How Chatbots and Conversational AI Empower Human Agents to Enhance the Customer Experience

The adoption of chatbots and conversational AI in the business world has been nothing short of remarkable. The ability to automate conversations and provide customers with quick, personalized responses has the potential for dramatic business transformation, enabling teams to focus on higher-level tasks while still delivering a top-notch customer experience. However, as businesses begin to adopt these tools, it is critical to strike the right balance between automation and human touch. In this blog post, we will explore how chatbots and conversational AI can empower human agents to enhance the customer experience.

Chatbot flows and conversational AI are distinct but complementary

it's important to understand the difference between automated chatbot flows and conversational AI. Chatbot flows are automated conversations that are optimized to support specific business processes, such as answering common customer inquiries or guiding users through a checkout process. On the other hand, conversational AI is designed to mimic natural conversation, allowing users to engage in open chat interactions free of constraints. While conversational AI can in theory be incredibly powerful when designed as a broad customer-facing solution, it can also be risky to implement without proper controls. Given too much freedom, conversational AI has already been shown to expose the business to unnecessary risk that could lead to loss of business, regulatory infringement, and even legal suits. Unchecked conversational AI has been the cause of offensive language, privacy breaches, and in some cases even harmful medical advice.

Before trusting any conversational AI solution to interact with actual customers, a comprehensive training initiative is typically developed and tested complete with a collection of real questions and answers for reference (ideally enriched with intent and entity data). Even then, human supervisors must exercise judgement much like you would when training and onboarding any new agent.

Chatbot flows often outperform conversational AI 

While conversational AI is certainly compelling, it's far from production ready when it comes to customer facing scenarios. Automated chatbot flows are dramatically more practical. Consumers will often prefer a point-and-click experience rather than an open conversation. This is especially true in situations where the customer is seeking a quick answer or resolution to a problem. For example, a customer who wants to check the status of an order or return a product will likely prefer to click a few buttons to receive a simple, straightforward response. In these cases, a chatbot flow will resolve the conversation efficiently while minimizing margin for error.

First Contact Resolution (FCR) is key to measure chatbot performance

One key metric for chatbot success is First Contact Resolution (FCR). FCR measures the percentage of customer inquiries that are resolved in a single interaction, without the need for escalation or follow-up. This metric is important because it can have a direct impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. By providing quick and accurate responses to customer inquiries, businesses can build trust and confidence with their customers.

Chatbot efficiency drives the future of conversational AI

As businesses begin to adopt these tools, they are discovering that chatbots can provide significant cost savings and efficiencies. Chatbots can handle a high volume of inquiries and provide quick responses, allowing human agents to focus on more complex interactions. As businesses continue to optimize their chatbot flows, they are discovering ways to provide even more efficient and effective service to their customers.

The best human agents are expert chatbot supervisors 

Naturally,  human agents will always play a critical role in customer service. The best human agents are expert chatbot supervisors. They can monitor chatbot interactions and step in when necessary to provide additional support or guidance. For example, if a chatbot is unable to resolve a complex inquiry, a human agent can step in and provide more personalized support. By working together, chatbots and human agents can provide a seamless and effective customer experience.

Chatbot assisted conversations emerge as a disruptive growth engine 

In fact, chatbot-assisted conversations are emerging as a disruptive growth engine. By combining the power of automation with the human touch, businesses can provide personalized and efficient service at scale. Although chatbots are typically used to provide the initial response in a conversation, advanced chatbot capabilities could assist agents by invoking dedicated flows. This hybrid approach can provide significant cost savings and efficiencies, while also enhancing the overall customer experience. Over time, recurring agent feedback can be used to re-train and optimize existing chatbot flows and even build new ones on the fly. 

Chatbots and conversational AI are powerful tools that can help businesses provide efficient and effective customer service. Ultimately, striking the right balance between automation and human touch will enable businesses to build trust and confidence with their customers, while also driving cost savings and efficiencies. As chatbot training methodologies continue to evolve, businesses must remain vigilant to ensure that they are using these tools in the most effective and responsible way possible. With the right strategy and approach, chatbots and conversational AI can empower teams to elevate the customer experience to new industry standards. 

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