We are already seeing rapid growth in use of Chatbots. Most of this can be attributed to the advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). We covered a few factors responsible for that growth in our earlier blog article, What’s so nice about Messaging bots? especially focusing on use of chatbots on messenger platforms. We won’t be surprised if you are already considering doing something similar. According to an article published in The Economist (Pg. 3), 75% of top 203 senior executives interviewed globally plan to actively implement AI in short term while 3% of them are already using AI in Productive use.
If you are at the start of your journey to leverage AI and are considering use cases pertaining to chatbots, this article will cover the top two avenues at which you can start introducing them in order to get more comfortable and taking on the journey with confidence.
Internal optimization opportunities
As market environments change or customer needs change, there is always an increasing pressure to improve internal processes. Some can be modified, while some need to be automated. Many growing businesses often invest in tools for their employees. Chatbots, which are often looked upon as a tool of choice for end customer interactions can actually serve as great tool for your internal employees also!
Chatbots integrated with your internal IT systems can be leveraged as unification platform for consuming information from distinct sources. An example of this would be in the customer service organization where your customer service agents are able to utilize chatbots in real-time to answer customer queries. Another example is to introduce chatbot in conjunction with decision support systems for executives who can obtain relevant information in real-time without having to depend on pages-and–pages of reports that can be only provided weekly and bi-weekly (or monthly).
Organizations can also begin introducing bots in departments with very little or not-at-all customer interactions. This works as a great choice if the objective is primarily to evaluate the technology while shielding it from any customer impacting functions. An example of this would be for employee self-service where employees can now lookup, apply or approve their leave requests from the convenience of a chatbot. Another example would be to deploy chatbots in internal IT departments that use some sort of help desk systems. Users requiring assistance with Level-1 issues can interact with the bot and get the issue resolved immediately or at least be directed to self-service knowledge articles.
These are some of the first good step which later can be selectively expanded to your customers as well. Developing bots to optimize internal opportunities first is a great low-risk start in the early parts of your AI journey.
Identify frequent customer touch points
Typically where organizations are highly influenced by satisfaction levels of the customer service provided, chatbots can play a crucial role in achieving great customer satisfaction. However, chatbots do also need time to be trained and adjusted before they can provide human-like interaction experience.
One means to introduce bots to your customers will need analysis of the touch points you have with your customers. An analysis to understand different kinds of interactions your customers have with your business will help you identify candidates that can be easily exposed out to customers as self-service features. For example, assume a vehicle service center where patrons need to schedule an appointment before bringing their vehicle in. The monotonous task of scheduling an appointment that works for both can be managed by a chatbot while the touch points where the repair / service status may need to be explained in detail, can be left out to the humans!
Thus it is a great start to analyze different customer touch points and prescriptively automate only the ones that would add value to your business as well as to the customers’ experience.
It’s never too early to optimize and modernize your business. You got to keep up with the competition and the trend. However that said, one also has to weigh the risks and impact to the ability to serve their customers. When it comes to chatbots, it is definitely not one of those technologies that need to be implemented with a “Big-Bang“. In fact the focused the use case for chatbots (or any bots) is, the lower is the risk and cost & higher are the chances of successfully reaping the benefits of this form of automation. There is clearly a method to this madness and while certainly not getting overboard with the technology is essential, it certainly should not stop your organization to take bold steps in small chunks.