E-Handbook: Contact center AI opens new frontiers for customer engagements Article 4 of 4

5 ways a chatbot for the contact center can help workflow

AI and chatbot technology are constantly changing and gaining capabilities. Companies need to determine how to best use chatbots for their contact centers.

Customer expectations are high for chatbot technology, which is quickly advancing, but it has yet to reach its full potential.

While the use of chatbots with AI may improve CX, it is critical for businesses to understand their current capabilities and limitations to effectively introduce chatbots for the contact center.

Here are five ways a business's workflow can benefit from chatbots for the contact center.

1. Respond to simple inquiries

Chatbots with AI can respond to simple customer inquiries. They can also reset passwords, save reservation information and take payments where customers use simple conversation and keywords.

Currently, chatbots with AI have limitations when using natural language processing and, therefore, are not as effective for more complicated interactions.

Think about the success rate of using tools such as Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa, for example. A person can ask Siri in a variety of ways to change her airline ticket. If she asks Siri the question in four different ways, Siri may get the request correct two to three times out of four attempts. While iPhone users may be fine with a 50% or 75% success rate, it is not acceptable in the world of customer service.

2. Escalate customers who require additional assistance

Chatbots with AI can monitor various types of transactions and, at a critical point, route the contact to a live agent for additional assistance.

Unlike live agents, chatbots and AI don't need days off or breaks.

For example, if a customer is browsing a website and the chatbot perceives that the user is confused and might need assistance, the system can then offer a chat session with either a chatbot or a live agent.

This can also occur when a customer is working with an interactive voice response system and uses a key phrase such as "Where is my order?" with a specific voice inflection. At that point, the system can transfer the caller to a live agent.

3. Provide potential solutions to an agent

Chatbots for the contact center can benefit a business's workflow by monitoring interactions and assisting the agent in providing a response to the customer. When the chatbot listens to the conversation, it performs research in the CRM system to find an answer for the agent.

If a customer has a question, the chatbot can search a knowledge database and provide an answer that the agent can communicate to the customer.

4. Offer next step recommendations

Chatbots with AI can perform analyses during a customer interaction and propose a next-step recommendation.

When a customer interacts with an agent regarding a balance inquiry, for example, the chatbot can simultaneously perform analytics behind the scenes to determine if the customer is on the best rate plan. The chatbot can then communicate the outcome of the analysis for the agent to share with the customer.

5. Provide 24/7 service

Unlike live agents, chatbots and AI don't need days off or breaks. Businesses can also benefit from chatbots for the contact center because chatbots can provide customer service functions around the clock, eliminating staffing concerns.

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