So, you’ve decided that conversational marketing is right for your business, and you’re planning on implementing an AI chatbot. What are your first steps? How do you get started?
On this episode of Solving for CX, we jump right into a chat with Connor Cirillo, Conversational Marketing Manager at Hubspot. Connor discusses how artificial intelligence and AI chatbots can be set up to drive the success of an organization. Considering outcome goals and the challenges you may have to overcome, Connor's insightful comments on conversational AI strategy are illuminating and will have you considering the next steps in your AI journey.
The best chatbot approach begins at the very beginning of any customer interaction: identifying a problem to be solved. It may be that you’re excited about this process, and you're anxious to achieve significant change in your organization driven by this technology. While many are tempted to find multiple solutions to multiple problems, this is not the ideal approach to implementing conversational AI.
As Connor says, "get clarity." What is one single problem you're looking to solve? It might be helping customers reset passwords, or simplifying a step in your sales funnel. If you can identify a single problem, one that absorbs a considerable amount of time for the people on your team, you’ve identified a fantastic starting point in the implementation process.
One method is to base your problem on a metric or KPI within your organization. This “star” metric is one your whole business can rally around, including your leadership team. Building your AI chatbot to solve this single metric-based problem effectively is a pathway to success. Tweet this!. It is only once you’ve mastered this interaction that you should look for the next problem to solve.
If you jumped into advanced algebra without first learning long division, you too would feel lost. Be deliberate. Even if you’ve done a fantastic job identifying the problems you need to solve, simply put, don’t try to do them all at once. It’s about making slow and steady progress towards your goals, one step at a time.
Though most consumers and clients are becoming accustomed to interacting with automated voices and artificial intelligence systems, people continue to expect personalized relationships with businesses. Since this is the kind of interaction customers react most positively towards, AI implementation must be approached as both an art and a science.
On the art side, you've got empathy and context. These aspects of interaction are what humans do best. Empower the people working on your team to be more human: use AI chatbots to support them, freeing up time to allow for deeper interactions. On the science side, it is essential that your system can understand when it is unlikely to solve a problem and must escalate to a live agent. This reduces frustrations and ensures the best customer experience.
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The best chatbot is built on a solid foundation; to develop the best chatbot you must work slowly, accurately, and deliberately. Consider a phased approach. Placing milestones in the process will help you to sense the progress. Keep in mind that there should be nothing less than 100% success achieved before moving on. Setting small goals, or “eating the elephant one bite at a time,“ is the way through.
Too many platitudes in this section? Here’s one more for good measure: Rome wasn’t built in a day.
The biggest mistake businesses make is deciding to implement conversational AI thinking only about the bottom line. Tweet this!. Automating too much at once while striving to save money by reducing human overhead will set you up for failure. While saving money is great for your business, that isn't necessarily an immediate outcome and shouldn't be your first goal. Humans have gotten your business to where it is today; their empathy and understanding create the real interactions that your customers crave and connect with. As a result, it's a mistake to think that chatbots will replace humans in your organization. Instead, think of how they will enhance the customer journey.
As a result, implementation goals should not be driven by finance or tied to fiscal targets. Goals should be oriented around questions like, “How can we make the people who work here more effective?”, “How can we scale our business?” or “How can we ensure our team has deeper interactions?”
The real bottom line? An AI chatbot system should ensure a better customer experience while allowing the humans who work for you to have time to do the work they are best at.
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