A study revealed that 45.8 percent of consumers prefer interacting with a business via messaging than through email.
Email exchanges can be cold and impersonal. Messaging, on the other hand, allows businesses to connect with consumers in a more intimate and personalized way. However, maintaining this messaging connection through human personnel can be a perplexing task. Consequently, chatbots can be used as a medium to deliver a personalized experience, while reducing the chance of any human errors.
Chatbots are all set to revolutionize the customer service and experience sector. This rapidly rising trend can be menacing to those businesses that don’t know where to start.
Chatbots in Enterprises
With Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are advancing at a rapid pace, one of the areas that are certain to undergo a disruption in an enterprise is the customer channel- with chatbots.
Since a majority of customers are extremely active on popular messaging platforms (such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Telegram), chatbots have become the obvious addition for enterprises who wish to augment the customer experience and journey.
Chatbots not only reduce the cost to serve for business, but they also promote greater engagement and ease of use.
However, despite the several evident benefits of chatbots, these virtual agents are still not mainstream in the enterprise world. This is because there is a learning curve involved in installing chatbots. Also, a lot of enterprises find it challenging to select the appropriate bot for their business.
In this article, we will talk about the top six considerations that businesses must bear in mind while selecting a chatbot for their company. The chatbot they select must align with the organizational goals as well as customer expectations. Getting the right technology from the very start will not just simplify customer experience but also bring in long-term loyalty to your business.
Define the problem you are trying to solve
Every business is different in terms of its organizational goals and objectives. The chatbot that you select must be relevant to the needs of your business.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach with a chatbot. Before selecting a chatbot for your business, you must understand your customer journey, learn about their current user experience as well as fathom their critical pain points. Depending upon all these factors, you can get a specifically designed chatbot that suits your business requirements.
Whether you want a chatbot for any particular campaign, self-service interactions, lead generation, workforce efficiency, process automation or Q&As, identifying the real needs of your customers in advance will lead your business towards success.
Decide whether you need your chatbot to support multiple channels
As your audience pool expands, you will see that the customers are scattered across a number of different digital platforms. But whichever channel your customers are using, they still expect the customer experience to be completely seamless and hassle-free.
So, if you choose a chatbot for your website, make sure the same chatbot is also optimized for other digital platforms such as social media, mobile apps, voice channels, etc. This helps to create and maintain a holistic brand experience and keep the users attached to the brand.
Make sure your chatbot knows when to start interacting with the customers
Now is the era of intelligent chatbots, i.e. bots who know when it’s best to engage with the customers.
Instead of continuously approaching the customers with requests to interact, an intelligent chatbot knows when it is the right time to begin a conversation. In case a customer is browsing the website without any difficulty, its best to leave them alone. It is only when the customer is stuck somewhere that a well-targeted chatbot should intervene and offer assistance.
If you run a highly sophisticated business setup, you can consider investing in AI-powered chatbots. These are extremely advanced bots that combine AI and Machine Learning to remember the context of the conversation and user preferences. They can seamlessly jump from one point of predefined conversation situation to another when needed and address random user requests at any time.
Check whether the chatbot incorporates natural language processing and speech support
Simply developing a chatbot for your business is not enough. It should also be adequately trained to understand user intent and reply with relevant answers. The conversation they have with customers should feel like it’s natural and could be with a real person. This is only possible if your chatbot development platform incorporates Natural Language Processing (NLP) and speech support.
A chatbot needs to be able to comprehend, recollect and continuously learn from the data collected in order to evolve with the customer’s needs. At this stage, you can use Machine Learning to improve the efficiency of the bot and make it respond in a more natural way.
Additionally, it is important to ensure that the tone of your chatbot is right. Your chatbot is an extension of your brand. It is like the voice that welcomes your customers online. Therefore, it should have a speaking tone that is in sync with the aesthetics of your brand. Besides, the bot should also know its users and potentially modify its language and tone for specific users and specific products.
A piece of advice: A chatbot that tries too hard to use slangs and jargons can come across as embarrassingly awkward or more so, culturally insensitive.
Make sure your chatbot is backed by industry experience
Many times, a chatbot can encounter situations where it is unable to answer customer queries. In order to evade such situations, you must always engage with experienced and knowledgeable conversational design experts. These experts can help to make the interactions much more human-like and remove friction in the customer experience process.
Additionally, it is important to identify and engage with the right technology and platform service providers that possess substantial domain knowledge and industry experience.
You must talk to your chosen service provider and decide upon the best chatbot development platform and relevant framework that will facilitate speed, flexibility, and scalability in order to support your customers and employees.
Ability to measure the impact of the chatbot
While developing a chatbot for your business, make sure you have unrestrained access to a graphics interface that allows you to measure the efficiency of the chatbot. Through this, you can acquire analytical data about the conversations the chatbot is having with your customers. You can also measure whether the bot is successful in meeting your customer needs by addressing their pain points.
Finally, you can see how well the chatbot is delivering value to your business. Without such a setup, you will be unable to measure the impact of your bot and determine whether it is valuable for your business.
The customers today are more insistent than ever, with greater expectations and much lower tolerance levels. Instead of having your customers go through the arduous process to get what they are looking for, start their journey with one question “How can I help you today?”
Use the aforementioned tips to select the right chatbot for your business and thus make sure that the customer expectations are duly met.