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Aug 29, 2018

Are You Getting the Most Value from Your Customer Service Chatbot?

Categories:
Chatbots & AI

Customer service chatbots have become an effective option for reducing costs in the call center and streamlining processes, but there should be more to it than saving on per-contact costs. As chatbot technology becomes more prevalent across industries, analysts from Forrester have released a report uncovering two key areas where brands have made missteps in rolling out these programs.

The first challenge with deploying a successful customer service chatbot program is that brands may focus too much on contact deflection at the expense of delivering a quality customer experience. This effort to minimize customer contact time results in the customer feeling that the brand does not value their time or their business. According to Forrester, this is a major problem since two-thirds of customers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good customer service.

“A really high deflection rate does not necessarily equate to a good customer experience. High deflection may mean that customers are moving to other channels.” - Adam Moore, vice president of interactive care at Charter Communications

The other challenge of implementing AI in the contact center is the belief that chatbots can fully replace an experienced and knowledgeable human support agent. While conversational AI continues to grow in popularity and expand possibilities for personalized engagement, there is no chatbot available today that can provide the same level of support and empathy that a human agent can.

While more consumers across generations and industries are open to engaging with a chatbot for customer service, the majority would still prefer to speak with a human if available. More than 60% think a human would also be better able to understand their needs than a chatbot would.

Beyond simply engaging with the chatbot, more than a third of customers expect chatbots to be able to connect them to a human agent whenever necessary. These consumers also ranked chatbots less likely to provide detailed, expert answers to complex questions with a sense of friendliness and approachability.

Essentially, humans and chatbots work best and most efficiently when they work together seamlessly, instead of one replacing the other. Chatbots can be utilized for triage in the contact center, efficiently handling more simple self-service queries and immediately directing customer to a live agent when certain keywords are triggered in conversation. This frees up live agents to focus on the more complex challenges, and increases self-service first contact resolution when detailed and relevant answers can be accessed right away.

What's more, connecting a chatbot to your CRM and knowledgebase can help your team deliver seamless support backed by relevant customer context, product information, previous support engagements, and much more. A holistic support program with fully integrated chatbot and knowledgebase technology can make all the difference for your agents and customers in building an experience that sets your brand apart.

The bottom line? When developing and deploying a customer service chatbot, the fact remains that cost reduction alone does not make for a compelling business case. It's critical to consider how you can utilize the chatbot as an enhancement to your live agents and ensure your customers feel supported instead of neglected.

If you're looking for ways to build a chatbot program that does more for your business, download the Forrester report to learn more about the three strategic benefits you should be able to gain from a chatbot service program:

  • Deeper insights into your customers and your business
  • Improved experiences for both customers and support agents
  • Transform cost models to optimization instead of reduction

 

Download the Forrester Report to see what the experts have to say.

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