Better customer experience with bots and artificial intelligence
More than 80 percent of consumers would like to have faster customer service. Without the use of modern technologies this can hardly be achieved, but companies cannot implement these technologies immediately. What do companies have to consider before they introduce chatbots, etc., and how can they use these to improve customer experience?
There are two significant developments in customer dialog. On the one hand, there’s the move towards text- and speech-based channels, because it is simple and convenient for customers to start a service chat or shout out a question to their voice assistant, regardless of the time and place. On the other hand, customer service is becoming more complicated in general. First, because products and services are becoming more complicated. Compare, for example, a wrist watch with a smart watch. Second, because the number of possible communication channels is continually growing through new technologies such as voice assistants.
This brings great challenges for companies and can lead to frustration among customers. This happens specifically when they have to wait too long for an answer, are asked about the same information several times, or are unable to find the information they need. In the global study “Impact of Chatbots and AI on the Customer Journey” by Vanson Bourne, 61 percent of consumers asked stated that companies in general took to long to resolve service requests. A further 23 percent think that the time required is reasonable, but would still like a quicker solution. 83 percent of those surveyed have experienced at least one problem when interacting with a brand, including the need to repeat their request, difficulties using self-service options, or poor accessibility of the customer service representatives. Those surveyed see the solution as being in modern technologies: More than 70 percent stated that companies should use these technologies to process customer requests more quickly.
Hand in hand
In fact, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and voicebots can immediately solve several of the customer service problems that companies currently face. If certain processes can be automated with their help, customers’ wait times are reduced and the burden on the human service team is relieved. The vision: the hybrid model. In this, bot and agent work hand in hand and, depending on the customer request and situation, each can play to their relative strengths and support the other party, respectively.
But also “behind the scenes” – in training and the continual further development of artificial intelligence – the human touch is gaining significance. In artificial intelligence, neither “plug and play” nor “set and forget” applies. During the initial training of an AI, both the selection of the correct training data and, to a large extent, the relevant expertise in the sector and in customer dialog that should flow into the “training” of the AI are important. In businesses, the work of the AI must be checked regularly to make sure errors can be corrected and optimizations can take place. To support the human teams, however, even for reasons of efficiency, machine learning should not be dispensed with.
Three points for success
If you want to expand your dialog with customers through new technologies and channels, you should take note of three aspects beforehand that can contribute to making these projects a success:
- Why should a technology/channel be introduced? “Because it is currently ‘in,’” is not the correct answer. Define the benefits that, for example, a chatbot brings – for your customers and for your company.
- Determine use cases. Chatbots and voice assistants do not arbitrarily automate processes, but have dialogs. Clarify the points of the customer journey at which an automated dialog with your customers is necessary and appropriate – and those points at which it is not.
- Get to know your end customers and users. Which channels do you use for which purposes; how do you proceed in the relevant channel? Only when you know and understand the processes can you automate them.
If you have clarified these aspects and have the right service experts as partners side by side with your company, you can get started – for an even better customer experience.
Author: Editorial team Future. Customer.
Image: © Mediteraneo – AdobeStock