When is a customer service chatbot more than a chatbot? When it communicates naturally with customer service AI.
Chatbots in customer service—the two seem to go hand in hand. Yet despite their prevalence, today’s customer service chatbot has changed little over the past couple decades. While effective at answering basic queries, such as FAQs, these bots fall short when it comes to fielding complex customer requests. And with call complexity on the rise, that’s bad news for companies entrenched in legacy chatbot software.
However, while customer service chatbots may seemingly be stuck in a time capsule, the technology around them certainly isn’t. Over the past several years, customer service AI has made significant inroads in speech recognition, natural language understanding and processing. Today, AI-powered intelligent virtual agents (also called intelligent virtual assistants) can not only analyze and interpret complex customer queries; they can also respond dynamically using natural language. These intelligent programs are light years ahead of the traditional customer service chatbots of yore. And, unsurprisingly, they’re gaining wider appeal as companies scramble to deliver competitive customer experience in an increasingly virtual world.
How Chatbots are Transforming Customer Service—with Some Serious Help from AI
The ubiquity of chatbots in the CX space can be put down to the simple fact that they provide fast, easy and human-like customer service at first contact. While the standard view of a chatbot is one that operates as an interactive virtual agent and is capable of assisting customers with simple inquiries, thanks to its chat-based interface, some solutions are able to handle more complex tasks.
Uniphore’s U-Self Serve, for example, can go far beyond a simple question-and-answer format. Built on the conversational leader’s premier AI and automation framework, the X Platform, U-Self Serve cannot only capture and analyze spoken and written input with unparalleled accuracy; it can also interpret a customer’s intent, sentiment and even emotional state. This forms a more comprehensive understanding of a customer’s need(s) and creates a richer, more seamless experience—without the typical friction points found in traditional customer service chatbots.
Due to its ability to deliver on more complex interactions with consumers, U-Self Serve is perfectly suited to deliver a number of vital benefits to the contact center, including:
Real-Life Examples of Chatbots in Customer Service
Today, nearly every major company utilizes a chatbot in customer service. While most can handle basic customer queries and answer simple questions, a growing number of industry leaders are leveraging customer service AI to handle complex customer issues and create more personalized experiences. These include some of the leading names in:
Key Features of an Effective Chatbot for Customer Service
What makes an effective chatbot for customer service? When it acts more like a human agent than an emotionless chatbot. Here are six key features that are helping today’s AI-powered intelligent virtual agents stand out from—and outperform—yesterday’s customer service chatbots.
Best Practices for Implementing a Chatbot in Customer Service
Thinking of deploying a customer service chatbot? There are some important things you should consider before you get started. Our conversational design e-book, Conversation AI+, can help. To ensure your implementation delivers the results you want, here are four of the top best practices for implementing a chatbot in customer service.
The Future of Chatbots in Customer Service
As customer service AI continues to evolve so too will the face of the chatbot in customer service. Some of these advancements are technical, such as natural language processing innovations that better understand how we speak. (Uniphore’s platform, for example, continues to fine-tune its NLP and NLU capabilities, regularly adding new languages and dialects to its growing database.) Others are cultural, like the drive for data sovereignty and the rise of open data enterprise solutions.
One thing remains certain: tomorrow’s customer service chatbot won’t look anything like the chatbots of the past 20 years. With the ability to comprehend intent, sentiment and emotion and to communicate naturally across multiple channels, these intelligent solutions are more than just the next generation of chatbots; they’re an evolutionary leap forward. For customer service, AI is the future. And the future looks brighter than ever.
What is a chatbot in customer service?
Customer service chatbots are programs that interact with customers to answer questions, resolve queries and automate routine tasks.
How do chatbots improve customer service?
Customer service chatbots allow customers to easily resolve customer service issues on their own (without having to engage with a live agent).
What are the key features of an effective chatbot for customer service?
To be effective, a customer service chatbot must be able to understand a customer’s query, execute the appropriate corresponding task(s) and escalate the call, if needed, to a live agent.
How do I implement a chatbot in customer service?
Start by defining the basic chatbot use cases that will have the greatest impact on your customer service operations. Then, train it on the data variations for each use case. Use any new to continually improve and fine tune the chatbot over time.
What is the future of chatbots in customer service?
Customer service AI is driving chatbots to evolve beyond simple question-and-answer tools toward more dynamic solutions that leverage sentiment, emotion and behavioral data to create a more holistic, personalized and engaging customer experience.