Your Brand & Bots: A Guide to Getting Started

Posted by
Mary Dorsett
Enterprise Training Delivery Specialist
Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 16:34

They go by many names — chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI), and intelligent assistance (IA). No matter what you call them, we’re way past the point of just talking about bots; you should already be incorporating them into your consumer engagement strategy.

AI has come a long way since its field of research was founded in 1956, but it still has a long way to go. Don’t wait until the world decides bots have fully been developed. Proactive, technically savvy brands have already set their AI strategy in motion. Bots have proven themselves incredible assets to customer care, relieving some of the responsibilities of frontline professionals, so they can focus on more pressing issues.

If you’re not sure where to begin, ask yourself these questions.

The 5 questions to jump-start your brand strategy with bots.

Whether you’re just implementing AI or you’re revising a longstanding strategy, keep these these top of mind during your journey with bots.

1. Where will you deploy your bot or apply AI? Outline the various customer journeys, paying close attention to pain points a bot could quickly alleviate. Is your immediate goal to drive sales? Consider Facebook for its easy payment processing. If you’re focused on service, think about how you can incorporate AI into the app, SMS, and even brick-and-mortar experience. Bots also can improve your internal operations by streamlining tasks and increasing team productivity. Try involving your employees in the decision-making process; this will encourage conversations, leading to more use-case ideas.

2. What will your bot look like? Think about your bot as your mascot. Should it be nearly indistinguishable from a human? Or do you opt for a more comic approach — à la Poncho, the weather cat? You don’t need a big budget to get started. Any brand can build a simplistic bot and add complexity by working with an outside company eager to jump at the opportunity. Don’t make its appearance a major investment. The landscape is rapidly changing, meaning there will likely be many iterations of over the course of its lifecycle. If you’re feeling stuck, trust your gut. You’ll can always evolve it later on.

3. What happens when a bot’s not enough? Even the most sophisticated AI has its shortcomings. A recent LivePerson survey revealed that 54% of consumers’ top concern with bots is not having their questions understood, and 50% worry the experience will be frustrating. Some situations call for a live person on the other end — to handle complex inquiries or lend a sympathetic ear. Intelligent AI can pinpoint the moment an interaction needs to be escalated to a live representative. LiveEngage can seamlessly transition a customer interaction with a bot to a meaningful connection with a human without ever having to repeat themselves.

4. How will AI affect your customer care professionals? It’s not all about the bot. Your customer care professionals (CCPs) on the front lines of service will need training on how to handle interactions escalated from the bot. They need access to conversation history, so the consumer doesn't have to repeat anything or notice a shift in care. LivePerson’s proven SURA framework training will help prepare CCPs for this new kind of conversation. On average, we see a 19% higher CSAT score when agents take this training vs. those who don't. Your goal should be to empower agents as CCPs and transition your call center into a connection center.

The next step is to realign your KPIs. Once bots take over the automated tasks, your CCP is left with the much more complex requests. This means the average conversation will be longer, and other KPIs may need adjusting from industry to industry. Engage your LivePerson account management team for guidance with these metrics.

5. How will you stay on top of of the learning curve? The transcript of every conversation needs to be fed back into the AI technology, which will be made smarter. On the other end, AI learning can help CCPs by elevating predefined content, so they can choose the most relevant for their conversations. The bot then internalizes these choices, letting the agent handle more conversations concurrently. If the CCP has to free-type or edit the bot’s suggestion, the bot will also automatically incorporate those replies into its library for agents to employ in future conversations.

Bots aren’t just the future — they’re our reality. But they cannot act alone. It’s never to early or late to start collecting data, learning from your experiences, and adjusting your strategy as you go. Agile brands with a finger to the pulse will emerge as the leaders. And the others? They won’t be around for long.

The bots have arrived. And LiveEngage is ready. Chat with a member of our team to learn more.

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