This is the fourth article in a multi-part series on Digital Engagement. The entire series can be found here.
Sometimes we’d just rather not talk to a human. If we know we can get an answer fast and don’t feel like chatting with someone; it’s just a lot easier to interact with an application than to have a conversation with a person. After all, the whole search engine era is all about finding answers fast without any human interaction.
Enter the chatbot, taking searching for the answer a few steps further. Using text messaging-like dialogs, a form of communication we are all familiar with, customers can have guided interactions with a chatbot to get to a resolution quickly and more accurately.
Interacting with a chatbot is easy – there’s no need for conversational niceties, no need to provide extensive background information, no need to enter your account number multiple times, and the chatbot won’t be insulted if you are multi-tasking.
Of course, chatbots aren’t the answer to everything. Customer issues can run the gamut, and it would be impossible for a chatbot to handle every type of issue. There are diminishing returns the more types of issues you try to address. However, chatbots work exceptionally well for certain cases – particularly easier questions that have straightforward resolutions. Chatbots can also be useful for guided cases, where asking a few questions to get to the specific answer quickly is effective. The more common the question, the more value it adds by putting it online in a chatbot. And you always have the “out” clause which is if the chatbot can’t answer your question – it can connect to a real person through a liveagent chat.
Benefits of Chatbots
Companies who offer Chatbots gain a huge advantage. When customers can self-service their issues, it makes things more efficient for the company and enhances their brand. Getting to resolution faster and in the way that customers prefer increases customer satisfaction.
When more issues are handled via Chatbot, it means that your agents can spend more time doing higher-value activities, such as handling more complicated cases or spending more time on issues making a difference in customer experience.
Salesforce Digital Engagement Chatbots
Salesforce offers much more than the ability to set up simple chatbot request-response templates. Salesforce chatbots use Einstein technology to simulate human conversation, either aloud or from text messages. Einstein utilizes AI-based Natural Language Understanding (NLU) so that customers can interact more easily and effectively.
Chatbots can be on different technologies. For instance, chatbots can be on web chat, SMS messaging, or voice-activated devices, all leveraging the same back-end technology no matter what communication platform they may be on. Chatbot interactions can also be stored with the customer record so that you have a record of all customer conversations regardless of whether a human was involved or not.
Because Einstein is data-based, chatbots can be “programmed” automatically and get better over time. Einstein uses machine learning to look at all past cases and conversations to intelligently predict the best response.
The more you can resolve issues online and in a brand-enhancing way, the more the technology pays for itself. Of course, as your customers learn to interact with your chatbot, the more you can use it as a platform to put additional issue paths online – creating even more value for your end-users. Salesforce is always improving and adding more capabilities. So, the more you invest in the technology, the more you can take advantage as new chatbot platforms become supported – significantly reducing the cost of adding each additional channel.
With all the new communication technologies on the market, it’s amazing how “instant messaging” continues to be such a popular communication channel, even amongst the earliest and most sophisticated adopters. Similarly, chatbots are only becoming more sophisticated and smarter, and more common than ever. Given that this messaging style is here to stay, even as new forms of it show on new mediums, Salesforce Digital Engagement becomes an increasingly important investment providing scalable support and keeping you at the forefront of customer service.