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Chatbots have quickly moved from lofty vision to technological reality. In fact, 61% of consumers think that chatbots are the future of customer service. However, as chatbot technology has advanced and become more nuanced, gaps still remain between the promise of value and its actual delivery – and even chatbot meaning!
These gaps aren’t caused by bot technology itself, but rather by misplaced expectations of performance or a lack of thorough understanding of the various types of bots available.
You know how effective chatbots are, but chances are there are some people inside your organization who aren’t fully on board yet. Read this guide to learn how to show them the light!Read on
To help bridge these gaps and provide chatbot ideas for beginners and the more experienced, we’ve compiled the top 10 chatbot frequently asked questions (FAQs) to begin your journey and start learning AI chatbot basics. but before this, let’s begin with a simple chatbot definition:
“A computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.”
When you’re first diving into the world chatbots, you may hear people talking about different terms like ‘Natural Language Processing’, ‘Machine Learning’, and ‘Intents’, but have no idea what they mean. Here are the definitions to the top seven bot-specific terms you need to know:
Different types of bots can handle different use cases. Here are some examples:
If you have customers, bots are right for you. A common misconception is that bots are only useful if you meet certain criteria or have certain scenarios. In reality, all businesses can benefit from bots, no matter the size.
The better question is: Which type of bot is best for you? Chatbots come in many sizes and shapes. Even if you don’t have a particularly high chat volume, your agents can still benefit from an agent-facing bot. Another example is even if you don’t have live chat, your customers can benefit from social media bots.
Bots aren’t just customer-facing – they can also help your agents be more efficient and productive. Agent-facing bots live directly in the agent console and analyze previous and current chat interactions to suggest responses, links, videos, and other resources that may be suitable. We call this Agent Assist. These functionalities mean that your agents can use bots to deliver accurate responses to customer queries more quickly, without having to hunt for the information or answer.
Recommended for you: Agent Assist ROI Calculator
Bots improve the customer experience by giving your customers the quick answers they demand, on their terms, anytime and anywhere they want. With the ability to provide 24/7 customer service and take on a virtually unlimited amount of customer queries simultaneously, bots are your queue busters and central automated hubs of information.
Taking it a step further, if your bot can’t answer a query, it’ll automatically route the customer to an agent who can – while also handing off the transcript to help the agent contextualize the interaction. No channel pivoting means no customers falling through the cracks. That’s a customer experience win.
According to our benchmark report, bots are currently involved in 59% of all chat interactions – 1 in 4 of those are handled from start to finish without an agent. Your chatbot volume distribution will naturally vary between business hours and off-hours.
During business hours, bots should be your first line of defence for FAQs. Then there are customers that you would want instantly routed to an agent, like VIPs, those with urgent technical issues, or other specific criteria that apply to your business. Taking those parameters into consideration, bots should be handling at least half of all incoming chat volume.
During off-hours, your bots should be the first touch for 100% of all queries, with the ability to pass the more complex offline messages to an agent at a later time.
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As mentioned previously, different types of bots will have varying features. That said, there are some key features that are non-negotiable:
The hardest part is getting started. Once you kick off the process and have your ducks in a row, everything else is smooth sailing. You can expect to face challenges while building your bot if you don’t plan it out properly.
For example, if you build a bot without first analyzing your chat transcripts, support emails, and phone calls, it might not be helpful to your customers. Other examples like not assigning clear ownership of the bot, not testing it prior to rollout, and/or maintaining it will cause challenges if not planned properly.
You need to align your bot with both business goals and customer needs and create a comprehensive deployment strategy otherwise you’ll have problems down the line.
Chatbot technology has no specific security concerns that differ from any other system. While you may have industry-specific requirements (like HIPAA or FedRAMP compliance), the technology itself is no less ‘safe’ or ‘secure’ than any other platform. As long as your website and technology stack itself are set up securely and you take steps to ensure that your customer data is secure, then there’s no need to worry about security breaches with a bot.
That said, not every bot platform adheres to the same standards (just like other software). If you have specific requirements, get your IT team involved and ask the tough questions before you choose a bot vendor.
As with any technology investment, chatbots are only as good as how they’re implemented and maintained. But if you plan and build out your bot with clear objectives and measurable milestones, success will be within your reach. You will know if your chatbot is successful through agent and customer feedback; decreased offline messages; and/or improved KPIs such as CSAT, shopping cart conversion, and others specific to your use case.
While bots may seem daunting at first, just remember one simple thing: Chatbots are automation systems designed to make your business run more efficiently. If you can clearly articulate your goals and stay focused on them, you will succeed. You don’t need to be a bot expert or know how to code complex scripts to build a successful chatbot. Answering these essential questions will get you 80% of the way there – the remaining 20% is tailoring the bot to your specific requirements.
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