As automation makes its move towards infiltrating every department within an organization, many businesses hesitate to introduce it into critical customer service programs.
Automation skeptics say machine communication can never give the velvet glove touch of a human customer service agent … but times are changing.
Robotics Process Automation (RPA) takes on many forms and in the area of customer service, chatbots are becoming a reliable, consumer friendly option for expanding the reach of a customer service team.
Chatbots are computer programs that mimic conversation by the use of artificial intelligence (AI). When incorporated and deployed correctly, chatbots are revolutionizing the way businesses interact online by performing a series of action-spawned tasks during a ‘conversation.’
In the context of today’s business, Gartner projects more than 85% of customer interactions will be machine-managed by 2020 and chatbots will be the No. 1 consumer application of AI over the next five (5) years, according to TechEmergence.
In the realm of customer service, where consumer predictability can vary, a chatbot utilizes machine learning capabilities to expand its understanding and response specificity.
Experts agree the perfect customer service experience is a combination of bots and humans. For instance, when a customer reaches the frustration point, an automated response will only exacerbate it and of course, a bot can’t necessarily be trained to read emotion. Therefore, companies successfully using chatbots to serve customers have determined the right use cases for automation and built in the right handovers or “escapes” to let a human operator take over the interaction in order to diffuse a situation.
“With the inherent savviness of the average consumer, businesses have to be deliberate in the way they insert AI into their customer service processes,” said Shabbir Alibhai, Director of Intelligent Process Automation at DISYS.. “The self-learning adaptation of chatbots only improves customer service over time as its intelligence continually increases.”
To facilitate this learning, human interaction is essential in training bots to answer questions and mimic free-flowing conversation. Interactions between representatives and customers provide a loop of responses for bots to learn from and loop like information together.
This not only helps the bot carry on life-like conversation but also adapts it to recognize when a human operator needs to take over. By taking over in those situations, human agents will not just assist the customer, but their responses will also help the chatbot with continuous learning. Over time, this knowledge will organically help to expand the bot’s capabilities.
Another huge benefit of chatbot insertion into the online customer service experience is its ability to react and respond immediately. With the click of a few buttons, consumers can have general questions answered or acknowledged and sent further down the customer service chain if necessary.
“Consumers today have an expectation of immediate gratification,” Alibhai said. “Chatbots accomplish this and can save customer service teams time and energy.”
Chatbots are being used to send immediate, relatable responses to those submitting anything from common requests to complicated queries. This improves response time and acknowledgement to initial customer service questions and frees up employees to work on a richer down-stream experience that requires a more refined, detailed and personal touch.
This customer-facing experience can also be customized to not only benefit the consumer but also to expand brand voice and reach.
Customer service chatbots can take a brand’s personality and marketing messages straight to the consumer by using existing systems to build an ever-growing knowledgebase feeding into the bot. This allows chatbots to “learn” general conversation skills relevant to the brand message almost immediately and helps convey a brand’s trademark voice.
“The key takeaway here is that bots can benefit a team in many ways to expand the customer or user experience,” Alibhai said. “And as the technology grows, its reach will continue as consumer needs expand.”
Digital Intelligence Systems, LLC (DISYS) is reinforcing its commitment to helping clients Accelerate Productivity with its expanded, reimagined Automation Center of Excellence (ACE).
The Automation Center of Excellence is a development and services hub creating custom client solutions around Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and Scripting & Automation Testing best practices. ACE’s core purpose is to help clients reduce cost while increasing productivity and reaching key business goals in a more efficient, timely manner. ACE is home to Automation experts and industry thought leaders who are committed to reinventing the way businesses perform daily tasks.