Sep

Artificial Intelligence of Chatbots: What Do You Need to Know.

                                                 

While Chatbots have been around for a little while now, their presence is more noticeable thanks to Facebook and Microsoft’s recent advancements.

Initially customers complained about the robot-like experience and the limited functionality of first generation bots and rarely found them useful. The customers were skeptical about how valuable in practice chatbots actually are, which has left recent AI vendors like nmodes with the task to combat the leftover stigma from the poor customer experiences and shortcomings of these initial offerings.

Chatbots, like an IVR?

We’re all used to calling into a contact center and punching numbers into a menu to be routed to the correct agent or service to address our needs. Interactive Voice Response solutions (IVRs) drive this interaction and are basically If/then routing trees that “listen” to the digit entered and “transfer” the user to the appropriate next step. While tremendous advancements in technology have brought voice recognition capabilities, those first generation IVRs were all about automated actions based on prompts.  Enter your account number, press 1 to speak to an agent, etc…

The first generation Chatbots are just like an IVR. They can respond to prompts to progress through a predetermined process or display some canned information like pricing, a contact number, route to an agent, etc., but that was about the extent of it. Still 1stgeneration Chatbots came with 4thgeneration expectations. While these basic functions have tremendous value to a business, the customer expectation is very different when dealing with a phone call vs. a chat session. Consumers have experienced IVR routing for decades whereas chat is still relatively new and is perceived as a conversation with a person, rather than interacting with a machine. Add on the fact that many vendors and consumers mislabeled Chatbots as Artificial Intelligence in the beginning and the expectation of a dynamic, responsive customer experience is even greater.

So it’s no surprise that customers were less than impressed with “Artificial Intelligence” that could only display simple answers and basic information. We were expecting Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey or KIT from Knight Rider, and we got a pixelated PONG instead.

Let’s talk…

Now, Artificial Intelligence has evolved to be integrated into Chatbots to deliver a more powerful user experience.  While these new versions of Chatbots coming out are powered by Artificial Intelligence, AI powered chat also exists independent of bots in some instances. Confusing? Yeah, I was too.

The beauty behind true Artificial Intelligence is its ability to recognize the context of a conversation and respond with relevant, contextual information dynamically. A customer can now “speak” to technology the same way they would hold a conversation and the AI has the ability to “read” the customer’s intent to provide information quickly and efficiently. No more are you limited to a set of canned responses. The AI can reach in to a wider array of relevant information to craft unique responses based on any number of criteria. While in most cases AI is still limited to a few topics per use case, the technology is growing quickly, making almost daily improvements in functionality and customer experience.

What is even cooler is that the longer the AI is deployed, the more it “learns” and improves the speed and quality of responses. So while the scope of AI interactions is limited at first, the maturity curve is quick, delivering an ever-improving customer experience without having to invest in additional people, processes, or technology. It really is like a “growing up” of technology, right before your eyes. 

Interested in reading more? Check out our other blogs:

How nmodes Intent API Improves Social Intelligence

Social media generates a vast amount of data. There are 500 million daily messages on Twitter alone. Still more data on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and other social networks. Some of this data is useful to businesses, in fact, it is extremely useful.

A business can use social data to generate actionable insights about customers, competitors and their company strategy. Social information empowers departments and teams, and when used correctly, creates a strong sustainable bond between businesses and their customers.

nmodes Intent API helps businesses to execute their social strategy efficiently. Here are the major elements of social strategy Intent API contributes to:

1. Listening. Intent API finds customer intent with any level of granularity. You might want to know who is looking to buy shoes in general, or looking to buy flip-flops in particular, or interested in buying only Nike footware, or interested in buying sneakers in New York region.

2. Sales and marketing.  Intent API understands what stage in the purchase process your customer is in. Intent API tells if a customer is ready to buy, or is in the awareness stage, or considering the purchase but not ready yet, and so on.

3. Social intelligence. Intent API delivers meaningful intents and behavioral information on a large scale and for all verticals. Any insights and topics, as long as somebody is conversing on this topic, are available.

4. Teams and projects. Intent API channels information to the relevant departments within the company. Sales prospects should go to sales department, complaints to customer service, brand conversations to the marketers, and technical issues to tech support.

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Top 5 Reasons to Use Artificial Intelligence Chat in Your Contact Center

1. Zero Wait Times

Do you suffer from long chat queues? How about any chat queues? Can you imagine a world where your customers are either immediately engaged in a proactive chat, or can easily decide to engage in a on-demand chat and get immediate service, no matter how busy your contact center is? Well, that day is today. With AI chat integrated into your contact center customers can be served immediately with no additional agent resources required. Now you can change your focus from calculating the time before a chat session starts to hcounting the number of chat sessions escalated to a live agent (We’ll give you a hint: It’s a lot less with Chat AI).

2. The High Efficiency Rate

The average chat session is completed in 42 seconds. With most questions being answered in just a few short seconds (Unless you’re Zappos, of course), Chat AI can quickly and effectively address most problems today, without having to engage a live agent. The savings in time and abandonment rate combined with the increased customer satisfaction, not only reduces costs, but delivers a measureable improvement in performance and customer perception.

3. It Really Understands Language

True Artificial Intelligence is not the robotic, sometimes irrelevant interaction of yesterday.  Answers are more personalized, relevant, and complemented by the newly acquired ability to access multiple data sources to deliver the best possible responses to inquiries. The technology “learns” the longer it is deployed, as a result customer  experiences improve with time without the need for additional investments in technology, people, or processes.

4. No such thing as a “Sick Day”

AI doesn’t sleep, it doesn’t get sick, you don’t need to train it, and it’ll never quit in the middle of a seasonal rush. You don’t even need to give it lunch, breaks, or let it go to the bathroom. Imagine how easy Workforce Management becomes when all you’re doing is flipping a switch. Scheduling becomes less and less of an issue over time, as the application continues to learn, making your investment more valuable over time.

5. 24x7x365

Imagine the increase in sales volume and support cases your business could handle if you’re able to offer 24x7x365 chat. And cart abandonment plummets when customers are offered chat. Today Chat AI can answer anywhere from 70-90% of customer inquiries meaning that only the most verbose requests require a human, and at an operational cost that is often 4 times less than the cost of staffing a contact center.

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