All of the benefits associated with implementing bots can make bot technology sound magical, almost surreal: an unlimited number of 24/7 support agents that work alongside human agents to reduce work time and increase customer satisfaction. Sounds almost too good to be true, if it weren’t for the fact that so many successful companies are already employing bots.
Retail giants like Pier 1 are incorporating bots into human-led conversations to collect repetitive information. But bot usage is not just limited to large corporations. Companies like lifestyle clothing brand Stio spoke about the company’s bot journey, citing that the implementation of messaging alone reduced the number of phone calls by 9% within the first month and the introduction of bots saving 83 priceless agent hours within 2 weeks.
With so many businesses rapidly adopting bots and quickly realizing benefits to their bottom line, the question isn’t if you should implement bots, but how and when. Here are three things to consider that may help you demystify those questions.
Why Do Bots Work
Bots are a programmable interface used to complete tasks once done by humans but work best when they work alongside human agents. The difference between a bot doing a simple task and a human agent doing the same task is that bots do it faster, and usually error-free. For example, bots can fill out a form, send an email to customers based on a predetermined trigger, or respond to a simple customer request, leaving human agents to the work that only humans can do.
Most bots are simply a set of rules that determine how a question should be handled. Bots work because those sets of rules are programmed by the humans who understand what requests typically require a simple, contained response, which ones need to be escalated, and which ones need to be routed to specialists.
Bots and what they can do should not be oversimplified, however. Bots are capable of handling more complex tasks such as identifying keywords that prioritize conversations over others. For example, bots can be told to prioritize conversations that contain the words “buy” or “purchase” over conversations that contain words such as “return” to enable human agents to convert more sales.
Where to Implement Bots
Bots are making such a substantial impact because they can be implemented across a broad spectrum of industries in a multitude of departments to address a myriad of situations. Credit Unions are using bots to open accounts and process loans faster. Retailers are using bots for pre-sales service and post-sales support. Travel and hospitality are utilizing bots to book rooms and amenities and even enhance the guest’s stay by providing outbound notifications. You name it, bots are likely already doing it.
Quiq believes that bots work for and with everyone in the organization, even other bots. With Quiq’s messaging software, bots can transfer conversations to human agents, queues, or even to other bots – at any point in the conversation: beginning, middle, or end. Managers are able to view the productivity of bot-owned conversations, just like they can monitor human agents. In fact, agents and managers can observe bot conversations and take over the conversation from the bot if needed.
Don’t pigeon-hole your bots into just one task or department. Don’t even constrain your bot(s) to one part of the customer conversation. Bots can and should seamlessly work throughout the entire customer experience in every department. You can orchestrate a bot strategy to work seamlessly across your organization.
When to Implement a Bot
For many Quiq clients, implementing web chat and/or messaging has been the impetus to launch bots. With so many customers eager to engage with a company through digital channels like SMS/text messaging, web chat, Apple Business Chat, and social channels like Facebook and Twitter, incorporating bots into the conversation is a natural next step.
While some things, like trying snowshoeing for the first time, could be approached with a “Let’s see where this goes” attitude, bot building is not one of those things. We recommend you plan the experience you’d like to deliver before sitting down to configure your bot.
Examine the moments in customer conversations where additional resources could be most useful to a human agent. A bot could start a conversation by gathering customer information or inquiry type so that the conversation can be properly routed. A bot could be introduced in the middle of a conversation to ask diagnostic questions or even end the conversation to gauge satisfaction.
At Quiq, we suggest you take a look at all of your digital channels and understand the traffic from each. Understand which channels will have to carry the biggest load for conversations and consider if each channel will need a different bot experience. Once you’ve thoughtfully planned out the experience you’d like your bot to deliver you’re ready to launch.
Bring Bots to Life
Actually launching a bot doesn’t necessarily take any coding skills. Bringing bots to life within your organization can be as easy as clicking and dragging if-then statements, which is essentially how Quiq’s bots are designed.
At Quiq, we’ve worked with enough clients, big and small, to provide the guidance necessary to implement bots across an organization. If bots still seem a bit bewildering, we’d be happy to walk you through our bot strategy and Quiq’s Messaging software so you can get started on your bot journey.
Guest post, written by: Marciela Ross, Sr. Manager, Content Marketing at Quiq
To learn more about this topic, register to listen to the replay of the Execs In The Know and Quiq webinar, Cut Through The Noise: How To Bring Bots to Life, featuring corporate brands – Nintendo and Stio. This webinar was originally hosted on November 19, 2019.