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Summary

Artificial intelligence-assisted chatbots are poised to bring tremendous innovation in the way brands connect with customers. They'll inevitably cause a disruption in how businesses engage with consumers and trigger a long-term paradigm shift in how people interact with machines. It's important, therefore, for enterprises to consider what degree of investment in the solution will provide the optimal outcome in customer satisfaction and deliver a superior customer experience. They must also ensure that their chatbots are aligned to their overall business strategy to safeguard their enterprises economically.

Ensuring that chatbots deliver superior customer experiences

As companies realize the quick ROI of AI-powered chatbots brought on by automation and instant response, the market will see rapid deployment of them, as companies substitute live support with virtual agents. Those ready to harness the disruptive impact of AI and enter the path to progress should learn to embrace and integrate AI into their business models.

Before companies start building their chatbots, they should clearly identify the tasks that their intelligent virtual agents will perform. It's also crucial to ensure that the other aspects and features of the AI platform make sense for a company's business model and consumer base. Whether it's business process automation through first-level queries or more in-depth customer engagement deployments where chatbots can predict intent and make transactions, chatbots should add value and deliver superior customer experiences. For customers, that translates to ease of business, frictionless experiences, and personalization. If the chatbot encounters roadblocks and fails to deliver on these expectations, customers may become frustrated and defect. To ensure chatbot utilization and CX optimization, enterprises should make these considerations:

  • Optimize the chatbots to loop humans into the computing. If chatbots need to handle complex tasks, a blended AI model, in which agents are ready to step in, works best. This is especially important for complex transactions or nonstandard inquiries that require additional consideration.

  • Strategize proper onboarding approaches. Devising helpful tips and examples on how to use the tool can ease any potential customer frustration. Providing tailored suggestions to keep the customer engaged can be useful.

  • Think strategically about how to reorganize contact center agents. Companies should build their chatbots to focus on the most pervasive service issues and automate engagements without reducing customer satisfaction. Agents, in turn, should focus on more high-value tasks.

  • Enable the chatbots to deliver context and precise knowledge. This entails delivering context through an open and connected platform that continuously integrates behavioral data with historical and transactional data. Depending on the business, finding a solution that easily integrates into existing business processes, systems, and consumer care solutions can create a seamless transition into product deployment and provide a comprehensive repository of data that the AI solution can use to better understand consumer sentiment, as well as customers' intent and nonverbal communication cues.

  • Build chatbots to intelligently formulate a response based on current online behaviors or actions. Incorporating information about customers' digital behavior before, during, and after their chatbot interactions improves the performance of the chatbot. A better-informed chatbot can deliver tailored answers directed at the user's experience.

  • Ensure that it monitors, tests, tracks, and improves. Chatbots must provide monitoring capabilities to track different commands and responses of users. They should also monitor the customers' behaviors and actions and build up natural language flows to use in processes, while submitting them to the knowledge management system.

  • Add chatbots to your messaging app. Chatbots embedded into messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Line, and WhatsApp lend themselves to the types of conversations customers are accustomed to having with their friends and families, which are asynchronous. It also allows consumers to revisit past conversations, and agents can have a single chat history at their fingertips, no matter where the customer leaves off.

As AI-assisted chatbots position themselves to revolutionize the customer experience, enterprises must seek to build virtual agents that align tightly with their specific business goals and objectives. To be truly effective and thrive in the long term, chatbots should strive to be agile, scalable, and omnichannel in nature. They essentially should act as an extension of the agent.

Appendix

Further reading

Market Radar: AI-Assisted Chatbots for Customer Service, IT0020-000287 (June 2017)

Author

Mila D'Antonio, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement

mila.dantonio@ovum.com

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