Bots are currently the big thing in customer communication. We find them in all channels of customer service and they never seem to be out of answers. Even more so, because the artificially intelligent helpers are about to completely revolution the dialogue between companies and customers. But what exactly can bots actually do and what opportunities arise from automating customer communication? We have summarized seven things you should definitely know about voice and chat bots.
1. Bots are harmless
Many people are diffusely afraid of technical progress. One reason is that there are often uncertainties about how the new technology will work and how it can be used. In view of today’s almost omnipresent voice and chat bots, customer service employees fear for their jobs, for example. In fact, the technology behind the bots is miles away from making people redundant. And apart from that, it is not even aimed at replacing them completely. Instead, bots are intended to relieve the burden on human colleagues so that they can work more efficiently. This relief is achieved by an intelligent division and relocation of the tasks at hand. For example, language bots are usually not used to avoid personal communication, but rather to prepare it in the best possible way. As soon as the bot transfers a contact to a person, it delivers the previously requested information directly to the person via interface. In practice, it has been shown that chat bots only develop their full effect in customer dialogues in interaction with human agents. In the ideal case, man and machine go hand in hand thanks to sensible task sharing.
2. Bots are popular colleagues
Once the initial fears and prejudices have been overcome, voice and chat bots are very popular among their human colleagues. No wonder, after all, the mechanical helpers in the service center take over a large part of the tedious and monotonous routine tasks. For example, they can be assigned time-consuming work steps such as request recognition or caller authentication. Bots also support their human colleagues by providing them with valuable information or documents before the customer call. And they even answer some of the frequently recurring inquiries completely independently. For example, by referring to suitable self-service offers. This allows the employees to gain time in which they can concentrate on consultation-intensive discussions and valuable tasks. In addition, automated request recognition optimizes the routing of incoming requests. Customers are referred directly to a suitable contact person. This reduces the in-house forwarding rate and with it the stress level of all colleagues in the service center.
3. Bots increase customer satisfaction
Bots are always in a good mood, greeting all customers equally friendly and patiently accepting their requests. They are fluent in several languages, are able to deal confidently with dialects on the phone and are able to read over typos in chat. With the help of courteous bots, contacting the service center becomes a positive experience for customers. Since customers are also immediately directed to the right contact person, they do not have to repeat their request. This increases overall satisfaction, as does the significant reduction in waiting times that is achieved by integrating voice and chat bots. The most direct access to information is of highest importance, especially for the young target group with an online affinity. Questions should be asked at any time and answered as quickly as possible. Bots react to these expectations, they are ready to talk around the clock and provide easy access to standardized information.
4. Bots save money
While the satisfaction of employees and customers increases, expenses decrease on the company side. Once bots have been implemented, they perform reliably and do not cause high costs during operation. Even more: They save their operators money every day. On the insurance side, for example, a bot can take over the recording of damage reports. If you assume that such an interaction costs an agent in telephone service an average of ten minutes of working time and the price per minute for inquiries of this quality is around € 1.50, the costs amount to around € 15 per contact. This does not include the opportunity costs for the customer’s potentially frustrating waiting time in the queue. With the help of a bot, the cost of the working time alone, which in this example would be needed to record the damage in the system, can be reduced significantly.
5. Bots are flexible
Voice and chatbots carry out what they have been taught. Thus, they can be configured exactly according to the special requirements of a company. For this purpose, typical questions, concerns and conversations are analyzed and transferred into the grammar of the voice or chat bot. It is important to note that the entire range of formulations used by customers to describe their concerns is covered. Ideally, the machine assistants are thus enabled to understand the customer’s vocabulary and transfer it into the common terminology of the particular company. If the operator’s requirements change – for example, by opening up a new business area – bots can be adapted dynamically. Their grammar can be adjusted and extended during operation at will and with little effort. Bots based on self-learning AI are inherently flexible. They do not follow predefined dialogue paths, but play out suitable answers by intelligently linking incoming requests with the database available to them. The parameters according to which such bots operate can also be adapted quickly and easily if necessary.
6. Bots are getting better and better
The longer voice or chat bots are in use, the more reliable they work. The grammars of linearly working bots, i.e. bots that follow pre-defined dialogue paths, are continuously optimized on the basis of specific empirical values. Administrators specify questions, add application scenarios and define new key terms. In this way, such bots are manually trained to react appropriately to an increasing range of customer queries. Bots based on self-learning AI even take over a part of this training themselves. They use a growing data base, which results from all requests received so far, to improve and refine future editions. In the ideal case, such a “learning effect” leads to continuous self-optimization. Thus, self-learning bots become better and better the more meaningful data they process. In the future, AI-based machines should even be able to learn how to learn and independently acquire new knowledge.
7. Bots are set up quickly
Artificial Intelligence in customer dialogue – that sounds terribly complicated, incredibly expensive and like a lot of work. And in fact, a voice or chat bot is best set up with the help of experienced experts, because building grammars in particular is associated with a number of challenges. A wealth of experience from comparable projects helps to avoid possible stumbling blocks. Thus, the integration of a bot can be realized within a reasonable period of time with the help of a qualified partner. Depending on the operator’s requirements, a precisely configured bot can be put into operation after only three to six months. In addition, bots can be scaled as required. They grow with the requirements of your company, for example by being easily transferred to other use cases and company divisions.