Chatbots are today’s all-round superstars with the power to transform customer and agent experience.
Magnus Geverts outlines 5 benefits of chatbots and how contact centres can blend them with the latest workforce engagement management (WEM) solutions for maximum impact.
AI-driven tools such as chatbots are a powerful weapon in an organization’s self-service arsenal. Used effectively, they help maximize human capital by revolutionizing the mundane, saving time and effort when handling common or straightforward enquiries in contact centres.
However, like all technological advances, successful AI and chatbot implementations depend on a thoughtful approach that blends the needs of the organization with the needs of the customer. Rush implementation because of a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and contact centres risk falling at the first hurdle, alienating loyal customers and inhibiting business success along the way.
When Calabrio interviewed over 300 contact centre professionals at the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the conclusion was that while customers expect ‘quicker response times’ (93%), they also desire ‘human agent availability over bots’ (68%).
This reflects the findings of industry experts, where 83% of respondents believe customers want the reassurance that a live agent brings to a conversation. When bridging the digital and human worlds chatbots can come into their own but their true value extends far beyond their customer-facing capabilities.
The 5 Essential Benefits of Chatbots
Contact centres looking to make the most of chatbots should blend AI-driven technology with the latest WEM solutions to improve workforce flexibility and enhance the customer experience (CX) and employee satisfaction all in one go:
- Workforce flexibility gets a whole lot easier for team leaders – especially when juggling schedules for remote workers. The latest chatbots recognize patterns through deep learning in the same way that traditional workforce management (WFM) solutions access historic data to predict, create and search future schedules. Combine AI and WEM to build a robust recruitment strategy that delivers the right-sized resources to the right place at the right time. Meanwhile, team leaders have more time to focus on higher-level operational tasks or strategic CX objectives
- AI for greater staff engagement – when home-working agents lose the physical connection of colleagues, they can quickly feel overwhelmed. AI-powered chatbots can be used to communicate the latest schedules or important company updates such as safe home-working to all frontline staff. Then, allow agents to automate requests and approvals for shift changes and time off for training or domestic responsibilities. The latest bots can even hold conversational chats to notify staff quickly of, say, potential overtime, and create an easy balance between staff engagement and productivity.
- Open all hours – one of the top three most important factors when contacting an organization is ‘long opening hours’ especially for the younger generation (33% of 25-34-year-olds compared with just 9% of people aged over 65). Businesses, on the other hand, place this amongst the least important customer experience factors. Stay ahead of the competition by deploying the latest AI chatbots to understand customer requirements and deliver successful outcomes even when your contact centre is closed.
- Knowledge transforms CX – especially when it is easily accessible and can be refreshed, amended and added to by agents. Empower agents by giving them the knowledge to respond to customers in their own way. The latest application of chatbots takes WEM to a whole new level. They maximize AI learning from the contact centre and other parts of the business to provide agents with the real-time knowledge they need, along with suggested solutions, to solve customer queries swiftly and efficiently. They can even anticipate customer needs by up/cross-selling other products based on their previous purchase or web-browsing history, then relay this vital intelligence to the agent.
- Smart analytics makes smart brands – Calabrio’s own research indicates that 51% of contact centre professionals believe the customer service experience will impact brand loyalty even more than before Coronavirus. Organizations that truly understand their customers’ changing beliefs, behaviours and needs will be the outright winners.
Now is the perfect time to blend WEM and chatbots with smart analytics. This sophisticated technology provides a comprehensive view of 100% of customer interactions, whatever the channel.
Use it to identify the one word that keeps cropping up in every conversation, or to highlight when 90% of customers are asking the same question, to focus on what really matters for improved CX.
Why not integrate customer survey platforms like Survey Monkey directly into the contact centre and use machine learning to capture and analyse the results?
Valuable information like this can be used to pre-empt and predict future patterns and improve Net Promoter Scores (NPS).
An extra benefit of AI solutions is the more they are used, the better they get. What greater incentive to make those superstar chatbots an intrinsic part of your WEM strategy?