Why Chatbots are Important and How They Transform Customer 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. So naturally, the habits and business practices for supporting these customers are changing as well. Phone calls to customer service are ‘old school’; virtual chat sessions have become the norm. Chatbots are handling these exchanges – from the simple to complex – for many savvy customers: around 85% of global customer service communications were resolved without a representative. 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 ServiceNow chatbot can improve your customer’s journey…and help your business overall.
We’ll touch on three reasons why chatbots are important and their impact to:
- Transform customer experience
- Proactively deflect cases
- Be implemented with ease
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 non-living, virtual being is now part of our everyday lives’.
Transform Customer Experience with a ServiceNow Chatbot
When implementing new technologies, consider 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 boost 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 a representative 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. The data around what information users are searching for, how many of those inquiries resulted in ‘solved’ (good!), and agent involvement (not so good…) can be tracked and trended. This can feed continuous improvement activities that will build the maturation of your chatbot for ServiceNow to meet the needs of your customer over time – from the simple to the complex!
Ease of Implementation: ServiceNow Virtual Agent
If your business already leverages ServiceNow, you know about their tightly integrated out-of-the-box applications. Virtual Agent is no different. Once the plugin is activated, it provides seamless out-of-the-box conversation flows that can be used and built upon for enhanced functionality. 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… [and the] entity properties that you can set.”
Bottom line, chatbots are not only here to stay, but they are a key tool for customer experience transformation. Be sure that when you implement or improve your chatbot automation, you use the lens of your customer, and you will already be off to a powerful start!
Read this blog to learn about other key tools that can transform customer experience.
For further information regarding implementation of Virtual Agent on your ServiceNow instance, click here to speak to a ServiceNow implementation specialist. To learn more about our approach to platform implementations for optimized and transformative customer experiences, click here.
Updated September 2021.