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By 8 May 2018 | Categories: news

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Article written in collaboration with Merchants.

Chatbots aren’t a new concept. For around 50 years they have evolved for use across numerous industries and for a number of different functions. With the creation and evolution of the chatbot, today’s consumers not only have the option to speak to a brand via technology rather than a person, but they prefer it.

According to the Can Virtual Experiences Replace Reality report released by Oracle, 78% of brands predict that in the next four years customer service will be provided by them through virtual reality, with 80% of the brands expecting to do so through chatbots. So with a large amount of confidence placed in chatbots, here’s how they can help you meet customer expectations of today, written in collaboration with Merchants.

Information collection

Collecting information can be a time consuming exercise, and is sometimes required before an answer can be given to a customer’s question. Chatbots can provide this service by asking customers to enter in the relevant information before passing them on to a relevant customer service agent. This frees up an agent’s time to focus on important calls, and reduces a customer’s on-call waiting periods.

Query classification

Chatbots not only collect information for later use, but can also filter requests so that a customer is connected to the agent best able to answer their query or provide a solution. Chatbots are able to filter information that is received and direct the customer to the next relevant step in the service process. Once the customer has entered their query, the system can determine the best route for assistance, whether it be assistance by an agent or directing the customer to the answer on an FAQ page or in an onsite article. The cognitive technology of chatbots allows them to provide an accurate assessment of the query, improving the chances of customers receiving the right answer or solution.

Information recommendation

During and after an engagement with a customer, chatbots can provide assistance by making recommendations to customers, informing them about any sales or new products available, or providing a link to your company’s latest news, blog article or video. This type of interaction allows for personalisation of service, and up or cross-selling products on top of the personalisation and marketing that your agents do. Chatbots have a great memory, unlike an agent who will not remember every interaction with every customer; chatbots are able to provide more accuracy the more they interact with a customer, therefore their recommendations will improve over time.

24-hour Customer engagement

Chatbots don’t turn off; they function on your website continuously throughout the day and night. This means that consumer requests can be handled, even after hours. Being able to answer questions or queries after hours not only helps a company get through the queries quicker, but also improves the service in general. Service time can be reduced by as much as five times, with operating costs reduced by as much as 66%. A chabot’s ability to get through more queries for a longer period of time improves both the service and the customer experience.

It’s important to note that chabots are not here to replace contact centre agents, but rather greatly enhance customer service in collaboration with agents. From collecting vital information and classifying queries, to providing recommendations and 24-hour support, chatbots are a feature of virtual reality here to help during the course of business process management. For more on chatbots and customer experience take a look at Bots Vs Humans - How Are Bots Assisting With Customer Experience?

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