Chatbots and CX – how to make the most out of AI

SimonJohnson
General Manager UKI
Freshworks
Blogger
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Chatbots are becoming more popular with companies -  the market for AI-based chatbots is predicted to reach $1.25 billion by 2025[i]. Using chatbots, you can look at how to automate interaction with customers around simple problems.

Chatbots can cover multiple customer requirements, from product queries through to providing support and service information. By connecting customers with the right information, you can automate some of your customer service and improve customer experience.

However, it’s not as simple as simply shifting your existing live chat service over to a bot.

All chatbots need to be trained in order to ensure that they deliver the required service to your customers. It is through training that bots can recognise what customers are asking for and then recommend the right material or content.

Alongside this training, you can look at what content assets you have at your disposal for bots to deploy. Most companies today will have internal sets of content that are used to help customers, from public website content and FAQs, through to internal KnowledgeBase articles and guides. Cataloguing this information makes it easier for chatbots to respond to queries with the right information.

Over time, more responses to customer requests can be automated, which means that your customer service can be more efficient. However, this means a big shift in priorities for agents working with chatbots. Rather than focusing on specific issues, your team can spend time to deliver the right additional material to meet future requirements or to deal with more difficult problems. For example, this could mean creating extra articles or developing better problem management initiatives that could solve wider swathes of problems. Over time, this should provide better service levels and more targeted support to your customers.

How to get started with chatbots

Here is a guide to the chatbot training process:

  • Firstly, chatbots have to start from somewhere. This means providing a set of training data to the chatbot. Your existing service tickets and interactions can be used here, so the chatbot can learn from previous conversations between agents and customers to see what materials are used to solve which problems.

Using this material, chatbots can view the most common questions and approaches that customers use in real life and can learn the terminology involved during these interactions. This can provide the initial guidance on how to respond to other customer chat requests.

  • Secondly, your internal teams will need training as well as the chatbot service. Once the chatbot is implemented, agents can track the interactions that take place. Agents need to be trained to ensure that they’re able to take over when needed. For example, a human agent can intervene when a chatbot recommends the wrong asset has been used and another asset should be used instead.

Based on this recommendation to the chatbot, agents can influence workflows and what actions take place when.

  • Thirdly, chatbots are in direct communication with customers all the time and these interactions create data. Customers are able to provide direct feedback on how helpful the service was; this can be analysed to improve performance over time.

Setting up a chatbot service requires training for both chatbots and agents at the implementation stage and ongoing. When developing your own service approach, think about the key elements of what implementing chatbots will require to ensure that you gain new business and keep your current customers happy.

References

About SimonJohnson

Simon Johnson of ITSM SaaS provider Freshdesk

My role at Freshworks as General Manager UKI is to manage the company's operations, including strategy building, developing our own high impact sales and support teams, and managing our performance. 

Freshworks provides IT Service Management, Help Desk and Customer Relationship Management products. Currently, Freshworks helps over 120,000 companies worldwide deliver customer support and IT Service Management via email, phone, chat, web, social media and mobile apps.

Outside work, I take great pride in my kids and support Everton FC.

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