by Kim Jones, AVP Digital and Solutions Marketing, Kandy Communications
We are well into the era of instant gratification when it comes to customer experience (CX), and with customer expectations rising and with the impact CX has on business outcomes being recognized by the C-suite in large enterprises, implementing “better bots” can drive greater satisfaction scores in parallel with driving down costs.
Leveraging the data that is generated by the automation of conversations through bots has become a pillar of CX programs, as this data can be mined by nearly every business unit in an enterprise.
Beyond the usual sales and marketing applications, information collected from engagements enhances vital trend intelligence, from product developers, managers, and marketers, to budgeting and finance teams, who now have a tangible way to determine where and how to invest.
CX is becoming a center point for Business Intelligence.
With exponentially more data being generated through bots and other automated/embedded conversational interactions, compared to information traditionally generated by contact centers, intelligent bots contribute to greater awareness of behavior – both in the aggregate and for individual customers.
Intelligent chatbots increase customer engagement, and increased customer engagement drives loyalty and revenue, especially in what has become a highly personalized world of marketing. Customers expect businesses to be open to assist them 24/7/365, and they expect to have a choice of channels, from voice to messaging to web and social media.
The appetite for accessible, personalized interactions that give us immediate access to answers and services from any device we happen to be using (smartphone, computer, SmartTV, voice-activated assistants, and even appliances with CX interaction built-in, such as cars equipped to respond to drivers’ questions) will not decrease.
The desire and demand for highly personalized digital interactions will keep climbing.
Brands are implementing innovative ways to stay close to their customers as part of their broader digital transformation initiatives while ensuring security, privacy, and efficiency.
Enterprises today fully understand the value of rich user data, precise consumer sentiment analysis, and the value of data to make their products and services more competitive.
As chatbot technology continues to advance and consumers’ expectations continue to rise, the chatbot market size is projected to grow from $2.6B in 2019 to $9.4B by 2024, according to Research&Markets. Other industry analyst firms project a similar growth trajectory – because – chatbots are working.
Multimedia chatbots are the future.
As customers are also now becoming more comfortable with video interactions, especially given the dramatic shift to remote working and their use of real-time video collaboration platforms to get their work done, they are more open to creative approaches.
Millions are now staying connected with friends and family during the global pandemic, and even those who do not use video collaboration for work or learning are adapting to live interactive video.
Delivering service in the channel and mode of the customers’ choice is only possible when programs including a range of media types.
Some customers will prefer a voice interaction, whether with a voice-activated intelligent virtual agent or a voice interaction with a live agent.
The technology is available to create conversational bots in different languages and dialects. Voice has been an undervalued modality until virtual assistants found their way into people’s homes, and consumers found interacting with Alexa, or Siri or others, intuitive and efficient.
Some customers prefer texting in short bursts using SMS to get simple questions answered, and others prefer to type messages to technical support agents who may start out as automated bots and then be escalated to live agents who continue the chat if the question or problem is too complex to be handled in a fully automated fashion.
Intelligent bots support hyper-personalization customers want.
Intelligent bots equipped with AI and Machine Learning capabilities, connected to big data and to information about the specific customer when they contact the company, learn new techniques and provide more accurate responses over time.
Greater accuracy generates higher visitor engagement with contextually appropriate messaging that guides customers to the right solution without having a live agent intervention. Even when a live agent is required, in a modern contact center scenario, the agent will see the data associated with the conversation, making the handoff pleasant and dramatically improving the odds of first contact resolution.
The future of intelligent bots is bright!
Future bots, like those Kandy offers for text and voice, appear even more natural as developers try to simplify the integration of humans and machines and can be easily embedded into websites, social media, mobile applications, and in-store kiosks. This is made easy with APIs and a connection to our Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) or to our white-label CPaaS digital marketplace offerings such as the AT&T API Marketplace.
As bots evolve, Conversational AI across the channels of each customers’ choice also means that a user can start a conversation on one channel and complete it on another without losing context or continuity.
In short, CX leaders are increasingly leveraging task automation combined with intelligent “intent-based” applications, accelerating their movement towards a human communication style for a more natural experience.
Bots that can offer a more human-like service will be able to provide an even more engaging experience for consumers – and everybody wins.
With the increased API integration within an enterprise’s tech ecosystem, chatbots and CRMs, ERPs, and other databases also drive significant communication efficiency and customer satisfaction while reducing service time and costs.
Intelligent bots can read, write, and update information to databases.
Intelligent bots can retrieve data from backend systems and offer to keep humans up to speed with alerts and notifications.
AI and Machine Learning enhanced bots support intuitive, empathic, creative, and conversational interactions even as they enrich data and make the analytics associated with business intelligence ever more valuable.
It takes only minutes to create your own intelligent bot using Kandy.
Kandy’s Chat AI and Voice AI IVR solutions are available in fully developed packages or components that can be used by developers to build their own chatbots of the future – those which will think, talk, and build ongoing relationships with customers – that customer love.
I will be sharing more on the topic of AI bots in future articles. In the meantime, please contact me if you’d like to learn more about how Artificial Intelligence can benefit your organization in 2021 and beyond.