We live in unprecedented times. In the initial stages of the pandemic most people assumed all we had to do was hunker down for a few months, and we will return back to a COVID-19 free world. But it is becoming increasingly clear that times are changing. And any business' capacity to thrive is being measured by their ability to change and adapt to this new reality instead of sticking to the old ways. At HappyFox, we have seen a clear increase in demand for chatbots. Here are some ways we have observed chatbots helping businesses in these tough times. Handle the spike in customer support volume. A lot of businesses, especially in the retail sector, have seen a sudden spike in support volume. Most of these requests are logistic in nature - either enquiring about the availability or services or the status of their order. Almost all these questions have a standard, templatized answer. Moreover, it is fair to assume that this spike in volume is seasonal. And it does not make sense to increase the size of your support team to handle these requests. Chatbots are great at deflecting repeated questions and your support team will be happy to no longer deal with them. Provide consistent messaging. Most new support requests at this time are information requests. If you were earlier relying on phone support from a contact center, your support team probably got displaced without access to your phone system from home. For a lot of businesses, live chat has become the primary channel of support. Onboarding agents and coordinating their replies at this time can be a challenge and it does not help if your customers get conflicting responses from your agents. Chatbots are a great way to standardize your responses. Write a knowledge base article once and surface it anytime a customer requests information. Keep customers informed about service disruptions. Service disruptions have become the norm. Everyone is getting used to cancelled flights and shipment delays. While you have little to no control over the disruptions, you absolutely have control over how you communicate these disruptions to your customers. A chatbot can be updated easily by a single supervisor, and all your customers will instantly have access to this information. Getting information out to your customers in a timely way allows your customers to be prepared and reduces a whole lot of frustrated calls. Give your support team a breather. Customer support teams around the world are probably the most overworked group of people at this time. If you have agents manning your live chat, having a chatbot can act as a buffer instead of your team being bombarded with requests all the time. An automated chatbot that takes care of first response and 24X7 availability can allow your support team catch a breather instead of being ridden by constant anxiety. Provide zero-touch workflows to handle transactions. Apart from simply providing information, you can go one step further and automate certain repeated transactional workflows. Be it rescheduling an order or processing a refund, chatbots can be built to work with your existing APIs and workflows. Automating some of these processes could result in saving hundreds of hours of manual effort. Reduce wait time and anxiety for your customers. If you are dependent on a human support team to handle all your incoming support volume, it is inevitable that your agents will be overwhelmed. This results in increased wait times, which in turn, increases the anxiety of your customers. Having a chatbot on 24X7 can help ease anxiety because updated information remains accessible at all times without depending on the availability of human agents. These are some of the ways chatbots can help your business tide over these challenging times. HappyFox Chatbots are custom built for your individual use case and is well integrated with live chat and help desk. If you want to talk about your use case and see how chatbots can help in upping your support game, feel free to book a demo.