Forrester is predicting an increase from 9 to 11 average channels supported in a contact center, driven largely by new channels like bots and messengers (e.g., Facebook Messenger, LINE, Telegram, etc.). Yet Gartner’s Gene Alvarez is predicting that many will fail. Fifty-three percent of the 3,000 respondents to a Chatbot.org survey conducted in late 2017 found chatbots to be either “not effective” or only “somewhat effective.”
Companies are failing to create customer-centric chatbots and failing to utilize artificial intelligence, analytics, and big data insights to understand customer needs and motivations.
This blog will explain the benefits of contact center artificial intelligence and how to implement AI and bots for a positive ROI and an outstanding customer experience.
Artificial intelligence can help companies create a positive ROI by improving customer satisfaction and streamlining contact center operations. As more companies utilize AI and big data to understand customer needs and create customer-centric self-service chatbot channels, there will be a stronger correlation between AI and ROI.
CALL CENTER AI AND BOT BENEFITS:
- Automation with a Human Touch (add automation with seamless escalation to a human being)
- Resolve Customer Issues in Less Time
- Help Customers Immediately (little to no wait time with no need to wait in queue for a live agent)
- Automate Basic Interactions (allowing call center agents to focus on more complex customer calls and inquiries)
- Utilize Big Data and AI (Machine Learning, Sentiment Analysis, etc.) to Understand Customers Better
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AI AND BOT TIPS:
ADD VALUE TO THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Companies often implement AI and bots to save time and reduce costs in their contact centers. Because of this, many AI and chatbot initiatives fail because they don’t create value for customers. It is critical to create AI and bot programs with customer-centric goals in mind so that you add value to the customer journey. Ask yourself: Does the bot make sense? Is the conversation natural?
PAY ATTENTION TO CUSTOMER PREFERENCES
Some organizations forget that a powerful chatbot is not necessarily a customer-centric chatbot. You need to utilize AI and bot functionality in a way that makes sense for the customer. Certain demographics may prefer human interaction. Certain types of questions may be better suited over the phone vs over digital and bot channels. Ask yourself: Which issues would customers prefer to handle over self-service bot channels? Which issues are best on certain channels? Do I want to give my customers the choice to escalate a bot conversation to a live human?
SEAMLESSLY CONNECT AI AND BOTS TO EXISTING CHANNELS
Make sure you don’t create new silos when adding new AI and bot channels. As mentioned above, not all customers will want to interact with bots, so moving between bots and other existing channels (ie. voice, live chat, video, text message) should be seamless.
ALLOW HUMAN AGENTS AND BOTS TO WORK TOGETHER
Years ago, Gartner talked about the “rise of the robots” at its largest event where key tech and business trends are unveiled for the coming year. That day has now come. But there remains a lot of confusion and noise about robots replacing humans. Luckily the situation is actually a positive one for humans. Bots and humans can work together. Utilize AI and bots to better empower your assistants. Allow bots to focus on what they do best (triaging basic information and solving common problems) and let humans do what they do best.
USE EXISTING CUSTOMER DATA TO CREATE CHATBOTS
Data plays a critical role in the success of AI and bot programs. Customer-centric companies understand that the key to bot success comes from utilizing customer data and adjusting their strategy based on customer needs. When creating bots it is important to consider: Where will my bots get their initial information? How will they learn over time? How is their data being used?
Conversational IVR is a new kind of interactive voice response (IVR) system that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) for smarter, easier self-service. Unlike traditional IVR systems that prompt callers to select from numerous menu options, conversational IVR lets customers choose the path they prefer by simply saying what they want. Conversational Interactive Voice Response is customer-focused and allows customer to interact naturally in their own words.
ADD CHATBOTS TO SOCIAL MESSENGERS
Chatbots on social messengers like Facebook Messenger have become increasingly popular as customers communicate with brands over digital channels. Such bots are incredibly helpful to both customers and agents, as their sole purpose is to provide targeted help in the fastest way possible.
UTILIZE AI FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE
AI features like sentiment analysis, natural language processing (NLP), text-to-speech, speech-to-text, etc., can greatly improve contact center quality management. Currently, most companies only monitor 1% of call center interactions. With AI, contact centers can automatically track 100% of interactions regardless of the channel.
WORK WITH TOP AI AND BOT PROVIDERS
For the best results, partner with industry leading providers like IBM Watson, Alterra, Amazon, and Google. Deploy omnichannel contact center technology that integrates with AI and bots providers to create seamless customer experiences across all channels.
SO HOW DO YOU DEPLOY AI AND BOTS IN YOUR CALL CENTER?
Look to the cloud. A true “born from the cloud” customer service architecture where all channels are native as opposed to bolt-on can give you a nimble platform in which you are the disruptor versus the disrupted.
Cloud-first architecture is a truly agile, flexible platform because it doesn’t rely on legacy technology ported from old on-premises solutions. A cloud platform approach will break down the silos and deliver a simple solution that business users can make changes to without requiring costly IT and professional services.
A true omnichannel cloud contact center brings bots and humans together to deliver customer service that is both effortless and personalized. Perhaps the rise of the robots isn’t as scary as originally thought.
Bright Pattern is a cloud omnichannel contact center provider. We specialize in helping customers with their digital transformation. What to learn more about or AI and bot capabilities? Request a demo today.