Strange, strange things… At ixdlab_ we aren’t convinced that Chatbots can fully replace a trained human employee entirely. We do believe they offer business added value in supporting out of hours contact, or brilliant for handling regular simple tasks like applying a flag to customer bank accounts that the customer is using a card in another country. They can be useful for answering customer queries on delivery dates for ordered goods, or to help identify and apply voucher savings on a range of products for promotional reasons.
Building a Chatbot to successfully respond to every customers query isn’t without its challenges. Researchers currently predict that within the next five years 70 – 90% of customer queries will be successfully dealt with by Chatbots, the resulting cost saving making Chatbots worth considering.
So how do you work out how to construct a useful and successful chatbot?
1. Work out what questions your customers ask on a frequent basis.
This could range from simple queries:
- Delivery times
- Shipping addresses
- Order status
- Updates to pricing
and simple tasks
- Changing a PIN number
- Applying a discount to the right product
- Password resets
2. Work out how many of the regular queries answered by your staff can be directed to the chatbot
Time savings for your staff answering customer contact queries and completing simple tasks can be measured over a typical day, week, or month. So if a member of staff regularly addresses the same queries in say the average industry time of 10 minutes for responding to a customer query with a specified time period then it is possible to benchmark the most common queries and work out an average cost of handling responses.
3. Chatbots have problems recovering from incorrect input by customers or deviation off topic
Chatbots often work on linear scripts that have very specific steps. It’s better if the design of the Chatbot is far more flexible, and adaptive to identifying changes in request for what the Customer wants. This is not however without issue. Designing a Chatbot which can identify context of query is better than designing with a tightly scripted linear type script which is too inflexible to adapt to customer changes. Other ways to compensate for incorrect input is to show the Chatbots menu to the customer to help resolve a query.
Typos and indirect questions can also challenge the Chatbots responses. So make sure that a design compensates for these eventualities and has flexibility in the interpretation of contexts from the customers answers.
4. Sometimes understanding between customers and company Chatbot need a little help.
If all other routes to answer a customers query become too over complex. Provide alternative contact to the customer such as a phone number, access to a human being, or a reasonable alternative.
5. Never hide the fact from the customer that they are conversing with a Chatbot
Avoid the frustration of the customer by making it obvious that contact is with a Chatbot initially. If the customer of the chatbot cannot find the right answer put them in contact with an actual customer advisor, but advise the customer before you transfer the conversation.
That by designing flexibility into a Chatbots scripts and into the design of its responses in context of a customers query can prove to be a valuable addition to your business strategy. Despite the problems with a Chatbots high interaction cost and the questions around spending more on a website or app to avoid the need for a Chatbot they still are useful for providing coverage 24/7 for simple queries and tasks. They can also lessen the distractions associated when a customer is making a purchase.
Chatbots have potential to improve on the return on investment for your company so that you and your staff can concentrate on the less mundane aspects of customer support.
Improving User Experience with IXDLAB
At IXDLAB, we help the world’s top brands to create digital experiences that work for their users. From user research and design, to evaluation – our UX experts will ensure that your digital products are right for your audience.
For more about UX, or a no obligation consultation, please get in touch with us today on 07858110704, or email email@example.com.
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