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Understand Why Chatbots Matter to the Contact Center

Learning objectives:

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the value of a chatbot.
  • Discover how Einstein Bots create scale and drive productivity for customer service.

Bots Defined

You’re probably already familiar with bots, even though you may not realize it. If you’ve ever used Siri or Alexa, you’ve used a bot. A bot is an application that automates standard tasks. If you ask Siri for directions, the bot is using your voice command to do what you used to do yourself when you typed your destination into a navigation website. 

The new thing about bots is that they’re being used in a lot more places, like customer service. In this unit, you learn how chatbots can be used in your contact center to do things like automatically resolve routine requests without your agents ever being involved or collect and qualify customer information on behalf of your agents for a seamless hand off.

Why Bots Matter

Chatbots are here to take care of the routine, easy-to-solve issues that take up valuable agent time, empowering them to focus on higher value, more complex issues that require a human touch. And by doing so they provide customers an easy way to quickly find answers to their most common issues.

Technically speaking, a bot is simply a computer program that can carry on a conversation when a user speaks or texts with it. But chatbots are so much more than that.

  • Chatbots are your allies in the race to resolve support issues fast. They can resolve low-touch customer requests and seamlessly hand off complex inquiries.
  • Chatbots deflect common customer issues. They help customers self-direct immediately, and resolve common issues without waiting to “get in the queue.”
  • Chatbots reduce chat duration (and save money). For more complex issues, CRM-connected chatbots can collect and qualify customer information and seamlessly hand it off to an agent, reducing handle time and increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Most importantly, chatbots can be trained to understand human language—and respond intelligently—through natural language understanding (NLU).

The Personality of a Chatbot

Customer service chatbots can be programed in all sorts of ways—even their tone. Specifically, bots can be programmed to come across as natural and meet basic user expectations about how conversation works. To do that, chatbots must reflect human behavior and preferences in conversation. Well-designed chatbots express the following qualities.

  • Transparent. The chatbot should identify itself as a chatbot right up front. It should state what it can do and provide guidance via a pop-up menu of top customer requests.
  • Personable. The chatbot should have a voice and tone that expresses the brand. This can be in the type of language or which emojis (if any) are used.
  • Thorough. The chatbot should give the user complete information—and time to read it. Chatbots can also provide images to enhance the clarity of the information provided.
  • Iterative. To address any issues that arise, chatbots should be continuously modified. Chatbots should improve their performance over time and not be thought of as a one-and-done kind of thing.

Chatbots should be easy to integrate with customer data and service channels, as well as with business process. If the chatbot cannot resolve the customer’s concern, it’s important to provide a seamless hand off to an agent. Escalation to an agent should be simple for the customer, with navigation tools provided by the chatbot. 

When a chatbot hands off a customer conversation to an agent, it’s a good idea for agents to acknowledge the conversation the customer already had with the chatbot, especially if the customer seems frustrated. Something like, “Thanks for chatting with our chatbot, my name is Ted and I’m going to take it from here.” 

Transforming Service with Einstein Bots

To help our customers take advantage of the advances in artificial intelligence, we’ve introduced Einstein Bots—AI-powered and CRM-connected chatbots—built natively on the Salesforce Platform. Einstein Bots engage with your customers using natural language understanding (NLU) to collect and qualify information in a conversational manner to automatically resolve routine customer requests. And when needed, Einstein Bots will seamlessly hand off to an agent. Since Einstein Bots are natively built on the Salesforce Platform, they are preintegrated with your CRM data and service channels, and provide an intuitive, out-of-the-box user interface. 

Einstein Bots are easy to set up and deploy with the Einstein Bot Builder, a point-and-click setup tool that allows you to design your own chatbot. Einstein Bots can also be easily connected to existing business processes with Bot Builder (check out an example below) to automatically initiate or complete actions on an agent’s behalf. Building your bot is simple with Salesforce, allowing you to use clicks not code.

Einstein Bots’ powerful NLU capabilities help identify and understand your customers’ requests, and respond conversationally. Einstein Bots allow your customers to initiate a conversation with one click and provide a guided experience with menu options. These menu-driven options are an effective way to immediately expose top requests or transfer to an agent, providing transparency to the chatbot’s capabilities.

Bots are no longer part of a distant, imagined future. Instead, they are working diligently to improve service operations and customer experience. Everywhere you look in the business world, bots are beginning to change the way companies interact with customers. The question is, what kind of experience do you want to deliver to your customers and agents? 

Einstein Bots enable every customer service organization to scale support with AI to deflect and automatically resolve top customer requests, reduce handle time, and empower agents to focus on what they do best—solve customer problems that require a human touch. The result? Happy customers, empowered agents, and a more efficient contact center.

Resources

Service Bots Basics

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