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Chatbots: Are you with us or against us?
Thursday, 12 October 2017

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Omnichannel

What's yours called Siri, Alexa or something else? Soon, most businesses will have a chatbot, whirring away alongside human contact centre agents. In fact, all the tech you need is now within easy reach.

Chatbots for against 900

Are the robots taking over?

Before getting too far into this topic, let's shoo some scary digital elephants out of the room. Chatbots won't transform overnight into robot overlords that imprison you at your desk or hunt you down like The Terminator. But their march into the customer contact arena is unstoppable.

Research from Oracle shows that 80% of businesses already use, or are planning to launch, chatbots by 2020[1]. What's more, it's predicted that chatbots will power 85% of customer service interactions by 2020 and the average person will talk more with bots than with their spouse[2].

So what can chatbots do for me?

Put simply, chatbots can interact with thousands of your customers simultaneously, handling repetitive tasks and answering basic questions in a consistent way. This means you can reduce waiting times, improve service and provide 24/7 customer support. Then there are obvious savings if companies can employ fewer low-skilled agents or switch them to more meaningful tasks.

But the best chatbots can go further. You can integrate them with other self-service features and agent tools as part of the omni-channel experience you deliver to customers. You can adapt them to fit your brand and audience. And the best solutions even enable chatbots to guide customers to secure automated payment options, Apple Pay by phone, or agent-assisted phone payments.

I've met chatbots before - and I hated them

We feel your pain. And, let's be honest, a grinning chatbot cartoon face just makes it so much worse.

But Chatbots are only as good as their memory banks. So if you've encountered a bionic buffoon that doesn't grasp your simple request and locked you into a never-ending conversational loop then it's because they've been starved of knowledge.

Chatbot rage can be avoided if you follow these three steps:

Step #1: Keep it simple

Fail to choose the chatbot’s tasks carefully you’ll end up with an irksome android that customers will despise just like they loathe bad IVRs. It's essential to only let your chatbot handle the low-skilled, repetitive tasks and leave the complex, intelligent stuff to human agents.

Step #2: Boost its brainpower

Behind every successful chatbot is a thoughtful Knowledge Base, supplying the right answers every time. Choose the right chatbot specialist as your technology partner and they'll supply a ready-made Knowledge Base for you to use immediately or help you to build your own.

Step #3: Make it part of your team

The arrival of chatbots is good news for human agents, saving them from many mind-numbing tasks. But it's important to ensure there's a swift and seamless handover between your android agents and human ones every time a customer's enquiries prove more complex. That's where human agents really shine and make the difference.

Eckoh's chatbot technology fits neatly within within multi-channel and Omnichannel contact centre environments. Take a look at the Chatbot eGuide and discover how you can make this work for you and your customers.

To find out more about Eckoh Chatbots and other tools available via the Eckoh Experience Portal that can enhance your contact centre why not give us a call on 08000 630 730 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sources:
[1]'80% of businesses want chatbots by 2020' (Business Insider, Dec. 14, 2016)
[2]

About the Author

Graham Pollard

Graham Pollard

Director of Omnichannel Services

A strategy focused and internationally experienced senior operations management, revenue generation and business development specialist with 20 years highly acclaimed executive level results year on year. Track record of excellence over 25+ years delivering profit focused operational improvements within the broad telecoms and IT sector contributing to individual skills development, team dynamics and bottom line performance.

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