AI and the Year of the Intelligent Chat Bot

By : |February 4, 2019 0
How chatbots are going to be the face of customer engagement in 2019 and how it will be the year when AI’s true potential will be unleashed by companies witnessing the real results from investing in the right AI-powered solutions.

Customer experiences have evolved in the past few years. These experiences have been shaped by, amongst others, the way one consumes technology – constantly connected and wired to multiple devices. Technology serves to satisfy inherent need of human beings to simplify life, making it more convenient.

Right from Gutenberg to Bell, their inventions have fundamentally changed the way we communicate and consume knowledge. It’s laid the foundation for the way we expect technology to work for us. We check our fit bits to keep us on track; our refrigerator tells us when we are low on inventory, we can book an Uber on our mobile devices and much more- all at our finger tips.

Animesh Jain, Chief Delivery Officer, [24]

Animesh Jain, Chief Delivery Officer, [24]

Given the changing customer expectations, organizations are harnessing the power of technology for superior experiences. Armed with technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics organizations have an opportunity to live up to customer expectations. What’s important to note is that customers are not going to be impressed by technology per say, but, the results it delivers– speed, efficiency and a seamless experience across channels.

The year 2019 is going beyond the courting stage, where AI is getting to know it customers and vice-versa. AI is going to be the differentiator and organizations that are able to leverage AI to understand customer intents and journeys are likely to serve customer requirements more accurately. More specifically, it’s time to now take the interaction to another level and unleash the potential of AI powered technologies such as intelligent chatbots to simplify customer experiences. The investments in AI enabled chatbots are only going to grow from here, as deploying  them is not an option but an imperative for any customer-centric organization.

An effective chatbot integration involves successfully addressing several crucial aspects. It means identifying precise transition point from bot to human and vice versa, deploying the bot across all channels, ability to access desired information as required during the customer journey and so on. To enhance chatbot augmented customer experiences businesses need to consider the following:

1. Chatbots central to customer engagement strategy – The last few years have been about organizations trying various permutation combinations, even launching AI driven bots to address customer demands. There was no strategy and clear expectation from chatbots. As a result, the outcome was less than desired. All this now changes.

This year chatbots will be central to the customer engagement strategy which means defining the business case, developing clear performance metrics and monitoring of performance, will be the pillars on which their effectiveness to enhance customer journey  will be evaluated. Failure to have a clearly thought-through bot strategy, will likely result into a customer backlash and regaining their confidence will be extremely difficult.

2. Verticalization is the key to deploying AI solutions for industries such as financial services and retail. These are industries where customers expect continuous communication, convenient and personalized experiences. Chatbots are built to align to the specific industry. Those organizations that are able to adopt such specialized bots will find the results highly advantageous, achieving higher CSAT/NPS scores.

3. Infusing emotional Intelligence in bots allows them to detect customer emotions, and therefore acknowledge and respond empathetically. As brands strive to find that human connection, an EmBot could be the answer. If the bot is able to pick up on negative emotions, it can find the right point to transition the journey to a human counterpart. A seamless and timely transition can potentially turn a negative experience into a positive one.

4. Creating a successful customer experience will depend on the ability of an organization to effectively blend artificial intelligence and human intelligence. The pivotal success factor for digital self-service to work is the quality and speed of interaction and resolution.

A seamless BOT-Human relay can significantly bring down the total interaction time and the time to resolve a query, promoting faster adoption of AI technology based solutions. Taking it a step further is building deep self-learning capabilities in the bot. This will allow organizations to create near accurate predictive models to not only enhance the customer experience but also aid in pattern identification required for fraud detection, analyzing customer churn and purchase propensity to improve business results.

5. We have established that customers expect much more from a brand. The degree of personalization is the key to creating a differentiated experience in a competitive market place. We have moved into hyper-Personalization, creating highly personalized experiences in a single customer journey by leveraging Big Data.

6. Organizations need to be able to interact with customers in their preferred channel and across channels offering seamless communication, where conversations can be picked up from where they were left off. Thus it’s imperative that organizations integrate their customer interaction platforms to devices, social and native apps such as FB Messenger or Apple Business Chat and offer chatbot and assisted service options through them.

2019 marks the beginning of AI intelligent chatbots becoming the cornerstone of customer engagement strategy and end of an experimentation era. It’s a journey towards unleashing their full potential within a strong metric and governance framework. It’s the beginning of creating truly personalized, predictive and effortless customer experiences.

By Animesh Jain, Chief Delivery Officer, [24]

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