They organize incoming conversations – Because these bots scan incoming customers to assess, prioritize, assign, and categorize requests, agents don’t need to waste time reading the entire history of a conversation or trying to assess the best ways to assign them to other departments.
  • They simplify tasks to boost productivity – RPA bots can help streamline simple as well as complicated tasks, significantly reducing time spent on tedious tasks for your agents.

Using Customer Service Chatbots to Improve Shopper and Agent Experiences

At Gladly, we believe you can have an intelligent, efficient, and cutting-edge solution without losing the personalized touch that’s vital to customer support.

Gladly customers gain access to Sidekick — a sophisticated, AI-powered chatbot that feels as human to your customers as a real interaction. Sidekick can handle a sizable percentage of agent volume with ease, maintaining the personal touches that matter most to customers while freeing up agents to handle more complex tasks. As a result, this one solution drastically reduces average handle time and lowers cost per customer.

To demonstrate Sidekick’s benefits in action, let’s look at how one brand saw impactful results. Rothy’s is a popular shoes and accessories retailer, and due to their popularity, the brand needed a CX solution that could handle a large volume of contact. They turned to Sidekick, building a Rothy’s-specific chatbot they dubbed Sandy. Sandy helped them provide their same quality of personalized service at scale through intelligent chat and support — all while decreasing demand on agents to handle baseline or routine requests. With Sandy, Rothy’s found a chatbot solution that raised their bar for CSAT performance while handling multiple requests at once.

With the benefits of Sidekick and AI-driven support, Gladly offers an interconnected interface that ensures seamless transitions to and from a chatbot, thanks to some key benefits.

  • Omnichannel support allows you to switch seamlessly between chatbots, phone calls, social media platforms, and more — ensuring a live agent can swoop in as soon as they’re needed without friction.
  • One continuous conversation thread that makes changing channels and agents more seamless than ever. This also gives agents the full conversation history from a chatbot interaction before they engage with the customer.
  • Conversation assistance in-chat for live agents to quickly draw on customer, product, or fulfillment information — empowering them to connect shoppers to solutions with ease and sprinkle in personal touches throughout an interaction.

Want to tap into the power of AI to advance your support center today? Embolden your customer service approach and try a demo of Gladly.


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