Chatbots and AI : at the heart of an omnichannel customer experience

Automation and artificial intelligence continue to transform the way in which companies interact with their customers. According to Gartner, by 2022, 70% of customer interactions will include new technologies such as chatbots, machine learning applications, and mobile messaging. Gartner further states that by 2025, customer service organizations that have integrated AI into their multichannel customer engagement platform will increase operational efficiency by 25%. While the promises are big – for example, cost reduction,customer satisfaction improvement, and activity peak management –it is important to integrate chatbots into an omnichannel customer service strategy to guarantee the success of your automation plans.

Define your objectives

According to an IBM study, chatbots can reduce customer service costs by 30% and inbound contact volumes by about 30% to 40%. By offering 24/7 service, they also contribute to customers’ satisfaction by allowing them to find the answers to their questions at any time without any wait –an important advantage when considering that, according to a Hubspot study, 90% of customers state that it is « important » or « very important » to obtain an immediate answer for a customer service problem. As for contact center agents, their focus can shift to more complex interactions and therefore make them feel less stressed and subject to turnover. As they feel more efficient and valued, they can become the first ambassadors of your brand and deliver an optimal customer experience.

Identify automation opportunities

In order to succeed at automating your customer service, map out your customer journeys carefully to identify the most recurring, most time-consuming, or even the simplest requests. Analyze the number and type of managed interactions, your overall service quality, average handling times, and the wait times for different types of requests. These indicators will allow you to define the interactions which should be prioritized and can be automated – for example, shipment tracking or obtaining information about a bill. Your conversational chatbot can be programmed to respond to specific questions with pre-scripted scenarios, or rely on artificial intelligence to understand natural language and improve its responses progressively (machine learning).

Integrate your chatbots into omnichannel customer service

According to Forrester, 63% of consumers like using chatbots, as long as they are able to speak to an agent if needed. In other words, human contact remains the main pillar of customer experience when situations become more complex, sensitive, or emotional. In addition, according to l’Observatoire des Services Clients BVA 2020, 60% to 70% of European customers prefer human contact when interacting with customer service. It is therefore necessary to always maintain a bridge between chatbots and customer service agents. To achieve this, brands must be able to leverage an omnichannel contact center platform: agents will access a 360° view of customer interaction history on the different communication channels, including via chatbots, in order to offer a quick and personalized response to each customer.

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