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Artificial intelligence and chatbots are undoubtedly booming. And this is just the beginning. During 2019, 67% of internet users interacted with a chatbot. As for companies, 58% of those currently using a chatbot are B2B. An example to consider? Facebook, where they have implemented more than 300,000 bots on their Messenger platform. In addition, Juniper Research forecasts that by 2023, the adoption of chatbots in sectors such as retail, banking and medical care will result in savings of about 11 billion dollars. Not bad!
Now, what happens with Customer Service and Customer Support areas? Conversational chatbots or bots, also called virtual assistants, are increasingly becoming the preferred tool for this sector. According to a Gartner study, by 2020, 25% of customer service operations will be performed by Chatbots.
The benefits are clear. By using Artificial Intelligence, a bot does not require full-time human resources. In turn, companies can automate a large part of their customer service, while helping customers in real time, night or day.
It is important to mention, however, the disadvantages resulting from the poor application of these technologies. A company’s enthusiasm to innovate and save money can quickly turn to frustration and headache if the necessary precautions are not taken before launching a chatbot.
Users are also excited when they start to chat with a bot, but when they do not receive expected answers or if the bot turns into spam, the fun evaporates. In a matter of seconds users form a negative opinion about the company, leaving a permanent digital mark.
While chatbots’ potential is indisputable, they must be used carefully. This is especially true when companies consider adopting virtual assistants for customer service, the most bot-friendly segment.
A chatbot has to be useful and really solve people's queries. A clear example is the transactional exchange of information. In addition, it must be conversational; it must be able to process natural language in order to understand people, and thus be able to provide a better experience.
At a minimum, the bot must be able to solve customers’ most frequently asked questions and provide real-time solutions. If it can’t do this, it is just a simple command bot—a bot that responds to a structured flow of limited questions and answers.
The main difference between these command bots and a conversational bot is that command bots do not use Artificial Intelligence in customer service.
Related article: What Is Artificial Intelligence and why is it useful for Customer Service?
There are a set of characteristics that bots must have to understand customer intent. Its implementation requires an initial effort on the part of the company: the bot must be equipped with knowledge, it must be trained to understand customers, and it must be integrated with the company’s web services or CRM.
Only after this process is complete can you reap the benefits: improved customer satisfaction and experience, and increased sales and reduced costs for the company.
To nip problems in the bud, find out if a chatbot is truly intelligent. Ask the following questions before incorporating a bot:
1. Is this the technology that your company needs?
2. Is the chatbot provider a customer service specialist?
3. Does the provider have experience in your industry? Do they have clients in your industry?
4. Can you see live, effective cases?
5. Can you integrate it with your customers’ most popular digital channels? (i.e Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp).
6. Does the bot have a memory state to hold long conversations and understand the context?
7. Does it offer metrics and reports for you to learn and evolve its content daily?
8. What resources and time are needed to implement it?
9. Can you integrate the bot with other third party solutions, systems and technologies?
10. Is the supplier's Customer Service a premium service? Do they have a Customer Success team ready to support you at all times?
Ready to boost your CX with chatbots?
Clearly, chatbots can help your take your customer experience to the next level. But if your provider cannot answer these questions… keep looking!
Are you exploring different chatbots options? Before investing, request a demo right this way. It will surely help you make the ideal decision for your company!