Lately, organizations are walking the same path as they did two decades ago with better and enhanced technology. And, they are still making the same mistake of overfocusing on efficiency to bring costs down while claiming to deliver a more remarkable customer experience (CX). A prime example of this is a chatbot. A few months back, I had to deal with a billing issue with one of the USA's biggest mobile providers—and the experience I had was hellish. I was kept in a loop with a chatbot on the mobile app, on the website, and on the phone. As it did with me, this generally creates an annoyed customer with a ruined day.
By focusing on cost alone, organizations are squandering the ability of advanced technology like chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) to create engaging experiences that build relationships and loyalty. Delivering a truly great experience means going back to the basics, delivering a human experience, and using the technology to complement and enhance engaging and personalized experiences.
To see what this means, let’s look at a use case for how banks can deliver an engaging experience by using their chatbot in a meaningful way.
I wanted to open a college fund account for my niece, who is planning to study abroad for her bachelor's degree. I went to my banking website to open an account where Sally, the chatbot avatar asked me if I need help. I typed college fund account, and she guided me to the webpage with all the information I needed and a link to process opening the account.
In the middle of filling out the application, I had a question about taxes and if there were any implications that I should be aware of. Sally responded with “I don't know,” and asked me to wait for a person who could answer me. Fair enough. Sally handed me to a live chat person who answered my tax question, and I finished filling out the application, opening the account, and transferring the money into it.
Two days later, when I checked to see if the funds had transferred, there wasn't any money in the account. Sally asked If I needed help, and I wondered that there were no funds yet. She asked to me to wait and was back in five seconds to tell me that someone would be calling me. I have to admit; I was impressed with Sally.
Dana from my bank contact center called and was able to solve the issue in five minutes, and I thanked her.
A month later, I checked my niece's account monthly statement. Sally asked if I need any assistance, and because she knew me, she asked about my experience opening the account. I typed that I was pleased. Then to my total surprise, she asked about my niece's progress and when she will be finishing school. That was a WOW. And on top of it, she sent me a link to download a college visit planner and asked me to forward it to her.
The moral of the story is to deploy AI with customer engagement in mind and not just cost-cutting or because everyone is doing it without understanding the implications.
In our connected world, data is collected every time we touch our digital devices. Organizations should make use of the data they collect to better tune customer engagement and deliver an awesome experience to their customers. Deploying AI and chatbots should be thoughtful and engaging, which builds trust and loyalty.
In my story, the bank provided relevant real-time advice to help me get what I wanted as a customer, ensuring I would stay with them, and eventually, tell my friends and friends to move their finances to the bank.
The Future of CX
Cost-cutting and increasing efficiency don’t translate to delivering a better experience. The COVID-19 pandemic taught organizations how to deliver a more human experience in this digital world. SAS predicts that by 2025, two-thirds of all consumers expect to be engaging with chatbots, rising to 81% by 2030. How then are you going to design experiences that connect and empathize with your customers?
Understanding how to design experiences that use AI technology, as in the case of Sally, my bank chatbot, is critical to brand loyalty. Customers grow used to conversational interactions with brands. You want to understand how to create the right type of interactions and touchpoints with customers whom you may never meet in person but with whom you are building a relationship.
AI and chatbots are outstanding technology, and we should not shy away from not using them, but we want to ensure we are using them in the right context. The chatbot should not be positioned and branded for cost cuts and efficiency in the customer service department. It should be positioned as a complementary and engaging technology to help build relationships and loyalty. We have seen how Interactive Voice Response (IVR) became anti-CX with its frustrating infinite menu loop, and chatbots are walking the same path right now when they are kept in the same, exact positioning. The current AI technology is smart enough to know about customers—anticipate what they want, know how to engage, and when to connect to a live person.
Building relationships and loyalty is about building trust and delivering empathy; organizations must walk the talk.
While there are many obstacles to overcome, AI and chatbots have the potential to solve many of today's problems and push human experiences even further, whether in banking, healthcare, retail, or government. This change is only possible if organizations embrace the goal of creating a complementary balance of human agents and machines that are better together, and dedicated to improving lives, products, and experiences for everyone.
How Engati Can Help
Engati Chatbots integrate with any digital channels from websites to mobile applications present in your digital business ecosystem to increase levels of engagement between your brand and your customers.
The very purpose of building and creating chatbots for business is to make them facilitate conversations and ease communication in order to engage your customers. Engaged customers imply higher retention, which means further business growth.
As your chatbots gain insights, you’ll personalize the conversation to suit your customers. And with sentiment analysis, chatbots can pick up the underlying emotions and respond appropriately, which can guide the conversation better to empathize with your customers. It’s part of building a relationship and loyalty.
The Engati NLP Engine uses previous conversations to make future conversations even better through personalized human interactions and provides the ability to connect with Live Chat, so you get the best of both worlds.