Who are Chatbots?

Future of customer service platforms, revolutionary change in engagement methods and one of the key steps towards a total digital era are various monikers and understandings all true to one concept – Chatbots. On a basic level Chatbots are nothing more than a simple computer program. However, when paired with artificial intelligence, their functionality is akin to a friendly sales assistant that will ask the right questions to help you find exactly what you want, without the pressure and the intrusive nature of actual human interaction. What's even better, the platform that customers interact with Chatbots will be in a communication method that they already engage in such as a messaging platform so they are more likely to be open for interaction.

Applicable and effective across various forms of business and industries, Chatbots are a crowd favourite in the developing digital landscape. From enabling organizations to better understand their customers and their consumer behavioural patterns, to helping organizations reduce resource wastage by managing interactions round-the-clock, Chatbots have rooted themselves as an invaluable fixture in many healthcare, e-commerce, financial and even software development sectors.

How did they rise to fame?

Development of Artificial Intelligence

The growth of the Artificial Intelligence landscape today -thanks to the advancement in technology- has been able to connect companies to their customers like never before. It has enabled companies to gain true insight to the nuances of their customers, learn and predict their behaviour and craft solutions that will cater to the customers' unique patterns without a single interrogative conversation that makes the customer feel uncomfortable. The way artificial intelligence learns and adapts to a customer's behaviour is similar to how two people will go from forming a friendship where neither knows much about each other to being best friends, where they are aware of each other's likes and dislikes.

User Experience Focused

With consumer needs rising in demand, and customers spreading throughout different regions and time zones, round the clock attention is more important than ever, but is not exactly an easy task to complete unless your company is willing to spend extra for a dedicated staff. However, where Chatbots are concerned it’s the perfect solution – they can be crafted to deliver answers and solutions to the customer in a completely humanized style, maintain an empathetic tonality that is true to your company culture at all hours of the day and provide seamless solutions to anyone anywhere at any time.

How can Chatbots help in customer services?

By Saving Resources

Chatbots can conveniently automate conversations and interactions that would otherwise require a large involvement of human resources. With Chatbots, instead of having to worry what might happen if one employee decides to leave with regards to training new personnel as well as allocating resources such as space, electricity, heating/air conditioning, etc… you can just focus on your customers and retain the human quality of the service while saving resources.

In Generating Leads and Revenue

With customers being the main focus of your business and the key avenue that leads to your business's growth, Chatbots can be of great use by automating initial interaction which can screen and deliver the best leads for your company. It cuts through the hassle of following false or futile leads that wastes the company resources.

Once initial contact has been established and confident leads have been selected, the next level of conversations can involve actual customer representatives which gives space for increased efficiency, attention and overall satisfaction.

To Engage Users in a Unique Way

Another great incentive for using Chatbots is how they create a unique engagement point for the customer that cuts through the clutter of tried and tested methods of communication. The routine communication channels such as email and telephone always run the risk of coming forth as a non-customized, standard and tedious way to interact and also there is a chance for replies to be delayed, misunderstood or inconvenience the customer. However, with Chatbots it’s almost akin to chatting with a friend, a fun and engaging way for the business to connect with the customer while maintaining a caring and attentive personality at no extra effort.

By Providing Constant Support

Chatbots can be operated round the clock, which means that your customers no matter where they are at any given time will have access to a point of contact with your organization a vital point to establishing trust in your partnership. It enables you to seamlessly meet customer expectations and maintain a high rate of satisfaction with your clientele.

To Enhance User Experience

Overall, the biggest benefit of having Chatbots integrated into your customer service is that the customers enjoying an enhanced user experience. Through critical and tactful questioning that doesn't exhaust the customer while also helping the customer to feel welcome and taken care of Chatbots are able to gain insight into the exact factors that are needed for you to craft a solution perfect for the client's needs. This personalized approach helps achieve an understanding of the aims and goals of the client and therefore helping your business to curate your solutions to help them accomplish them, making you stand out from the competition.

Chatbots sound great! How can you get started?

What are the goals?

As with any successful project, the first step in creating a perfect Chatbot is to define its goals. What is their interaction with customers mean for the organizations? Are you gaining insights, solving grievances, merely noting customer feedback or are they more promotion-oriented? Whatever it maybe noting down the exact purpose they will serve will enable you to craft its nuances to perfectly suit the job at hand. Using sample scenarios and curating the bot's personality to solve a specific problem will help you set the exact parameters your chatbot will operate in.

What’s the right platform?

Next is selecting the right platform. The publishing platform of your chatbot is the medium that customers will interact with the chatbot. Some of the well-known and often-used chatbot platforms are WeChat, FB Messenger, Telegram and Kik.

Where it operates will set the stage for your chatbot's next course of action from existing within web pages, networks and other platforms and will determine how their conversations play out. For example, a customer reaching the chatbot through a social media page will vary in their conversation to someone that is accessing a company website. It's important to know your audience when you are creating the chatbot so as to know exactly where your bot should exist and the tonality it should possess.

What’s the personality?

Your Chatbot will be most customer's first point of contact. Hence, it's important to give the bot a personality that not only matches but reflects and carry your organization's values, morals, attitudes, vision and culture to create an accurate and positive first impression. The Chatbot's identity will be crucial in the process of humanizing it and a great place to start is by giving your bot a name and its unique personality. Consistency is key when creating and maintaining a chatbot as well as transparency and amicability. Analyze your company culture – how your employees interact with customers, latest updates, trends while also analyzing the market. From knowing the right questions to ask, understanding your target customers' social media behaviour as well as ironing out issues that may cause a customer to lose interest, all are important factors to consider when creating your Chatbots personality, and a project that should include the collaboration of all departments.

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