AI & Intelligence Augmentation

4 Gut Checks for Chatbots and Customer Service

As tech audiences get excited about the possibilities for chatbots, it’s important to ask: Is this a customer-focused technology?

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Your technology team is excited about investing in chatbots. The executives evaluating your company’s bottom line envision faster turnaround times, fewer staff hours spent on rote tasks and a big return on investment. Yet, one important area company and marketing leaders must consider is whether chatbots are a customer-centric choice for your organization. As you move forward with launching chatbots to gather information, interact with leads, and provide customer service, here are four ways to make sure you’re always putting the customer first.

Does the chat experience feel organic? When customers visit your website and encounter a chatbot, the best result is that they never know they’re not speaking to a person. A customer-centric approach to creating a chatbot experience, whether for customer service or sales, should ensure the user experience and interface are seamless enough that a customer feels taken care of—and never questions whether a computer has just solved their problem.

Is it smart enough to get to the point? One of the advantages of using chatbots is that they can be programmed for a variety of outcomes, and perhaps they recognize them faster than human customer service agents. In short, a chatbot powered by careful programming and AI can quickly and efficiently determine what a customer wants. Leverage the back-end capabilities that are available today, but also be prepared to make adjustments as the technology evolves.

Have you provided a clear offboarding point? Where does the chatbot interaction end and a member of your staff pick up? Often, a chatbot interface is perfect for collecting basic information or referring customers to what they need. It’s critical to be clear about the moment at which a team member should step in. That bot-to-human handoff is essential, and timing is everything.

Are you focusing on the right areas of your business? Chatbots are attractive because they allow you to use technology to offload certain parts of your workflow. However, it’s important to ask whether you’re targeting the right areas of your business. Chatbots are best for routine tasks, where the personal touch to your business won’t suffer.

Chatbots are the future of basic customer service, and today’s leading-edge companies are embracing the technology. Ask the right questions to ensure the way you’re approaching implementing bot support in your business puts customers first, and you’ll be well on your way to capturing the full benefit of this important innovation.