How do you put the humanity back into customer interaction? Over the last few years we have spent so much time and money implementing these great self-service, automated, no-agent needed solutions that we have missed the mark on what customers consider great customer service.
Companies now advertise that a live person will answer their call, no matter what – not some poorly executed automated attendant. What made perfect sense to the business to help route customers more quickly, get them to the person with the right skills every time, and reduce agent time spent on the phone, has simply put customers off. We all know that it is expensive to have a live person answer the phone for a large contact center, so what are the alternatives if your objective is to provide a personal touch that extends the feeling of human interaction yet saves on the cost to serve?
As technology continues to evolve so does our opportunity to offer a more balanced approach to automation and self-service interactions. It also presents us with the opportunity to create a more flexible, creative and intelligent conversation with customers. Businesses have started to leverage chatbots to provide customers with a more natural, human-like interaction that also has the ability to filter a mountain of data based on previous interactions. The bonus is a very personalized experience.
These virtual conversations offer customers an interaction that is human-like, however the whole engagement is supported by a chatbot. So what is a chatbot?
Chatbots are considered the next evolution of the internet. At the core, a chatbot is an application that mimics conversations with people while leveraging artificial intelligence. It moves past the self-service, self–initiated interactions to a more fluid and flexible virtual conversation.
Banking is one of the unique industries that used to interact face to face with their customers on a regular basis. Then came drive-up windows, ATM and online banking. Consider the last time you actually talked to anyone at your bank; it’s probably been months if not years. So, if a bank really wants to know more about their customers so they can provide better services and support – they need to talk to them. Yet, the likelihood of this happening is super low. Banks can post ads encouraging people to take a survey or join a program online, but neither one is that successful at gathering data. So how do you make the interaction better for customers you know very little about?
As referenced in the article How to Really Get to Know Your Bank’s Customers by Keith Armstrong, you can’t serve customers when you only know half of the story. So how do you get the rest of the story? You improve how you collect that data and use it to better understand and serve your customers.
Leveraging the power of a chatbot can increase your understanding of a customer’s behavior and expectations. Interactions are recorded and can be accessed by the chatbot to improve the experience each and every time. Chatbots are always available, so no more chat sessions with customers only during the 8-5 workday.
With chatbots, customers now have the opportunity to interact when the time is best for them, not you. Chatbot technology offers a more flexible, natural, and intelligent interaction that also increases in knowledge with each engagement. This creates a more and more personal and personalized experience each time. Amazon Lex is a service that can be utilized to build a more conversational interface for voice applications. The benefit of Amazon Lex is its ability to leverage the deep learning capabilities of Amazon Alexa to build more sophisticated and natural interactions that customers will enjoy and appreciate.
When you gain more information on the other half of the customer story, your business can interact with that customer in a more personal way. Creating more trust and comfort is key to creating a deeper relationship that will benefit both parties over time.
For more information on how you can create a more intelligent and natural experience for your customers contact us.