Here are four ways chatbots augment human agents in providing delightful customer experiences without getting in the way.

In today’s digital world, customer service expectations are evolving at such a fast pace. Fast response times, round-the-clock availability and omnichannel service sit high on the wish list of today’s consumers when asked about customer service expectations.  

Across industries, investments towards projects that utilize AI capabilities are increasing. Delivering a better customer experience (CX) has been was identified as the leading driver for AI adoption by more than half the large companies surveyed.

One popular way to boost CX is by using chatbots that run on natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU) to produce precise answers, send targeted messages and engage with users on web, mobile, and other social messengers, anytime, anywhere.

  1. Provide faster and more convenient service
    Live chats can be used to answer simple questions and address customers’ queries within seconds, enabling organizations to provide faster and more efficient service at a lower cost. This accelerates the service process significantly and deflects repetitive tasks that would otherwise fall on the customer service agents’ workload.

    For instance, customers often forget to provide account or order details in their initial message to web shops. A chatbot can automatically request for the missing information from the customer before the call is routed to a customer service agent. By the time the service agent picks up the call, relevant details would have been provided. With all the necessary information already available, the agent can proceed to help the customer quickly.
  2. Working outside office hours
    Customers can reach out to organizations around the clock without being limited by traditional service hours, thanks to chatbots. They are not dependent on location and can help customers any time of the day, including on holidays and weekends.

    Simple questions and basic account inquiries can be handled by a system that helps customers receive answers quickly without having to deal with waiting times. For more complex issues, the system can create a ticket in the service desk so that the customer can be contacted by one of the customer service agents during office hours.
  3. Improve customer and employee satisfaction
    When routine work and recurring questions are handled by advanced chatbots, customer service agents will have more time to provide better service to customers.

    Once the system detects that the customer issue requires more attention, the call can be immediately transferred to the next available live agent and all necessary information can seamlessly be transferred at any moment to answer the customer’s queries effectively.

    With less time spent on answering customer queries, employees can focus on more value-added tasks that increase job satisfaction.
  4. Offer efficiency and cost savings
    Chatbots can handle dozens of messages simultaneously while keeping labor costs down. These smart bot are also useful in automating repetitive tasks that run in the background. For instance, a bot can tag messages with specific topics to automate categorization (tag bot), route incoming messages to the right employee (router bot), provide standard answers after office hours (after office hours bot) and mark messages as complete if no further action is required (complete bot).

The chatbot-human interface

Since even smart AI-driven chatbots only augment real customer support agents, organizations need to know their target audience and how they usually prefer to get support. This knowledge should answer basic questions such as “How can chatbots help customers have a good experience that will increase their satisfaction level?” or “Which problems and challenges can chatbots help solve for the customers and the organization?”

Another important factor for a successful chatbot application lies in a good mix of technology and people. Behind every chatbot, there should be a human customer service agent that the conversation can be handed over to when necessary. There will always be customer inquiries that are too complex.  These will require empathic responses or out-of-the-box thinking. Customers should be able to connect seamlessly to a service agent at the right point. Chatbots should positively contribute to the resolution of customer issues and should not get in the way of the customer that wishes to interact with a human customer service agent.

Also, to ensure that an AI chatbot is working well and is continuously improving, monitor and assess it regularly. In practice, this is often a task that customer service agents take over. Ideally, they work with the chatbot hand-in-hand in the same service desk environment and know exactly how the chatbot works, which tasks it should solve and what it is allowed and not allowed to do.

With the right technology to interface chatbots with humans, organizations can focus on truly listening to consumers’ needs to delight them with personalized CX.