Remember when you used to call a restaurant to ask, “what is your most popular dish”? Or when you had to email IT support for a software that you wanted to download on your laptop?
How we interact with businesses and colleagues has changed significantly over the years. The move to online, Cloud migration, advances in cybersecurity, and the influx of social media and messaging applications has enabled new behavioral patterns and consumer habits to form.
We can see evidence of these new habits in the fact that people are now interacting with businesses through email, web form, and websites, instead of by picking up the phone and calling. However, searching through a website for information that you are looking for or sending emails with typically high wait times, does not make for the best customer experience.
According to Forbes, over 60% of consumers are likely to use chatbots to interact with businesses today — especially consumers in the 18–34 age group.
Good chatbots can solve customer issues faster and address questions more effectively. All while ensuring high consumer satisfaction. Short, quick responses — so familiar to consumers in the digital asynchronous world we live in.
However, creating a good chatbot is not as easy as taking what a server at the restaurant would do, and putting it in a chat interface.
Picture this. You have placed an order for a book by Malcolm Gladwell. The estimated delivery date has passed and you want to know the status of your order. So you get on the product website and start interacting with a chatbot. It displays a menu of options that you can choose from, but ‘orders’ is not one of them. You click on every option hoping that you will find an ‘order status’ button in the sub-menus. You finally find an option called ‘What is my order status’ under the Promotions option. When you click on that option, you are asked to enter your order number and told that you’re being redirected to a live agent who will provide you with the status of your order. After all that, once you finally get to the live chat, the agent asks you what the issue you are facing is.
Just enough to push me past my Tipping Point (pun intended).
Now, imagine: the dispositions and response strategy are analyzed and the flows are designed to be intuitive and relevant. The top dispositions (like ‘order status’) are displayed on the main menu so that customers don’t need to search to find what they are looking for. The bot is integrated with the order management system, so when they choose the order they want to know the status of, the details are pulled and displayed to the user. The issue is resolved quickly and effectively. When it is a complex issue, within a few clicks the bot understands that it needs to transfer to a live agent, transfers it seamlessly, and provides the agent with the chat summary so they are up to speed. Most importantly, every user click and feedback is stored to provide actionable insights and analytics to the business. Enabling updates to the bot flow, backed by user data.
A perfect marriage between Design, Tech, and Integrations, that is the key to any good chatbot. Whether you’re building an external consumer bot or an internal enterprise bot, the stakeholders, use cases, and flows may change — but the process will largely remain the same.
Current technology has allowed us to develop some fascinating bots for various use cases. E-commerce bots with guided flows and live agent integrations, L1/L2 support bots for IT support tickets consisting of free-flowing text, Alexa/Google Home voice bots for travel booking, or product/services inquiry and even conversational email response bots that use context and historical data to generate suitable human-like responses.
Comment with some of your best (and maybe least favorite) chatbot experiences or any use cases that you think would be perfect to botify!
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