Putting Your Chatbots to Work: 5 Tips to Consider

As artificial intelligence continues to change the way in which companies interact with customers, chatbots remain a key player in delivering this modern form of customer service. These digital assistants are more than just a passing trend: Mindbrowser states that 96% of businesses believe chatbots are here to stay. Business Insider adds that by 2020, over 80% of brands are expected to have some kind of chatbot implementation. However, many customer service experts warn that using this form of AI correctly is essential to improving service—if your company does not design them well, their efforts will backfire and lead to customer frustration. Here are five tips to consider when using chatbots for customer service.

Tailor their behavior to your customers’ needs

Just as your human agents are trained to target the needs of your specific customers, chatbots may be designed to do the same. While these little robots may not replace the human touch of your agents, they can certainly approach service in the same way. Analyze customer data closely to determine what your customers want from your brand. Do they like product recommendations? Do they need a faster checkout process? By identifying such needs, you can train chatbots to deliver on these points much as an agent would.

Train them regularly

Just as agents need new information to perform at their best, so do chatbots. Train your chatbots regularly so that they are updated with new brand information. For example, they should be kept up to date regarding new products and pricing information, and they must also be fed customer data so that they can provide the most accurate service in real time.

Use natural language processing for better conversations

Customers may realize they are talking to a chatbot, but there’s no reason you can’t train these digital assistants to carry a good conversation. Using natural language processing, chatbots may be trained to adapt their conversational tone to that of your customers. In addition, you can help them develop a voice that matches your brand style. If their conversations are too robotic and repetitive, customers may become irritated and lose confidence in getting the support they need.

Integrate them into your self-service

Chatbots are adept at collecting information that can then be passed on to human agents. For example, use them to gather basic information at the start of a service interaction—such as a customer’s name, account number, and reason for contact. By automating the initial part of a conversation, you can provide your agents with more time to handle the rest of the service interaction.

Recognize their limitations

This is an area where some brands may be overly ambitious. While the notion of a chatbot completing a service interaction from A to Z is appealing, the truth is that many are unable to do so well. Some are designed to grow smarter as they work, but there will be times when it’s best for a human to step in. Recognize your chatbots’ limitations by assigning them simple, concrete tasks, and make sure that human agents are prepared to step in when a situation becomes complex. Until you have a firm grasp of your chatbots’ efficiency, consider them part of your service team and not a total replacement for human agents. When used wisely, artificial intelligence can be the answer to modernizing your customer service practices. By using chatbots to work closely with your human agents, your brand may ensure that customers enjoy time saving benefits and a personalized approach to service. 

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