Businesses are introducing customer service chatbots as part of a much-needed digital transformation, bringing the benefits of AI-powered automation to diverse industries, ripe for innovation.
But as the demand for automated customer experience (ACX) rises, so do the number of chatbots available on the market — leaving many businesses lost when it comes to selecting the right tool.
In fact, according to a recently commissioned Forrester Report, even after implementing a chatbot solution, many market leaders are still unable to achieve the level of personalized support they need. Only 21% are able to provide highly-customized automated experiences.
With ⅔ of CX leaders planning to introduce deeper levels of personalization over the next two years, companies continue to embrace the promise of automated chat. But a successful implementation requires a strategic approach.
As part of this strategy, I’ve outlined five key considerations for selecting a chatbot platform to raise CSAT and ROI.
1. Invest in accessible AI
As shared in the Forrester Snapshot Report, “if organizations continue to invest in tools which actively fight against the typical business user, they will not succeed. AI-powered chatbot technologies, that can be customized and operated by CX teams, must be embraced.”
Businesses are no longer dependent on the time-consuming and highly-technical skills required to build and manage a customer support chatbot. Instead, businesses should seek out an easy-to-use, code-less platform that empowers CX professionals — those who know the business best — to build a chatbot with empathy, hands-on knowledge, and expertise.
Over and above allowing businesses to build automation rooted in empathy, it also lets them move quickly. Without being tied to the IT department, long timelines are eliminated, so that automation can be quickly introduced, changed, and strengthened in ways that reflect customer needs in real-time.
2. Go beyond answers — automate actions
Although Forrester found that 91% of CX leaders want a chatbot to automate actions, only 52% have the capability to do so. By introducing a chatbot that is too basic, organizations are losing out on opportunities to save their customers time and effort, raise CSAT, and in some cases, generate new revenue through automated up-sells and payments. As demand for self-service continues to soar, businesses should look to a platform that lets customers do more on their own, including:
- Change and update contact information
- Automatically schedule appointments, bookings, and activities
- Instantly process payments by authenticating the customer’s account
- Update and upgrade account services and products
- Leverage loyalty discounts and coupons for savings
3. Enable highly-personalized experiences
Customer satisfaction is more than simply a score. CSAT has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line, and the level of personalization provided by an automated solution can greatly influence these results. In fact, Forrester has found that good CX has a quantifiable impact on top-line revenue across all industries.
That’s why forward-thinking organizations should invest in a conversational chatbot platform that offers a high degree of personalization, leading to happier customers and business success.
“Firms must offer highly personalized chatbot experiences that are specifically tailored to the interests, contexts, and behaviours of its users,” states the Forrester Snapshot.
Businesses must push FAQ bots aside and prioritize new chatbot capabilities, including:
- Understanding issue context and account history to provide unique responses
- Identifying customers and addressing them by name
- Engaging customers with offerings tailored to individual interests and intent
4. Consider every language…and then another
While the majority of chatbot platforms allow companies to provide 24/7 customer support anywhere around the world, the ROI of automation is instantly lost when you don’t have the ability to engage with an international audience.
Speaking every customer’s language is certainly challenging. That’s why multilingual self-service support can quickly become part of a brand’s differentiation. Without requiring your team to carry a dictionary and manually translate each answer, the right chatbot solution can allow those creating content to instantly translate answers into every language your customers speak.
5. Don’t forget the handoff
We don’t believe live agents and chatbots should work against one another. Quite the opposite. We think they should work as a team supporting one another to build the best experience for the customer. There are some issues that always require the human touch.But to build this tight-knit team, a business needs a chatbot platform that allows for both parties to support the customer with ease. As if handing off a baton, the success of the experience comes down to how the customer is transferred from chatbot to live agent without impacting the quality of the experience. The moment a customer asks to speak with a live agent, the bot should be able to retrieve and connect them, all within the same interface.
But customers can’t be connected to just any agent — that’s where things could get complicated, and the baton dropped again. With at least 35% of enterprises maintaining more than 50 chatbots by 2021, it’s important to select a solution that can direct customers to an agent within the correct department, geography, and even language.
Investing and incorporating the right chatbot platform into your customer service strategy can dramatically transform the support experience. But selecting the right one is key to driving results.