Artificial intelligence is expected to usher in major improvements in operational efficiency and cost savings for businesses.

An Oracle study demonstrates the rising importance of AI-powered services – according to it nearly 80% of the companies surveyed worldwide intend to incorporate chatbots in their operations by 2020. Already several major corporations – ranging from pizza chain Dominos to banking firms like RBS –offer AI-powered customer assistance services via chatbots.

What are Chatbots?

Chatbots are computer programs that can engage with customers simulating human interaction to answer questions. They are programmed to respond to simple queries by accessing a specific set of responses or actions, relieving human agents of tedious and low value tasks.

Be Available to Customers at All Times with Chatbots

Companies looking to cut costs in their customer service operations are relying on chatbots to tackle a whole range of simple and repetitive queries / tasks done online. Customers no longer need to suffer long hold times on phone or wait for a long period for an email response.

Here are a few of the popular situations where AI Chatbots are being used to offer instant answers:

  1. Booking an appointment or placing an order: Customers can place an order or book an appointment online by accessing a menu of options embedded in chatbots.
  2. Responding to common queries: Chatbots can reproduce answers to commonly asked questions by fetching information from a FAQ knowledge bank.
  3. Gathering customer feedback: Customers can leave feedback quickly and easily on the chatbot which helps improve customer understanding.
  4. Registering in simple requests like returns processing :Chatbots can be used to provide information like the weather updates, airline schedules or shipment tracking data. They can also get updated on any registered requests.

The Effective Use of Chatbots Is Key for Customer Satisfaction

Notwithstanding the numerous benefits, effective deployment of chatbots requires a good grasp their features and their limitations. Some of the major disadvantages of chatbots are :

  • Inability to process complex queries or problems
  • Prone to unexpected errors or misunderstanding in responses
  • Little utility in situations requiring in-depth discussions
  • Lacks human touch and eliminates opportunities for high-level engagement

Companies cannot thus blindly deploy chatbots for their customer service operations-instead they must blend the human touch with the power of artificial intelligence.

Using Real Time Virtual Collaboration for Better Customer Service

The most practical and beneficial approach involves incorporating the use of real time collaboration suite with chatbots.

In this scenario, customers interact with the chatbot initially, but the moment he or she feels the need for additional guidance or support they can reach out to a human agent. The flexible platform incorporates tools like cobrowser and video chat, which facilitates delivery of high quality customer service instantly.