Let’s face it. Even the most technologically savvy of us need some occasional assistance. It could be something as simple as making a purchase online or just information gathering. Or it could be significantly more complex like when your technology fails you and you don’t know how to fix it. Either way, it is always good to have a knowledgeable customer service agent to speak with in order to get that helping hand you need. This is certainly true from a consumer standpoint.
But when it comes to the business side of things, more and more companies are beginning to rely on bot technology to be the first responder to customer inquiries and issues. Does this mean those businesses care less about human contact? Not at all. It simply means that businesses are trying to make an effort to free up human agents to assist those customers with larger issues or those in need of greater assistance. Time is money. So why would a business want to spend the money paying a human agent to assist with something that a bot could handle?
There are some pitfalls that come with bots if not handled properly. Here are 6 tips to help you avoid those pitfalls:
1) Map out your customer journey as completely and specifically as you can. The more information you have up front, the more likely the customer is going to get to their end goal quickly and efficiently. Don’t be fooled, however. This might sound like a simple task, but in reality, this can take quite a bit of time and effort. But this is likely the single most important thing you can do up front to make it easier on both the customer and you in the end. If you take the time to map out what the customer’s journey will look like, you will likely not have to revisit it again unless it is to make a simple update here or there as your business and processes change.
2) Use real-life questions and scenarios from customer transcripts. This will give you a realistic view of what to provide your customers. Don’t rely simply on your own point of view as that becomes about what YOU want and not what your customer ultimately needs.
3) Let the customer self-serve by providing options up front. I am not saying you should inundate your customer with a menu a mile long, but you should provide them with a reasonable array of options from which to choose. Combining this with mapping a complete and proper journey will help your customer get to the end goal in a more efficient, less frustrating manner.
4) Start with the most frequently requested items that take the simplest of guidance. This is where you really need to think about your agents as well as the customer. What requests do the agents get that require the least amount of effort to resolve? Consider this the low-hanging fruit that will likely show an immediate return on your efforts.
5) If you start small you will have a much easier time building the bot program as you go along. In other words, don’t try to do everything all at once right out of the gate. You will find your program is a lot more successful up front by starting small and building along the way. This will also help you avoid potentially frustrating your customers by attempting to provide them with something that is likely not well-thought-out or half-baked.
6) Test it! Then test it again! And have a lot of people test it. By getting different people involved in the testing process, you will get a lot of different points of view. You may have the same question asked in many different ways and the bot may interpret each inquiry differently. The only way to make sure the journey the customer goes on is the proper one is to make sure you have set it up correctly. So take the time to test what you have created.
If you have any questions on starting a bot program for your contact center, don’t hesitate to reach out. We can help you navigate through the process. Thanks for reading!