Do You and Your Chatbot Need Therapy?

Josefine Fouarge of Nuance discusses how you can get more from your contact centre chatbot. 

In all good relationships, there comes a time when the two parties involved find themselves needing a little intervention, a bit of therapy, a series of counselling sessions… Close partnerships will inevitably encounter the same issues as other partnerships.

In marriages, the cause of bumpy roads can be a whole host of reasons. In business relationships, the problems can arise from miscommunication, loss of trust, or change in finances. Regardless of the nature of the problem, and regardless of the kind of relationship, therapy is in order.

Organisations that have implemented a chatbot as part of their customer engagement programme can eventually find themselves in a rocky relationship with that chatbot.

The reasons can vary, but much of the time, it boils down to three major issues that need to be addressed.

1. Communication

The chatbot is able to answer questions pretty efficiently and accurately – as long as the customer is using the kind of language or semantics that were used when the chatbot was programmed.

But what happens when a customer uses broken English or misspells or mispronounces a word? Or what if they use a colloquialism with which the chatbot is not familiar? Well, what you have there is a failure to communicate.

Fortunately, there is a more advanced sort of chatbot – a virtual assistant (VA) – which is equipped with natural language understanding, so it’s able to discern the customer’s intent and thereby can find the appropriate resolution or redirect the customer to a live agent with the needed skill set.

2. Values

Your values may change over time, so you may find that you value the quality of service your customers receive much more than you value the savings that are supposed to come from automating customer interactions.

Chatbots are great at answering the common, surface-level questions many customers have, but they are not able to add to their knowledge base on their own.

Without artificial intelligence (AI), there is no machine learning to continuously teach the chatbot as there is with a VA. Nor can chatbots learn from real-life agent interactions – VAs can.

The more a VA learns, the more in-depth knowledge it can provide your customers – and the more value they receive from their experience with your company.

3. Passion

All good relationships have their honeymoon period, where nothing wrong can be done by either party. But then, in many cases, the passion dies, and someone’s going to be disillusioned.

The same is true of a chatbot; many organisations finally come to realise that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Their chatbot is very limited in its abilities and there’s no foreseeable future improvement.

However, a VA that’s powered by AI and comes with the support of customer engagement experts can be continuously optimised – continuously improving the relationship between VA and customer, VA and brand, and, most importantly, customer and brand. The passion lives on and grows.

These three issues, of course, are only a few of what could potentially be many problems that arise from automating your customer engagements with a chatbot.

If your organisation has found itself looking at its chatbot, wondering what went wrong, it’s time for therapy. You need to find a professional that specialises in repairing broken relationships and helps you redesign your partnership.

To find out more about Nuance, visit their website.

Published On: 13th Nov 2018 - Last modified: 18th Feb 2020
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