By now, we all know that chatbots are an effective way to contain costs while handling a growing number of customer requests – but should bots be used to automate all journeys? Does embracing AI mean saying goodbye to your human agents, or is there a way to incorporate chatbots so everyone (customers, agents, and enterprises) wins?
While it might be tempting to automate as much as possible, the best way to embrace bots (without sacrificing customer service) is to focus on providing blended experiences that feature the right mix of chatbots and agents.
Why? Not all customer journeys can or should be automated, and more and more organizations are finding that the best journeys are those that feature AI and human agents working side by side to seamlessly solve a problem. With blended experiences, agents train bots, and bots assist agents to guide customers down the shortest and easiest path to resolution. Everyone wins.
How Customers Benefit
In many ideal experiences, chatbots are the first point of contact for customers, giving them the option to self-serve and complete their journey. The goal for chatbots should be to take the interaction as far as possible. If they get to a point where they don’t understand what the customer wants, they can ask an agent to clarify and return to complete the interaction, or transfer the customer to the agent, maintaining the entire context of the conversation. Either way, the interaction is completely seamless for the customer.
How Agents Benefit
Imagine having to answer the same question over and over, day after day. This does not make for stimulating work. By allowing chatbots to handle mundane customer questions, your human agents are free to focus on more interesting and challenging customer inquiries, which is much more fulfilling for them. Chatbots can also help agents work smarter and faster by predicting intent, and proactively suggesting responses while the agent is interacting with a customer. Agents also help bots learn by tagging conversations so bots gain a better understanding of customer intent, which helps them deliver more accurate responses.
In the United States, even when people love a company or product, 59 percent will walk away after several bad experiences, [and] 17 percent [will walk away] after just one bad experience.
How Enterprises Benefit
The ROI on blended experiences can be enormous – better experiences for customers, reduced costs, and the ability to handle an increasing volume of customer requests efficiently, without adding to your headcount. Happier agents will reduce turnover, while happier customers will lead to improved CSAT and NPS scores.
Companies deploying chatbots have seen their call, chat, and email volumes drop by 70 percent, and their customer satisfaction score soar.
Ready to start blending? A number of factors will impact your success. Find out what you need to get started in our eBook, Bots Helping Agents, Agents Helping Bots, and Customers Reaping the Benefits.
In the eBook, we outline what seamless blended experiences look like in today’s digital world, the key ingredients required for successful blended experiences, and 10 ways your organization will benefit by providing the seamless experiences customers want.