Colin Hay at Puzzel takes a closer look at the top three uses for chatbots, as the technology continues to evolve.
Interesting times are ahead as contact centres cut through the jargon, dispel the myths and embrace new AI technology to serve customers and agents.
This time last year, Gartner predicted that virtual customer assistants (VCAs) or chatbots will dominate the contact centre industry by 2020. Already, more than half of organisations have invested in the technology for customer service.
However, despite all the hype and discussion about chatbots and all things Artificial Intelligence (AI), there is still an element of confusion about their value and a reluctance to adopt this new technology more quickly.
These are interesting times with exciting possibilities on the horizon for chatbots as organisations explore the options and the opportunities ahead.
From accelerating response times for customers to plugging the gaps in agent skills and availability, chatbots are here to stay, but how are they best used?
Three Top Uses for Bots
Here are three ways to use bots to enhance customer conversations and boost agent performance for improved service.
1. Direct Transactional Contact With Customers
These are good old-fashioned chatbots as we know them and their function focuses primarily on the customer.
Designed as an efficient and cost-effective addition to any organisation’s self-service offering, they integrate directly into the core contact centre solution to improve first contact with customers and save valuable live agent time.
For contact centres which already have an existing investment in chatbots, ready-made connectors allow companies to “Bring their own Bot” and link to their contact centre infrastructure.
2. An All-Important Triage Resource
In many ways, chatbots are a chat version of IVR by acting as a smart connector as they transfer customer conversations over to human agents.
Chatbots bridge the digital and human worlds by ensuring live agents have all the information they need at the time of hand-over to deliver a complete and end-to-end satisfying customer interaction.
3. Dedicated Virtual Personal Assistants for Agents
The latest application of chatbots maximises 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.
Media archives within the contact centre solution are a perfect place to create a living library of machine learning and historical records of previous chat interactions.
Transcribed voice conversations, full of unstructured data, are transformed into structured data that is easily searchable by text, thanks to the power of AI. A new breed of “bot buddies” will enable advisors to boost their performance at work and deliver exceptional customer experience.
Agents can engage with them through speech or text communication while the virtual technology works hard behind the scenes, using inbuilt intelligence to respond to agent enquiries and support staff in real time.
What Role Will Chatbots Play in 2020?
Some might say that “the jury is still out” in terms of the real role that chatbots will play in 2020, but one thing is sure, they will be a part of customer service.
According to Gartner, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and chatbot creation than on traditional mobile app development by 2021. It’s just a question of what part those bots will play in contact centres.