Does your Chat bot Need AI?

Chatbots are increasingly becoming a prominent feature in the customer service experience. Whether on your computer or on your phone, no matter where you want to reach customer service representatives, chances are high your first interaction, be it voice or digital platform, will be with some form of a chatbot.

Of course, deciding what type of bot makes the most sense for your business, budget and needs will entirely depend on your unique goals. What holds true for everyone, though, is that a properly implemented and facilitated bot will improve user experience on both ends of the line.

The question is then, what’s the best bot choice for you? There is a lot to consider. What is ‘best’ for one is not best for all. That said, adding the benefit of artificial intelligence (AI), could help improve customer service satisfaction, and thus, the business’s bottom line.

What is an AI Chatbot?

AI Chatbot is one that you can interact via text, voice, or both as you naturally do and get a meaningful response instantly. At its core, the bot has a brain powered by AI. It breaks down what you said, or typed, to identify words, sentences and even the sentiment. It then quickly analyzes the context (e.g., when a caller says “I’d like to book a table for two for dinner,” the bot understands that “book” means “reserve” and not a “publication”) to formulate a relevant response and/or follow-up action. Based on your preferences and past behaviors, the bot provides a personalized, conversational, human-like experience.

Along with the AI brain, comes memory. It not only remembers conversations but, can also learn from them and improve over time. The more the interactions are, the smarter the bot becomes. An AI powered chatbot provides a lot of advantages over chatbots that do not include AI. That’s not to say that it’s always necessary. It is to say it only enhances what your chatbot can do.

AI Chatbot: Key Components

Today’s leading chatbots come with a set of seven key capabilities and components. The absence of, or weakness in, one or more can make or break your chatbot project. Consider this your little CX cheat sheet.

An AI Chatbot Offers an Omnichannel User Interface

  • Supports both voice-based and chat or text-based interfaces and has a customizable user interface (UI) of its own.

An AI Chatbot Offers Natural Language Processing

  • Between capturing user input and generating a response, an AI Chatbot processes massive amounts of input; that’s where NLP comes into play. NLP is the bot’s ability to read or parse human language text.

An AI Chatbot Offers Intent Recognition and Handling

  • Understands user intent even when the query is structured in uncommon ways.

An AI Chatbot Offers Contextual Awareness

  • Learns from previous conversations and recalls and reuses that information in the future for relevant conversations (e.g., customers preference to be addressed by their first name only).

An AI Chatbot Offers Response Generation

  • Leverages natural language generation (NLG) to handle multiple intents in a single response (e.g., “I’m looking for a pair of blue denims, ideally a straight fit, in a 34 waist.”). The bot composes a single response that matches all the intents expressed.

An AI Chatbot Offers Escalation Management

  • Routes requests to a human agent, or an alternative handling method, when it cannot understand or handle an intent.

An AI Chatbot Offers Analytics and Monitoring

  • Provides reporting insights, ideally in real time, into the bot’s performance.

Whether you go for AI or without, having a Chatbot in your customer service arsenal is table-stakes for businesses who want to stay up-to-date and want to keep their customers satisfied. Understanding your unique needs, and those of your customers, is the first and most vital step to get you moving along in your journey to provide the best possible customer service experience.

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