Customer engagement is a key driver for digital transformation, yet it is a continuing struggle for many organizations. We look at five ways chatbots are revolutionizing the enterprise.
Chatbots, virtual customer agents, virtual assistants, or whatever you call them Ã??Ã?Â¢?? these stalwarts of the chatbot industry have been used in customer service departments for years. However, unlike their simple cousins, today's chatbots need to be intelligent, purposeful and accurate to survive.
Siri and Alexa have changed consumer perceptions. Digital employees need to be able to understand the subtle ways humans use language and be able to pick out the relevant information from the customer's initial sentence. Rather than just guide customers through a series of preset FAQs, they need to be able to access additional information and third party databases, pulling all of the information together to give the right answer the first time.
Get it right and your chatbot can become a goldmine of actionable information that will help you improve the customer experience, understand market trends and increase profitability.
According to Gartner, by 2021 early adopter brands that redesign their website to support voice search will increase digital commerce by 30%. It's not just as simple as appending speech recognition technology and attaching it to your product database. To maximize the advantage, the virtual sales assistant must be proactive.
It needs to understand the customer's demands even when the sentence is complex. It has to be intelligent enough to predict what the customer is looking for and anticipate associated products they may want to purchase. But most importantly, the automated sales assistant needs to collate this information and use it, combined with what it already knows about the customer Ã??Ã?Â¢?? their likes and dislikes for example Ã??Ã?Â¢?? to deliver a uniquely personal service.
The benefit to the enterprise, aside from an increase in sales, is detailed data about their customer to use in additional promotions and actionable information on trends and business insights, including the reason for cart drop outs.
Second line support
Most virtual assistants are external facing, helping customers on a website or via a mobile phone find the right answer to their queries and have shown a great deal of success too when used within call centers themselves as second line support.
Sometimes they infiltrate into the workplace as staff turn to the assistant on the customer facing website because it's faster than internal systems. Other companies have deliberately built them for intranet use to ensure a consistent and accurate message to customers. Proven to reduce repeat calls and waiting times by up to 65%, they are invaluable in sectors that have a high turnover of staff but complex products to give advice on.
Conversational User Interface
Customer service, sales and support aren't the only areas that can benefit from conversational applications. No longer content with just inquiring out the weather or a nearby restaurant Ã??Ã?Â¢?? enterprise users want to look up customer information and retrieve status reports while on the move.
In order to do so effectively, enterprise conversational UI's need to be able to remember pertinent facts, recognize and clarify ambiguity, carry on conversations as the user switches devices and use other factors such as legacy and third party systems as part of the interaction.
Just as they hve done with consumer orientated collaboration technology, enterprise users are bringing personal assistant apps into the workplace because they can see it dramatically improve their experience. By adding an intelligent and conversational UI into mobile apps, organizations can truly differentiate themselves from their competitors and increase efficient at the same time.
Delivering Frictionless Customer Engagement
The real future for conversational AI is to deliver an intelligent holistic approach to the entire customer life cycle. All too often, in an attempt to drive efficiencies, organizations turn to automated channels, but by ignoring a few simple rules, they end up delivering faceless environments that fail to impress and don't connect with the customer.
To revitalize that relationship, enterprises need to reach out to consumers with applications that engage them. A digital employee that utilizes artificial intelligence to deliver human-like conversation achieves significantly higher levels of customer engagement than its first generation virtual assistant cousin. More engagement means more available actionable data.
For businesses looking for innovative, cost effective ways to build a closer relationship with their customers, intelligent conversational applications developed to specifically deliver incremental improvements at every stage of the customer life cycle will greatly impact on overall profitability.