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Typically, a customer in need of assistance would call up a customer care helpline, or send an email. But getting hold of a customer care representative or support agent on the phone is often a long and tedious process. The accepted industry practice is a wait time of around 20 seconds. But in reality, many callers need to wait for as much as 5-10 minutes (or more) in order to get help. And once a support agent does get on the call, there is no guarantee that they will be able to effectively solve the problem. In fact, it’s likely that the customer will get put on hold!

Email responses usually also take time, and thus this is not a useful medium when it comes to dealing with immediate issues.



What is a Customer Support Chatbot?

Imagine a solution to these customer service issues. An intelligent tool that combines the trackability of emails with the real-time synchronous nature of phone calls through a seamless, interactive conversational interface.

That is exactly what a Customer Support Chatbot is – an AI-powered virtual assistant that interacts with customers over a chat interface, understanding precisely what they need, instantly responds to their queries and resolves their issues.


Chat is the most native interface for the smartphone in the 21st century. Most people today are already habituated to using chat on a daily basis in order to communicate with their friends, families and co-workers. So the prospect of being able to interact with businesses in the same manner in order to  get their queries swiftly resolved will certainly appeal to customers – especially in comparison to the frustrating and inefficient alternative that is conventional customer support.

Why Enterprises Need Customer Service Chatbots

Let us first delve a little deeper into some of the problems with the existing model of customer support.
  • Getting help simply takes too long, as we’ve already discussed. This is frustrating for any customer, but especially for those who need access to instant support

  • Support agents tend to spend most of their limited time answering routine, repetitive queries and FAQs. This leaves them unable to dedicate time and attention to customers facing complex issues, which contributes to a very poor experience for the latter.

  • Contact center operations dependent on human agents are inefficient. A human agent only works during a limited number of ‘office hours’ and can only handle a certain number of queries a day. This model is difficult to scale up without a significant investment in additional human resources.

  • Recruiting, training, and retaining support agents is a time-consuming and expensive process. The high turnover among contact center staff requires a business to incur these high costs on a regular basis.

To sum up, the conventional customer support model is heavily dependent on human agents who are ‘on-call’ for a limited period of time, often fails to effectively address customer issues, is not easily scalable, and is a constant source of high operational costs.

There cannot be a more compelling argument in favor of overhauling your customer support with AI-powered Customer Service Chatbots.

How Chatbots Improve Customer Service

80% or more of inbound customer queries are typically routine queries or FAQs. An AI-powered customer service chatbot can seamlessly resolve their queries end-to-end, without any human intervention required.

Effectively, this means that 80% of customer support would be completely automated. This makes it significantly easier to scale up support capacity to handle any surge in inbound queries, without needing to incur the high costs of recruiting, training and retaining more support staff. A single customer service AI chatbot can handle the same number of queries in a month that would require 600 human support agents!

Moreover, a customer service chatbot is not constrained by ‘office hours’ and is available 24/7 to instantly resolve customer queries. This solves the problem of customers facing long wait times, while also enabling a business to be available to customers round-the-clock.

Customer service chatbots improve the productivity and efficiency of human support teams as well. By taking routine queries and FAQs out of their hands, these chatbots enable human agents to dedicate their time and attention to effectively solving complex customer issues.

Under the conventional model, the effectiveness of the help that a customer receives is heavily dependent on the knowledge and competence of the human agent. This is not the case with customer service chatbots, which offer a consistent experience to customers. They are the perfect customer care representatives, who don’t make mistakes, perfectly understand what you want, and have all the answers and solutions at their fingertips. In a sense, they offer the best of both worlds – combining the precision of a machine with the ability to engage customers in human-like conversation.

Use Cases for Customer Service Chatbots

Customer service chatbots can be leveraged by brands across a range of industries. You can learn more about use cases for these chatbots, and how they have helped brands, from the resources below.


E-Commerce & Retail

With a Customer Service Chatbot, you can engage with customers across multiple channels, including Web, Mobile, Messenger and WhatsApp. The chatbot enhances the post-purchase experience for your customers by answering FAQs, and resolving user queries around refunds & cancellations, order tracking, payment issues etc.

