Companies are adopting and integrating digital interactions into their customer lifecycle. As a result, Bots have become an important part of the workforce. Especially now, as so many companies have had to rightsize their organizations to suit a shifting workforce and an increase in customer inquiries.
Because the use of bots across digital channels is skyrocketing, there’s a pretty good chance consumers have had multiple bot experiences. Good, bad, or indifferent. Why settle for anything less than a great bot experience for your customer though. In this post, we’ll show you what the interaction looks like for your customers, but first, let’s take a closer look at why it’s important to create a great bot interaction.
Why Develop A Great Bot Interaction
Even before COVID, bots were growing in popularity. Salesforce predicts a 136% growth rate in the use of AI chatbots and according to Gartner, by 2020, around 85% of our interactions will be handled by bots instead of humans. This is not because they have replaced humans entirely, but because they have augmented humans by taking care of the tasks that don’t require a human to complete.
More companies are turning to bots to facilitate a variety of common or repetitive tasks, to free up agents to handle more complex interactions. Bots can be integrated into a spectrum of workflows across an organization, like customer referral programs or promotional offers. Whether it’s a bot that greets your customers and gathers data to route them to the best suited agent or queue, or a bot that presents offers based on past purchases, bots can do a lot of heavy lifting.
In short, as bots become more integrated into your processes and workflows, interactions with your bots become intertwined with your brand. Just like training any new employee, you’ll want your bot to deliver against your brand values and voice. Every company is different, but there are a few key characteristics that are consistent with a great bot experience.
Characteristics Of A Great Bot Experience: Make It Purpose-Built
It’s important to remember that your bot will only be as good as your configuration of it. Thoughtfully planning out your bot flow before you jump into any bot designer is critical. Here are a few considerations you should keep top of mind when designing your bot.
While the customer should know they are chatting with a bot, it shouldn’t feel like they are interacting with a machine. If your agents would normally say “Hey! Glad you’re here. How can I help you?” configure your bot to do the same. Ensure the bot mirrors your brand voice. Keep questions clear and simple with short suggested answers to make it easy for your customer to understand and respond.
A great bot experience will usher the customer through a frictionless workflow with the shortest path possible to the answer they’re looking for. Design a bot that can transfer conversations to other queues, agents, or even other bots if necessary.
Just because it’s artificial intelligence doesn’t mean you can’t make your bot genuinely smart. Teach your bot industry terms, synonyms for common words, and alternate ways a customer might ask a question. A bot can deliver a great experience by being emotionally intelligent too. Enable sentiment analysis to understand your customers’ tone and general attitude during an interaction to deliver a personalized experience, or to automatically escalate to a live agent when necessary.
Integrate your bot with other backend systems and/or your CRM. Make it easy for your bot to retrieve information that your customer needs to resolve their inquiry. Bots shine when it comes to retrieving information quickly. Finding an order number, sending a link to track the status of a shipment, or helping a customer reset a password are the easy, low effort requests that can be frustrating for customers to call or email about.
Your customers aren’t using just one digital platform. Design a bot that can converse across multiple digital platforms. Keep it consistent by building one bot and enabling across multiple digital channels such as web chat, SMS/text, and social media.
Set The Chatbot Bar
Each experience your customer has with a chatbot creates their expectations of what the next experience should look like. Designing with the features above in mind can help you set the bar high for chatbot experiences.
If you’re ready to implement chatbots, or would like to learn more about this topic, register for the REPLAY of the June 9, 2020 webinar, “Embrace and Activate Digital Customer Engagement for Future Success.”
Blog post, written by Quiq
Quiq helps brands present their customers with consistently jaw-dropping customer experiences across SMS/text messaging, rich messaging, web chat, and social channels.