In the current competitive marketplace, businesses are faced with opposing demands—to decrease customer service and operational costs while simultaneously improving customer experience and outcome. In 2019, we are seeing increased adoption of chatbots as a business tool to help accomplish these goals. And, analyses show that chatbots are delivering; they have contributed from up to 33% cost savings to CSAT improvement and revenue generation. According to Gartner, this trend will continue to grow with chatbots forecast to be integrated across a quarter of all customer service and support operations by 2020.
As recently as 2017, Facebook announced it was "refocusing" its use of AI after its bots hit a failure rate of 70%, meaning bots could only get to 30% of requests without some sort of human intervention. But, the technology is maturing fast. Today’s chatbots are a new and smarter breed, as they lead with the collective synergies of ever-evolving artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to inspire customer loyalty and satisfaction and drive increased conversions.
The reality is that chatbots are never going to truly feel emotion—certainly not on the same level as a human can. However, if you tune your bot to respond to sentiment, the experience can feel almost visceral. In a CX scenario, for instance, when the bot picks up on the anger or frustration of a customer, it can be trained to express empathy and understanding. This ability to react to emotion is also not limited to voice bots. Our "vocal personality" typically shows just as clearly as when we are texting. Therefore, the key is to apply this concept to text bots. Bots can learn to respond using emojis and acronyms to show a certain personality (using today’s OMG, LOL, BRB, etc.). Most importantly, bots should remain in character and never deviate. At the start of bot building, voice or text, bots can be created employing personality with purpose. By remaining in character, the bot will become more predictable and effective when communicating with humans. In terms of deployment, these bots are not always optimized, as in cases when they are unevenly implemented or unsupported by governance or process. In terms of the maturity of embracing this technology, organizations might not have the in-house expertise to optimize and train a machine learning, natural language processing AI model.
As true automation experts, technology consultants can position clients ahead of the pack with key differentiators—in terms of chatbot technology, process and talent. Those transformation drivers with an added edge are equipped with both best-in-class enterprise platforms (Microsoft, IBM, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google) and customer service expertise. These service providers bring domain expertise and a knowledge base of a range of industries, as well as a uniquely scalable and sustainable solution. As incubation innovators, these partners can custom fit chatbot solutions and serve as a creative hub for business disruption strategy, creation, deployment and testing.
Today’s bots increasingly provide a strong sense of reliability, consistency and ease of use, which are critical to meet the demand for a unified customer experience strategy. As the years progress, talking to a bot will be more and more akin to a human and will help to automate and supplement human interactions. Improvements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) mean that AI can understand the subtleties of speech and text. As a result, AI is getting better at problem solving and can understand complex queries and find solutions. This will help to improve experiences by augmenting what we do in our day-to-day. The bot will not replace the human element, but the two will work in tandem in our everyday lives.
About Larry Fleischman:
Larry Fleischman oversees global business development for Element Solutions, the digital consulting arm of the Hinduja Group based in the U.K. His team focuses on building digitally transformative solutions that solve real world challenges for our customers.
About Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd.:
A global provider in business process management (BPM) and optimising the customer experience lifecycle, HGS is helping to make its clients more competitive every day. HGS combines technology-powered services in automation, analytics and digital with domain expertise focusing on back office processing, contact centres and HRO solutions to deliver transformational impact to clients. Part of the conglomerate Hinduja Group, HGS takes a “globally local” approach, with over 42,371 employees across 72 delivery centres (as on 30th June 2019) in seven countries making a difference to some of the world’s brands across nine key verticals.
Published: Friday, October 11, 2019
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