Many chatbots are of little value to customers

08.11.2019

The key to achieving good customer service lies in optimizing the interaction between humans and machines.

Many things are crying for our attention in our everyday life. The fight for customers’ attention is tough, and society, being discerning, have high expectations when using a product or a service. The time that the customers spend communicating with your company has to be worth it. Otherwise, they will move on to your competitors.

Today, many tasks are manually performed by people. These are tasks that could have been performed just as good, or perhaps better, if they were automated using smart technology. Tasks suitable for automation are generally those performed relatively similarly each time such as correcting the due date of invoices or troubleshooting the internet connection. However, technology is not the answer to everything.

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People + Technology = True

Although we in Avo work with virtual assistants, also known as chatbots, we recognize that there are many chatbots in the market that fail to create increased customer value. The problem is not the technology but how the technology is designed and implemented. If you manage to optimize the interaction between humans and machines, you will get more satisfied customers and co-workers.

Keep in mind that technology is not the answer to everything but a tool that can solve customer problems in a better way. In some cases, the goal is to provide customers with answers as quickly as possible. Other times, it is of higher importance that the customer feels acknowledged by another human. The goal of automation is not to take people out of their jobs, but to free up time so that more value-adding time can be spent with customers. Thus, the time spent on automation should be reinvested in more time spent with the customers.

Understanding customer needs

A flight is more than the flying itself. The customer journey starts from the day you find out that you need to travel, through the process of purchasing tickets and the time leading up to departure where you might be in contact with the airline company several times. If customer service is simplified to being able to answer the customer when he or she experiences a problem, you will lose them. For the customer experience, all points of customer contact through the customer and service journey are important.

You need to know what the customers need through the entire customer journey. Today, most companies compete in a global market with a high rate of innovation and development. Your customer service agents will play one of the most important roles for the company's future competitiveness.

The core of what makes the costumer experience of your delivery unique, is providing a good and personalized customer service. You must have a product or service that understands the customer and that deserve their attention. Remember they have a lot to choose from.

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Three important things to remember for those who want to provide good customer service


1) Prioritize the people who are in contact with the customers

Those who are in direct contact with your customers are important ambassadors for your company. Take care of them and listen to the observations they make. They know what the customers want. Focus on your customer service agents and build technology expertise among the agents on the first point of contact. Focus on becoming more data-driven on customer insights and establish standards for problem-solving.

2) Develop a channel strategy

Earlier, customer service was a telephone line where you often had to wait in a queue before talking to anyone. Nowadays, we ask for help through social media, chats and digital schemes. You should have a plan for how to use the various channels.

Companies often have a significant difference in response time on the various channels. Why is there a longer response time on e-mail than in the chat? This can have a significant impact on the whole customer experience, and for that reason there needs to be a strategy that supports it. All channels that the customers want to use need to be prioritized and you need to have a plan for the service level for each channel.

3) Care about what customers are asking for

All inquiries from your customers are valuable as they provide insight into what the company needs to improve. Inquiries will give insight to what customers really need and can therefore be used to further develop your products or services. The scariest inquiries are the ones you never get, because the customer decides to go to someone else who is more proactive.

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Let’s kick­start your dig­i­tal transformation

Bjørn Bergholt
Partner / Head of Conversational AI