Blog: 5 Reasons Top E-commerce Businesses Have Made Chat Their Primary Customer Service Medium

Learn why online retailers have increasingly started to turn to Customer Service chatbots to automate query resolution and optimize and scale up their support.

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: How Conversational AI is Causing a Paradigm Shift in E-Commerce Customer Service

Representatives of leading E-Commerce firms talk about how they have revolutionized customer service for their brands with AI-powered chatbot solutions, in this in-depth webinar. 

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: How Haptik Automated Grofers’ Customer Support in Less Than 48 Hours

Learn how Haptik built and implemented a Customer Service chatbot in less than 2 days for leading online grocery Grofers, to answer queries about their Mega Sale.


Financial Services

Customer Service Chatbots boost the efficiency of your support by seamlessly resolving routine queries and FAQs end-to-end, and providing swift access to account-related information. You can save upto 90% of your support costs by deflecting traffic from expensive customer support mediums like call.

CASE STUDY: How Haptik Helped Zurich Insurance Elevate Their Customer Support Experience Using Conversational AI

Learn how Haptik implemented a Customer Service chatbot solution for Zurich Insurance, one of the world’s largest insurers, that resolved 70% of their inbound queries end-to-end.

CASE STUDY: How Haptik Helped IIFL Reduce its Operational Cost and Improve Customer Experience

Learn about the Customer Service chatbot that Haptik built for IIFL to automate their customer support and free up their human agents to address complex customer queries.


Travel & Hospitality

A Customer Service Chatbot can assist a customer at every stage of their travel experience, from booking right till the end of the trip. It can engage with travelers on their preferred communication channel, be it website, Messenger or WhatsApp, and offer real-time post-purchase support – resolving queries around booking issues, itinerary changes, web check-ins, refunds & cancellations etc.

CASE STUDY: How Haptik Enabled OYO to Leverage WhatsApp for Customer Service

Learn how Haptik’s Customer Service solution enabled OYO, one of the world’s largest hotel chains, to resolve their guest’s queries over WhatsApp, resulting in a 15% reduction in call volumes on their customer care helplines.


Digital Media

With a Customer Service Chatbot, you can scale up customer support by resolving routine queries and FAQs, such as “How to use”, subscription details, payment issues etc. The chatbot leverages data-points such as the account user’s browsing history, previous activity, billing history and more to ensure a great customer experience.

CASE STUDY: How Haptik Helped Scale Dream11’s Customer Support by 30x During IPL 2018

Learn about Haptik’s Customer Service chatbot for fantasy sports game Dream11, enabling them to scale up their support to handle a massive spike in inbound queries.



Customer Service Chatbots can be leveraged by hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities to provide swift responses to urgent patient queries such as scheduling appointments, treatment information, report status etc.

CASE STUDY: How Haptik Helped Dr. Lal PathLabs’ Scale their Customer Support Strategy

Learn about the Customer Service Chatbot that Haptik implemented for the leading diagnostics chain, Dr. LalPathLabs, to ensure a seamless booking experience for their patients and answer queries about tests, pricing status of test reports, and more.

How Haptik’s Customer Service Chatbot Works


Haptik’s customer service chatbots are powered by our full-stack Conversational AI platform, that has processed over 3 billion conversations to date.

The ‘brain’ of our solution is the Natural Language Understanding (NLU) Engine, which is what gives the chatbots the ability to accurately pinpoint the customer’s intent, based on their free-flowing inputs. Our platform also comprises of a Conversation Studio (to facilitate swift building, training, and deployment of chatbots), Intelligent Analytics (offering real-time conversational analytics to assess chatbot performance), and an Agent Chat Dashboard (that enables human agents to monitor bot-customer conversations and take over if needed).

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How Do You Build a Customer Service Chatbot

Building a customer service chatbot from scratch requires a substantial investment in time, money and resources. To get a deep-dive into the costs and complexities involved in building all the components required for an AI-powered chatbot solution, and compare them to the costs involved in purchasing the solution from a third-party vendor, download and read our whitepaper on The True Cost of Building a Virtual Assistant.