Chatbots are exploding as a technology, appearing on the sites and social media of big brands, small business and all manner of services. But ensuring your business provides and extracts most value from the conversation, and you have happy customers is a tricky balancing act.
For business, a chatbot is the latest feature that can help the customer along their journey. Whatever the interaction with your business, you either want to sell them something, provide a service, set up an appointment, access their contact details or so on. The chatbot can help do this in an automated and smart fashion using a scripted conversation, links to the right contact point, product, service or store.
Both the business and customer want to save time when it comes to interactions, businesses want their customer support or front desk agents to spend as little time as possible on low-key issues, while customers don’t want to spend time on hold because “your call is valuable.”
Chatbots provide the perfect answer, triaging enquiries for the business and provide instant results to the customer. A chatbot can eliminate many phone calls, reduce the number of emails that need to read and so on. Their 24/7 gate monitoring, helps companies expand their presence around the clock, and maintain a concierge presence.
A script-based chatbot should be able to handle the basic information requirements of any company or customer. However, advances in chatbots such as natural language processing can help establish what a customer really wants to discuss, while sentiment analysis can help establish their mood. These advanced features can help a chatbot find the right information to pass on, or know when it is time to pass the customer over to a human agent.
For maximum success, bots need to be highly visible, on the front page of websites, prominent on Facebook and other platforms to encourage users to try them. Too many businesses still consider chatbots as experiments and run them stealthily, but that defeats the benefits of the technology. If there’s a problem, a chatbot can be updated to fix it in minutes, it is not like when an app goes wrong.
In some areas of customer service, chatbots are already popular among consumers. With use rising fast among banks, healthcare and service companies around the world. The likes of Dominos and Pizza Hut can take orders using Facebook Messenger.
The most common issue for a customer is that they are using a chatbot but then want to talk to an agent. While they might have started the process not planning on talking to someone, that change of heart is a very human thing that businesses need to be aware of and factor into the bot.