Chatbots in Customer Service
The successful use of Artificial Intelligence
The relevance of successful customer service is underestimated by many companies, even though the success of the company is significantly influenced by it. In order to optimize customer service in terms of speed, quality, efficiency and individuality, companies should use future investments for digitization potential. Process automation and artificial intelligence are increasingly developing into megatrends that offer a wide range of opportunities for optimization in a variety of areas. How exactly do chat bots work, what are the advantages of integration, where are the application possibilities and what is the acceptance on customer sites?
What is a Chatbot?
Chatbots are technical dialog systems that enable text-based communication in real time and efficiently assist in the interaction between customer and company. The central goal is to process individual customer requests as quickly and competently as possible without direct human intervention and at low cost and time. In the context of the so-called Conversational Customer Service, the digital assistant offers a target-oriented optimization of customer interactions as well as a faster acquisition of potential new customers. Personalized communication with high reaction speed can be used to target specific information, support decision-making processes and facilitate consumption. This leads to increased customer convenience and consequently to an improved customer experience.
8 Reasons for the Integration of Chatbots
- Increase Customer Interactions and better Customer Knowledge
- Time- and location-independent 24/7 Availability
- High Service Quality through fast, personalized and consistent Customer Care with short Response Times
- Increase of Customer Satisfaction through highest possible Customer Convenience
- Increased Exploitation of potential and faster Acquisition of new Customers
- Cost Reduction, Time Saving, Efficiency Increase and Relief of Service Staff through automated Processes
- High User-friendliness through simple Operation and a System that can be adapted at any time
Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short, involves system programming to artificially imitate human thinking and learning and to transfer these abilities to the computer. The central goal is independent learning about the acquisition of rules and information, the recognition of meaningful conclusions from data patterns and continuous self-optimization.
Artificial Intelligence is currently undergoing rapid development, creating a wide range of opportunities for digitization in various areas of business. It is predicted that investments in AI will result in innovative business models worth $2.9 trillion by 2021 and increased productivity of 6.2 billion man-hours.
Chatbots are also increasingly linked to Artificial Intelligence and are therefore capable of learning independently. These AI-based systems constantly optimize their answers themselves in order to offer the customer the most human interaction and a user-friendly experience possible. Through dynamic reactions to individual behavior and the recognition of preferences, chat bots are increasingly becoming proactive, virtual online advisors.
The following Intelligence-levels apply to Chatbots
- Rule-based Chatbots:
They work on the basis of a preset question-answer system. Requests outside of the defined procedure end up in a kind of dead end and cannot be answered accordingly.
Here, it is possible to quickly save and retrieve received customer data.
- External Use of Data:
Access to External Data, such as information on the Internet, enables the chatbot to create independent, additional links depending on customer-specific interests.
- Artificial Intelligence:
Such Chatbots have a wide range of capabilities. They have natural language skills, Deep Learning (DL), machine learning and independent data processing, which enable them to learn in real time from interactions and preferences and to adapt to the situation.
How do AI-based Chatbots work?
The incoming text requests are first broken down into individual parts, categorized and analyzed according to rules. In order to recognize the questions and answers, the chatbot works with certain patterns, rules and algorithms that detect and correct the content even in case of accidental input errors in the text. Based on this rule-based programming, the chatbot selects the relevant question from the text. Consequently, it automatically searches the stored knowledge database with FAQ section or the Internet for a suitable answer. These are often simple, general and repetitive communication tasks. In order to offer the customer an optimal answer, the found answer is revised if necessary and combined with further answer elements. Before the corresponding text is returned to the customer, the chatbot optimizes it according to structure, grammar and sentence structure. The digital assistants increasingly work with stored user profiles in order to offer the customer the most personalized support possible.
Additional actions can be initiated in response to special customer requests, such as direct forwarding to the responsible, competent employee. At this personal service point, the customer is offered individual advice via live chat. This coordinated connection creates a successful balance between personal service and automation.
What are the Uses of Chatbots?
The use of a bot system is not limited to specific areas or industries, but there are many ways to integrate the digital assistant to support communication. Depending on the area of application and the intensity of customer communication, companies benefit to varying degrees from chatbot integration. Mainly chatbots are used by companies as stand-alone applications on websites and support centers as well as integrated into instant messaging systems and social networks.
In the course of this, Chatbots can take over activities of marketing, sales and customer service and can be integrated into marketing automation processes, for example. Chatbots are especially helpful in support and in the handling of standardized processes. This includes, for example, contacting new website visitors for the first time to generate leads.
Chatbots also handle various customer inquiries, provide advice on products and services, and help with problems. In the course of this, specific information can be played out in a targeted manner and decision-making processes can be influenced.
Chatbots can also be used to automate the direct sales process, including payment processing and targeted up- and cross-selling for sales support. Based on the data insights gained, measures can be initiated at the right time.
In addition, Chatbots are also used in concierge services, for example for hotel bookings and reservations, as well as for sending messages or weather reports. The use of chat bots also proves to be helpful for internal processes, such as fault reports or organizational employee inquiries about procedures. So-called social bots are now used for communication in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. There are also chat bots that are used to inspire baking recipes, for example, as kitchen help or private fun, as well as for therapeutic purposes.
What you should consider when planning a Chatbot
Before starting the Development Phase of Chatbots, the following Aspects should be considered:
- What is the Goal of the Chatbots?
- In what Tonality does the Chatbot communicate?
- What is the Content of the Communication?
- Do you want the Dialog to run free or guided?
- How is a Chatbot Dialog structured?
- How should the Chatbot react to Questions that cannot be answered?
How is the Acceptance of Chat Offers on Customer Sites?
With the rise of the Internet and Social Networks, Digitization has already led to enormous changes in customers’ information and consumption behavior. Digital elements have become an integral part of consumers’ everyday lives.
In the beginning, statistics showed that customers tended to reject chatbot usage. Due to the customers’ growing level of information and knowledge about what a chatbot is, digital contact is increasingly accepted.
Results of the Survey “Every fourth person wants to use Chatbots” on behalf of the Digital Association Bitkom:
- Every second person is interested in receiving the latest news, weather reports and traffic information this way.
- Almost half of them welcome interactions with customer service chat offers to communicate order queries and feedback.
- Two-thirds would use the digital assistants to buy tickets for events and to be supported in travel bookings.
- Every fourth person finds the use of the chatbot for delivery services and their orders appealing.
- More than 55 percent find chat bots helpful in online shopping, for example in product searches, offer comparisons or booking processing.
- Almost two thirds would use chat bots for the private planning of appointments.
With the use of Chatbots, a wide range of optimization opportunities can be used efficiently, resulting in various advantages for companies and customers alike. The degree of digitalization varies from industry to industry. There are areas in which a chatbot linkage with artificial intelligence and its advanced development is absolutely necessary, as otherwise a certain dependency on human support remains.
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