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Customer Engagements with Chatbots

Dec 17, 2018

Jayashree

So, you’re working from home, and are unable to log into your organization’s secure channel. What do you usually do? Raise a ticket with the service desk with the highest possible priority and hope that it’s resolved quickly or head straight to office if the task can’t wait. What if you could text someone who can help you, through WhatsApp or Facebook messenger.  What if I say that you can reach out to that person any time of day or night, even during Christmas, and they will respond immediately when you do. They’ll try and identify the problem and help you resolve it or let you know if the problem cannot be solved by you, informs an engineer on your behalf and gives you an ETA. Now, that would be cool, won’t it? That’s a help desk bot for you.

The right chatbots are as knowledgeable as humans in their area, but without the challenges that come with humans. At the age where the service is expected at the same standard every single time, organizations could find an easy but exciting solution in bots. With bots meeting the standard of service every time, organizations and their staff can concentrate on adding new services or adding new features to their existing services in line with the requirements of the clients, instead of trying to streamline service delivery.

Chatbots in ITSM will mean, more time for your service desk engineers to deal with complex problems that require human intercession. It’ll mean less stress for your employees and they can scale themselves up to higher levels of support activities. ITSM chatbots mean effort and money saved, even while improving customer experience and satisfaction.

Bots can also help you to help your customers, should they face any issues with your products/services, or an engaging way to access your FAQ section. Today, more people are using messenger apps and social media than ever, therefore it’s important for organizations to be part of them. It makes sense to establish customer touch points in mediums that the customers engage with the most with. I’d even go as far to say that it might be good idea to have a roadmap for use of AI in your organizations. I

You have an impressive portfolio of products and a well-organized website to support and showcase them. When potential customers access your site, and are interested in your offerings. Would you prefer them to fill out the same old forms that’ve been used since the dawn of dynamic sites or would you have them chat with a witty bot, who can give them instant information, setting you apart from your competitors. The bot would also be a part of your brand, would portray your firm as futuristic and innovative, and rightly so. The world has never been more convinced about the substantiality of the role of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in shaping the future. So, it is a great time to invest in them.

Also, don’t get intimidated by the idea of super-human, hyper-intelligent bot. Your bot doesn’t have to be all powerful. It doesn’t have to be an Alexa. It might even be dedicated to a single utility. Like say, a shop assistant bot on a website. Deciding what your bot will do or what problem it’ll address is key. Once you’ve done that, it’ll be easier to decide whether you should use an existing development platform or you’re better off taking help from a bunch of friends and starting from scratch. Choosing the right medium or publishing platform is also important, as this can have a substantial impact on how popular your bot can get and how well you can reach your target users.  For example, if you want to develop an entertainment chatbot, targeted at teens, you could publish your bot on facebook’s messenger and use a dev platform like ChatFuel.  For a more serious bot, say a personal assistant,  maybe you should use LUIS and microsoft’s bot framework on Skype. Again, the principle functionality of the bot and the problem it addresses will help you decide on the medium as well.

Well thought out use-cases will improve the chances of you developing a winner, instead of a whiner who annoys users with frequent notifications, or simply a non-interesting bot.

If you’re with a company that has a sizeable infrastructure system(s) in place, then consider ITSM chatbots for your own staff. If your company sells products or services, consider getting a chatbot embedded on your website, (especially, if you’re B2B), on popular messengers (if you’re B2C), and on social media (B2B and B2C).

With the emphasis customers place on ease of communication and availability of support. Why not extend them this courtesy right from the first communication, even before they become your customers?

For executives, who think a chatbot might be something their organization can benefit from, but are wary about the investments and the time, a chatbot could be a lot more affordable than you would’ve imagined, especially if they’re built on bot building platform. You might be able to develop a beta within a few months with just a couple of your own developers.

If your needs are unique and complex, or if you have a long-term vision for your bot, then developing one from scratch maybe a good option. You can also buy one off the rack and customize it or get one built just for you, you can hire a team online, or talk to your IT partner. So, developing a chatbot is not all that expensive, especially considering the potential benefits.

About the Author:

Jayashree is a presales consultant at GAVS Technologies and works on cutting edge technology solutions & proposals. A management post graduate, Jay is a toastmaster, a rookie blogger and a Potterhead who also appreciates Jane Austen.