Technology is changing the way we communicate with each other, and
today’s highly connected digital customers want 24/7 access to information and
support across multiple channels and devices. But customer expectations don’t
stop there. They also want a seamless end-to-end customer experience, and they
want personalised, consistent and accurate information and support. They want
one place to ask a question and for the system to instantly assist them. There’s
no denying that’s a tall order!
Chatbots and virtual agents are an ideal way to provide always-on
self-service options, but not all
chatbots are created equal. Here are some key questions to ask when selecting a
chatbot or virtual agent platform to provide conversational self-service.
Can the chatbot be
integrated with personalised account information?
Logged in or authenticated users should be able to receive responses
specific to them. This integration allows the virtual agent to provide
individualised information about a customer’s orders, billing, devices,
subscriptions, accounts, sales advice, etc. to create a personalised
How will the chatbot help
me keep my customer experience consistent and accurate?
Knowledge management is key for delivering accurate and consistent
information to customers. By using a single knowledgebase to power your chatbot
across contact channels, you can ensure that customers are receiving reliable,
consistent information no matter how they chose to engage with you. And instead
of trying to guess which contact channel will give them the correct
information, customers can contact you with confidence in the way that’s most
convenient for them. Using chatbot technology that’s backed by a robust knowledge
management platform will also give you options to customise responses by
channel (for example, give a shorter answer on a mobile app) and easily update
content across all customer support channels in one place.
Can I integrate the
chatbot with other channels and support options?
You need to ensure you have the proper integrations in place in order to
give customers the flexibility to move to other channels while maintaining the
context of their conversations. For example, a customer using the chatbot on
your website should have the option to be seamlessly escalated to a live chat
agent and have their conversation history passed from virtual to live agent for
a continuous experience. Customers should never feel like they are starting
over when they transition between channels or support options.
Can the solution bring
together virtual and human support channels?
Even though effective self-service is key to keeping customers happy,
you can’t ignore the role that contact centre and live chat agents play in the
support journey. Selecting the right technology will allow you to also support
your human agents with the same knowledgebase that’s powering your self-service
chatbot. This not only reinforces consistency across contact channels – both
self-service and human-assisted – but it also gives you the opportunity to
implement a feedback loop in line with industry best practice. Be sure that the
knowledge management platform backing your chatbot solution also offers
workflow functionality so your support agents can submit feedback and
suggestions to chatbot responses in real-time. This feedback can then be
reviewed, changes made to the knowledgebase and updates deployed quickly across
all contact channels. This feedback loop enables your live agents to keep
content accurate and up-to-date for themselves and the chatbot just by doing
their normal jobs.
While some sceptics
may view chatbots in the customer service space as a passing fad, the reality
is that they are a tried and tested tool for providing digital self-service and
are defining the future of customer engagement. By selecting a company with the
right technology and experience, you can implement a world-class chatbot that
will help you to nurture an expanded, loyal customer base by exceeding their
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Chatbots, contact centres and the perfect blend of humans & machines in CX