Chatbots: Transforming Experience
by William Scott, on Aug 10, 2020 11:58:45 AM
Customers are becoming more and more reliant on multi-channel technologies – mobile devices, social media and beyond – for their brand interactions…and the habits for supporting these customers are changing, as well. Phone calls are old school as virtual chat sessions become the norm. And, ‘chatbots’ are handling these exchanges – from the simple to complex – for these savvy customers. There are many different chatbot solutions on the market, but I’m going to focus on my favorite – ServiceNow’s Virtual Agent - to discuss how the chatbot can help your customer’s journey…and your business.
We’ll touch on three transformative chatbot topics:
- Elevated customer experience
- Proactive case deflection
- Ease of implementation
To ground our conversation, I thought this quote from Rashid Kahn was a compelling way to look back on the road we’ve already traveled…as well as peek forward to where we have yet to go:
‘If you picture the journey of chatbots from the 1960’s to now, you can see that what was once a fantasy of being able to communicate with a nonliving, virtual being is now part of our everyday lives’.
Elevating the Customer Experience
A consideration when implementing new technologies is the experience of both the end customer and the employee who serves them. We’re all hyper-aware that a great experience can generate potential leads, drive positive word of mouth marketing and ultimately be a boost to sales for your brand.
Chatbots can help deliver that great customer experience (if configured correctly) to allow users easy access to content without having to navigate between countless menus and, worse yet, getting discouraged when they don’t find what they need. With chatbots, the customer can ask “How do I reset my password” and ‘magically’ be returned with the information to answer their question. Chatbots can even help ‘smooth’ the experience for a customer that can’t find what they are looking for and need to talk to an agent by quickly initiating a virtual chat with just a click of a button.
Proactive Case Deflection
When done right, a ‘Virtual Agent’ (or chatbot!) can provide relevant results to customer inquiries and eliminate the need for interactions with your ‘live’ agents. Further, the data around such things as what information users are searching for and how many of those inquiries resulted in ‘solves’ (good!) vs. agent involvement (not so good…)can be tracked and trended, feeding continuous improvement activities that will build the maturation of your chatbot to meet the needs of your customer over time – from the simple to the complex!
Ease of Implementation: ServiceNow Virtual Agent
If you already have ServiceNow at your business, you know about their tightly integrated the out-of-the-box applications. Virtual Agent is no different. Once the plugin is activated, it provides beautiful out-of-the-box conversation flows that can be used and built upon for enhanced functionality. And, just like that, your chatbot is already up and running ready to be used across the platform.
Do you want the branding to match your current color scheme? No problem! Virtual Agent allows for almost all elements to be changed to match. Does your business have unique terms? Using ServiceNow’s NLU model builder you can “extract the appropriate values, Virtual Agent uses the entity information associated with an intent defined in the NLU model. The input controls that you add to your conversation also have associated NLU entity properties that you can set.”
Bottom line, chatbots are not only here to stay, but they are a key tool in the toolkit for the transformation of your customer’s experience. Be sure that when you implement or improve your chatbot automation, you use the lens of your customer and you’re already off to a powerful start!
Written by William Scott
William is a Consultant with Accelare, a proven self-starter and possesses over 6 years of experience across Finance and IT. He has developed across many facets of expertise on the ServiceNow platform and excels at solving and implementing complex client requests. He has also utilized the AWS suite of products to create innovative solutions and integrate with other technologies to meet both business and personal objectives.