A majority of organizations already believe adopting Artificial Intelligence will be important to meeting their overall business goals – and as customer experience (CX) becomes increasingly important meeting those goals will require modernizing the contact center.
As with any new technology, chatbots can take many forms — from a simple button-based option to a bot with advanced features such as sentiment analysis and Machine Learning, with each solution offering different business advantages. Deciding on the best fit to address business needs and customer needs is critical. With the potential for a strong ROI and improved consumer loyalty riding on great CX, there is a lot at stake. It’s not a question of whether or not businesses need a chatbot — 61% of consumers think chatbots are the future of customer service — but which type of chatbot is the best solution for an organization’s specific needs.
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The simplest of chatbots are equipped with decision-tree capabilities that use a rigid framework to guide chat users through pre-defined options, presented through buttons. This kind of chatbot could be a good option for businesses looking to redirect visitors with simple or frequently asked questions away from human agents who quickly tire from the mundane.
The power of Natural Language Processing (NLP) creates a more advanced chatbot with the ability to analyze human language to understand the user’s intent and respond accordingly. Unlike button-based bots, this chatbot responds to free-form text and can prompt users with clarifying questions as if it were a human agent. Brands can customize and program this chatbot with keyword recognition and integrations to allow for different actions within the chat window, including authentication, geo-location and completing transactions. Its machine learning abilities allow the chatbot to learn new concepts through data gleaned from conversations, which means the chatbot will improve its performance over time as it collects feedback from users and agents.
The most powerful form of chatbot adds even more advanced linguistic capabilities like sentiment analysis. While in both cases the bot can understand nuance to get to the heart of what a customer is asking, a more advanced model can determine if the customer seems upset and then escalate the conversation to a human agent.
The path to better customer experience is through knowing what kind of support customers need and when they need it, CX strategies and contact center technology can be customized accordingly. Chatbots — rudimentary or advanced — offer significant opportunities to increase engagement, make human agent work more interesting, and answer customer questions more efficiently. It’s not a question of “if,” it’s a question of “how.”