Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come a long way since it first exploded into the marketplace as an advanced concept that felt more like science fiction than reality. Today, the technology helps companies enhance their customer experience by changing business processes and automating customer service functions. One of the most visible examples of AI’s impact on customer service is the rise of the chatbot.
Recent research from the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) and Oracle surveying contact center professionals found that a vast majority (85 percent) of respondents want to implement AI to enhance customer experience, and 41 percent expect their contact centers’ use of bots and AI will increase in the next 12 to 18 months. Furthermore, within the next 6 to 12 months, more than half (57 percent) of organizations intend to support or offer IoT/connected technologies. AI-based chatbots are a valuable tool that can help streamline overall productivity across companies’ contact centers. While chatbots won’t replace human jobs any time soon, they will automate and replace simple tasks that agents are handling today. By doing so, agents can dedicate their time to more complex issues.
However, successfully deploying an intelligent chatbot in the contact center can be complicated and costly, and if not executed properly, can lead to poor customer service and increased frustration. To maintain a competitive edge and deliver quality customer experience, contact centers can embrace the following best practices:
Recognize Customer Frustration and Escalate Issues
Customer problems come in all shapes and sizes, and regardless of how much a bot understands, there will still be times when it needs to transition the interaction to a human agent. For example, if a customer needs to reset a password on an account, but can’t recall the answers to the security questions, he/she will become frustrated and want to be bridged to a live agent. The chatbot must be capable of differentiating between issues that can be resolved independently, versus issues that must be escalated to a human, to ensure that every user experiences a seamless interaction and their problem is solved with low customer effort.
Build a Strong Dataset
To provide customers with the right resolution at the right time, companies must build a strong dataset at the outset in order to power the chatbot. To do this successfully, organizations must mine and collate vast amounts of data derived from many systems, which is no easy task. In fact, the study from ICMI and Oracle found that leveraging data remains a top challenge for contact centers, with only half applying data from connected sources.
To create this dataset, an emphasis on voice and text analytics is crucial. This includes reviewing prior customer interactions, the types of questions that are asked, and ensuring the correct answer is documented. By mining this data, organizations can better understand the complexity of these questions and ensure that there is an answer available for the chatbot to leverage. Remember, your chatbot is only as good as your dataset.
Leverage Translation Technologies
As companies continue to conduct more and more business globally, contact centers need to adapt and provide service to customers across all languages. However, as noted above, implementing chatbots can be expensive, requiring a lot of time and resources, so many organizations will typically start with a chatbot that only operates in one language. Organizations can overcome this barrier by layering translation technologies on top of the chatbot. This allows support centers to provide real-time translations between the chatbot and the customer, and customer and chatbot, ensuring users receive support in their native language thus reducing overall costs.
As the business landscape continues to boom, customers across all regions expect seamless, quick answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. AI-based chatbots have paved the way to more unique and game changing ways for organizations to conduct business and engage with customers. By implementing the strategies above, contact centers can enhance support, reduce costs and ultimately deliver excellent customer experiences across all languages.