Chatbots: a customer experience must?

in Technology, 25.09.2018

Customer experience is the product of the interaction between an organisation and its clients, and it has risen hugely in importance nowadays—to the point where it’s central to executive committees’ agendas.

Organisations are generally struggling to grow their client bases, as competition increases. But they’re also battling just to keep their current clients, perhaps related to ever-easier client onboarding processes employed by competitors and industry newcomers, alongside the fact that the cost of keeping a client has been consistently rising in recent years.

Our first KPMG Customer Survey looked at 80 Luxembourgish institutions and helped quantify the benefits of new technologies with regard to keeping customers. One such technology is chatbots, whereby a business’s services or data can be shared, explained, or explored via a user-friendly intelligent interface. Chatbots represent a new channel for engaging with customers and providing them with information swiftly.

The future of work: humans side by side with chatbots

After decades of technological development, human-machine interactions have become possible on a new level of practicality—and their value for organisations cannot be understated. It is therefore no surprise that automation, smart analytics, and artificial intelligence are now widespread on the market. Chatbots are at the crossroad of these technologies, notably relying on natural language processing, “natural” interfaces, and the proliferation of messaging platforms.

Chatbot technology brings new features that can benefit both customer and firm. For example, firms get insights from the processing, via algorithms that can recognise meaningful patterns and anticipate future customer needs, of copious and invaluable customer data. Firms also benefit from the automation of tasks thanks to standard connectors that interact with other software.

For customers, chatbots help ensure that only relevant products matching their needs are proposed. Plus, conversations are shortened thanks to “one click to go” functionalities.

Additionally, as investments in chatbots continue to rise, the technology becomes less expensive, giving unique opportunities to smaller organisations to invest in customer experience too.

However, while the end product is undoubtedly attractive and apparently straightforward, implementers should know that it is essential to follow a phased approach:

Conclusion

In the coming years, the importance of human-bot partnerships will only increase in importance, eventually leading to a new normal working environment: humans working alongside robots. The advantages are inevitable because machines are far better than humans at certain tasks like rapid information searches or repetitive tasks.

Many people already expect bot conversations to match human ones. While this is not yet realistic, progress is happening. To help it along, in parallel to adapting operating models to these new interactions, bot interactions need to be humanised. Designing a personality framework to connect with people as well as using the art of conversation to better engage with people are two key steps for making it happen.

Finally, we would like to share three success factors for launching your chatbot:

  1. Have clear view of your objectives and of which concerns the chatbot will address.
  2. Always target a positive impact on customer experience.
  3. Be pragmatic: start with realistic goals and move on by successive iterations.

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