May 2, 2018 | By

7 Ways to Achieve Harmony Between Bots & Humans

We talk a lot about the importance of achieving harmony between chatbots and their human counterparts, but what does that really mean?

In the world of AI, we see harmony as a place where chatbots and humans can work together to drive better customer outcomes.  Humans and chatbots both have their strengths.  By augmenting the customer journey with chatbots where appropriate and human agents when necessary, we are aiming to create a whole, consistent and delightful customer experience.

Harmony is a lovely idea, but isn’t always easy to achieve.  Here are 7 key principles to consider when creating an AI-powered customer experience:

1.)  Make It Conversational –  There is a lot of talk about conversational AI today, but not everyone is delivering on that promise.  Ensuring that a chatbot can communicate the way humans do is the baseline for every good chatbot experience.  It needs to understand the variances in how we each communicate, allow for mistakes (like typos) by understanding the intent of what we are asking, not just words that are being used.  Customers will ask the same questions in 20 different ways and the chatbot needs to not only recognize these differences, but still provide the correct answer and do so in an engaging and intuitive way.

2.) Make Sure It’s Intelligent – This seems like a no-brainer, but this is where many chatbot implementations get hung up.  Understanding the difference between true Natural Language Processing (NLP) vs. a scripted series of rules.  The intelligence of NLP comes in its ability to understand the context of the conversation.  For example, if a customer asks how long their flight is, the chatbot should know that it needs more information to appropriately answer that question such as where I am flying to and from where.  If the customer then choses to swap out either the origin or destination cities, the chatbot needs to be able to retain the context of the previous interaction to keep the conversation going.

3.) Make Sure It’s Meaningful– Chatbots themselves have been around for some time, but they are now moving beyond their gimmicky past to providing personalized and meaningful experiences.  Rather than just serving up answers from a knowledge-base, modern chatbots can immediately identify customer intent and get the      customer to the resources that will provide them the best outcome – whether that be delivered through the chatbot itself or their human counterpart.

4.) Make Sure It’s Frictionless – This is where the harmony idea really comes into play.  Being able to bring together the best of human and AI interactions under one umbrella for the customer.  There are lots of points where AI is best at serving humans like answering repetitive questions or providing service after business hours, but there are other situations where a human agent can make all the difference – when there is sensitive information involved or if there are upsell opportunities, for example.  Having a seamless hand-off from a bot to an agent (and back again) including the full context of the previous interactions is crucial.  Customers should never have to repeat themselves when moved to a different agent or channel.

5.) Make Sure It Helps the Agent – We have already talked about how chatbots can be an agent’s best friend and one of the ways it does that is by helping to augment what the agent already knows.  Whether it’s a net new employee or one that has been there a while, there is always a need to train agents to make sure they are updated on the latest policies, procedures, inventory changes, etc.  Chatbots should be able to serve up intelligent, contextually relevant answers and suggested responses to help create consistent experiences and great outcomes for customers and efficient engagements for agents.

6.) Make Sure It’s Always Learning – The promise of AI is that it should be able to get better the more you use it.  With machine learning, you can leverage the knowledge that your end-customer and agent provide to create new content and optimize the experience.  Being able to customer data analytics to break down information silos and capture information at the frontlines where agents and customers are to make the customer experience better is truly a game-changer.

7.) Make Sure It’s Flexible – Finally, all this knowledge isn’t any good if you can’t leverage it.  Customers are going to find new ways to interact with companies and it’s important that you can quickly identify areas that can be improved and easily drive changes based on those interactions.

Learn more about how we’ve incorporated these 7 principles into the latest version of Bold360 ai.

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