In the past decade, chatbots have gained serious momentum. So much so, that it was predicted that by the start of 2020, 80% of companies will be using a bot. While this seems like an astonishing figure, many companies fall into the trap of settling with a chatbot that serves up nothing more than simple FAQs. Very few companies take advantage of conversational AI platforms, like DigitalCX, that can offer a truly customer-centric experience, driven by AI and context.
To help you get the most out of your chatbot this year, here are 8 guiding principles to give you a head-start.
Explore new use cases
Not only can a bot be used to provide customer support, it can also be used as a tool to deliver effective marketing campaigns and improve conversion rate. Work with other teams such as marketing and sales to identify opportunities and explore new use cases. How about a bot which recommends products to users based on their previous purchasing patterns? Or perhaps a notification offering the user a special promotion code? Or how about a chatbot for your internal processes, like HR or internal technical support?
Create a truly personalised experience
In an increasingly competitive market, companies are turning to the customer experience to differentiate their brand. To deliver a winning customer experience, personalisation is key.
For a personalised experience to occur, we must consider the users context. The more context we know, the more relevant and personal a conversation becomes. The context can consist of many things such as the device type being used, the users past purchasing patterns, the user’s location, personal characteristics, previous conversations, and much more. With this information at hand, we can then tailor the answer to the user’s situation.
Integrate with other platforms
A chatbot is not just limited to your website. It can also be extended to your messaging platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp, integrated with a live chat platform and/or voice assistant such as Google Assistant and Cortana.
And to make your chatbot really smart, link it to your backend systems. Because ultimately, chatbots are being used to successfully complete a customers job: to find information, to solve a problem and to make a transaction. In order to successfully complete a transaction, integration with organisational systems is a necessity.
In terms of integrating with live chat, the benefits are huge. With our platform DigitalCX, we can take the customers question, query the user’s details, and pass this information on to a live chat agent when required. This gives the live chat advisors the information needed to proceed with the enquiry, but more importantly, prevents customers from having to ask their question or give their details multiple times. For the likes of several of our Dutch clients, this has reduced average handling time by as much as 30 seconds, generating significant reductions in operating costs.
Rationalise your decisions
With the data you’ve acquired from 2019, you can make improvements to your chatbot that will further enhance the customer experience in 2020. Consider looking at the top enquires which have not yet been automated, delve into your customer feedback to identify areas for improvement, and identify which areas customers are dropping out of the sales funnel.
Get your chatbot out there
Customers should know that your chatbot exists and know where to find it. Consider involving your marketing team to help promote the bot. More importantly, think about which areas of your website you would like to place the bot. Are you looking to improve your bot session count? Then consider moving the bot to a highly visible area of your site.
Improve every day
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that once their chatbot is launched, the chatbot project ends there. To get the most value out of a chatbot, the chatbot must be continuously optimised based on the data it generates. Once you start seeing results, you should quickly work on improving your chatbot interactions.
With DigitalCX, users have access to 17 intuitive dashboards, providing users with chatbot performance data such as feedback, dialog completion rates, recognition rates, and more. With this data, users can easily identify areas for improvement and optimise accordingly, perhaps tweaking an answer or creating additional intents & answers.
Make it conversational
The use of language applied to the bot is critical. When taking a customer’s details on the phone or face to face, you wouldn’t simply ask – “Name?” “Postcode?”, would you? Of course you wouldn’t. Rather, you would converse with the customer in a friendly manner and chat with them while you take their details, ensuring they’re left satisfied with the interaction. The same applies to a chatbot. You must stimulate an engaging conversation. And that depends largely on the content you put into it.
Fine tune the bot persona
When creating a bot avatar and crafting your content, it’s important to get the balance right between humanising the bot and making it clear to the user that they are interacting with a robot, not a human.
If it appears to your user that there is a human behind the bot, the user will likely type out their life story. Likewise, if the bot comes across as being too robotised and provides a dull, unengaging conversation, it’s unlikely that your users will engage with the bot at all.
Did you already settle with a robot avatar? Think about how you can make it more humanised. How about giving your avatar facial expressions which change depending on whether the customer leaves good or bad feedback? Or how about an avatar that waves good bye to you when you’re finished with the conversation?
With the right avatar and captivating content, you’ll be on course to creating a strong brand identity.