Earlier this year, HGS presented our trends forecast, comprising customer experience (CX) disrupter predictions, supported by practical strategies clients can use to succeed in the changing marketplace. This HGS ebook covers 11 trends, from those in self-service, mobile service, messaging, and social media, to artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and analytics. This year we frame change with the perspectives of an elite group of industry thought leaders. Here, we describe how HGS supports CX Trend No.7, from Ben Tresham, Hello Customer, Operations Manager.
Here’s the recap of Trend 7 of the ebook:
Today’s bots, increasingly, provide a strong sense of reliability, consistency, and ease of use, which are critical to meet the demand for a unified customer experience strategy. In 2019, talking to a bot will be more and more akin to a human and will help to automate and supplement human interactions. Improvements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) mean that AI can understand the aspects of speech and text. As a result, AI is getting better at problem solving and can understand complex queries and find solutions to them. This will help to improve experiences by augmenting what we do in our day to day lives. It will not be the bot replacing the human element but standing side by side next to us in our everyday lives.
By Larry Fleischman, VP, Global Business Development, HGS
In the current competitive marketplace, businesses are faced with opposing demands—to decrease customer service and operational costs while simultaneously improving customer experience and outcome. 2019 has been the year that chatbots have found increasingly fast adoption as a business tool to accomplish these aims. In fact, these bots are set to be integrated across a quarter of all customer service and support operations by next year, according to Gartner. These chatbots are delivering significant value, from up to 33% cost savings to CSAT improvement and revenue generation.
As recently as 2017, Facebook announced it was “refocusing” its use of AI after its bots hit a failure rate of 70%, meaning bots could only get to 30% of requests without some sort of human intervention. But the technology is maturing fast. Today’s chatbots are a new and smarter breed, as they lead with the collective synergies of ever-evolving artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP) to inspire customer loyalty and satisfaction and drive increased conversions.
The reality is that chatbots are never going to truly feel emotion—certainly not on the same level as a human can. However, if you tune your bot to respond to sentiment, the experience can feel almost visceral. In a CX scenario, for instance, when the bot picks up on the anger or frustration of a customer, it can be trained to express empathy and understanding. This ability to react to emotion is also not limited to voice bots. Our “vocal personality” typically shows just as clear as when we are texting. Therefore, the key is to apply this concept to text bots. Bots can learn to respond using emojis and acronyms to show a certain personality (using today’s OMG, LOL, BRB, etc.). Most importantly, bots should remain in character and never deviate. At the start of bot building, (voice or text), bots can be created employing personality with purpose. By remaining in character, the bot will become more predictable and effective when communicating with humans. In terms of deployment, these bots are not always optimized, as in cases when they are unevenly implemented or unsupported by governance or process. In terms of the maturity of embracing this technology, organizations might not have the in-house expertise to optimize and train a machine learning, natural language processing AI model.
As true automation experts, technology consultants can set clients ahead of the pack with key differentiators—in terms of chatbot technology, process, and talent. Those transformation drivers with an added edge are equipped with both best-in-class enterprise platforms (Microsoft, IBM, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google) and customer service expertise. These service providers bring domain expertise and a knowledge base of range of industries, as well as a uniquely scalable and sustainable solution. As incubation innovators, these partners can custom fit chatbot solutions and serve as a creative hub for business disruption strategy, creation, deployment, and testing.