EMEA Marketing Director LivePerson
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Bots: Taking the lead on digital customer care

3rd Aug 2017
EMEA Marketing Director LivePerson
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The way we communicate is changing. Businesses ranging from banks to fashion retailers know that customers are moving away from the phone call as their preferred method of communication, and they must adapt their customer interactions accordingly.

More than ever, people want instant answers and swift replies, so messaging apps and live online messaging services are on the rise as they allow people to interact with customer service teams in real time and whenever best suits them. To further enhance customer care, many organisations are implementing bots into their care and digital strategies.

Large organisations like Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Vodafone, for example, are integrating bots to provide the most efficient and high-quality customer service. So what is driving the adoption of bots?

The human/bot hybrid

If a bot fails to understand an enquiry, it can be passed straight to a human agent and then back again when needed. We call this the “tango” – where humans and bots work together and delegate tasks to one another based on agent specialities. As an example, a bot could help a customer pay their bill but when it comes to a query about one of the charges, the bot can transfer to a human agent to handle that question. The human agent can then transfer the conversation back to a bot when the customer wants to change their address on the bill.

As bots learn this tango, you’ll see a lot of work handed off to them – allowing for more enquiries to be handled with less manpower.

Consumers prefer bots for simple tasks

Consumers’ main priority is to get accurate answers quickly. If a bot were just as accurate as a human customer care agent, a majority of global consumers (55 per cent) would prefer interacting with a bot over a human, according to a recent survey from LivePerson. The majority of consumers have also reported having a positive or neutral perception following the use of a bot in their interactions with a company.

You don’t have to go all-in

Because bots are software, you can start small, experiment and expand. The key is to be realistic about what a bot’s role should be; a bot shouldn’t be expected to talk about Shakespeare or the emotional nuances of a customer complaint, but should fulfil a specific function. By continuously testing, evaluating and improving a bot’s performance against this desired function, the development process should be relatively smooth.

A look to the future

As consumers continue to prioritise convenience and rapid response from their interactions with brands, bots are becoming increasingly prevalent in the customer care arena. With the adoption of bot/human hybrid strategies, and the growing sophistication of bot technology, automation is revolutionising the customer service and increasing customer satisfaction across a whole range of industries.

 

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