January 24, 2019

Chatbots are transforming customer service

Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence are dramatically changing customer service. The use of these new technologies is transforming the customer experience by reducing cost, extending service hours, freeing agents to deal with added-value transactions; and most importantly, meeting customers’ preference to be self-serviced via their smart phone or tablet.

Chatbots are quickly becoming a vital part of the contact center environment. Despite being a relatively new technology, customers have come to view them as an integral tool in their communication with brands. According to Usabilla, in a survey conducted, “almost three out of four of respondents said that they have used chatbots already, and of those who have not, sixty percent said that they would feel comfortable doing”1.    “Chatbots can resolve up to 80% of queries, which means they are likely to be trusted with your customers”, mentioned according to Forbes2.

For almost any contact center project, you will consult and hire at least one specialized systems integrator. For a chatbot implementation project, make sure the systems integrator selected demonstrates the following qualities:

Leading integrator of full contact center solutions that is aware of best practices and key considerations for incorporating chatbots into your customer experience approach.

Has significant expertise in deploying chatbot services in contact centers as part of a global digital transformation process.

Must aim to have the chatbot integrated into business processes (like CRM, etc.), and the contact center information systems to provide automated and personalized customer experience.

Common use cases where chatbots have an impact on customer experience

The rise of instant messaging apps has led to a fundamental shift in the way people communicate with businesses. Chatbots have become an integral part of the contact center technology stack and platforms. There are many types of customer interactions and queries for which chatbots are well suited and preferred by customers; such as:

getting a quick answer;

resolving a simple problem;

receiving detailed explanation;

update personal information;

providing feedback;

scheduling appointments;

finding a human customer service assistant;

reviewing recent transactions;

updating/cancelling orders;

updating payment information;

changing home address and contact information;

checking account balance, paying a bill; and

making reservations

The importance and benefits of chatbots for the end-2-end customer experience

Customers expect a great and smooth user experience. They want communication with a brand to be easy, intuitive and personalized. The main benefits customers receive when they interact with chatbots are:

24 hours service;

instant response;

convenient support;

easy communication; and

faster resolution of complaints.

The transition from a chatbot to a live agent

Considering the large spectrum of types of interactions with contact centers, chatbots can replace some of the tasks that people are now handling – especially lower-level requests and questions. Other tasks, like dealing with a customer complaint should be handled by an agent. In some situations, a customer interaction can start with a chatbot, and then seamlessly transfer to a human who can finish assisting the customer.

The systems integrator must have proven experience in the deployment of chatbots that can not only interact autonomously with the end-customer, but also involve a human agent in the conversations, whenever an intervention is needed.

The importance of CTI connectors to a CRM platform, like Salesforce

The combination of a Salesforce with Contact Center expertise is unique and uncommon. Ideally, you should find a specialist with this combination; and with strategic connections in your CRM ecosystem. A certified partner of Salesforce, as an example, with focus in Service Cloud will enable organizations using this platform to maximize their Contact Center performance and their customer experience in a full Omnichannel mode. The setup of a true omnichannel Contact Center in Salesforce can be achieved by a natively embedded CTI solution or via connectors to existing solutions. Connectors are an important part of the integration to a CRM like Salesforce.

Find a systems integrator that is a formally registered and certified partner of your CRM platform, and specializes in the deployment of contact center solutions. As an example, with Salesforce Service Cloud, our clients can support their customers everywhere to keep the conversation flowing. In addition, they can automate service processes, streamline workflows, and find key articles, topics and experts to support their agents. The purpose of Service Cloud is to foster one-on-one relationships with every customer across multiple channels on any device.

The implementation project – the systems integrator delivery success FACTOR

The systems integrator is crucial to the successful implementation of a chatbot solution in contact centers: It helps to get better contacts via any channel. This is achieved by means of advice, solution design, technology selection, implementation and support.

The systems integrator works directly for customers, and sometimes on behalf of another integrator. For some projects it does a portion of all the processes; and for others, it may act as a one-stop-shop solutions implementor. Organizations opt for a systems integrator because it executes faster, better and in a more cost effective manner.

For at least the foreseeable future, chatbots won’t be replacing humans in contact center jobs, but they are revolutionizing the way brands stay in touch with their customers, thus making them quite valuable. Using a systems integrator allows you to maximize the use of your internal resources; and free up your agents, transferring to you its knowhow, and making you independent. This will help you take advantage of the full potential of applying chatbots and AI in every aspect of project management and process optimization. 

1: From <https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/usabilla#section-overview>

2: From <https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2019/01/23/what-to-consider-before-leveraging-chatbots-for-your-business/#5cd625001c6a>