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Considering viability and value of chatbots
Chatbots are a strategic avenue for companies to begin integrating AI into their business, and the benefits can be significant. Before investing, businesses must define how a conversational UI will drive desired customer and business impacts.
November 12, 2019
A blog post by Dennis Ortiz, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Howie Stein, senior manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Conversational UI: Is it valuable? Is it viable?
Imagine you have a question about your subscription to a streaming service. As you search the company's website for a customer service number, a message box pops up to ask if you need assistance. You soon find that resolving your question can be done as easily as texting a friend—but the customer experience hadn't always been so fluid. The media company behind the service had grown through acquisition, building a vast product catalog with complex service processes. To simplify support, the firm deployed an intelligent chatbot—powered by artificial intelligence (AI)—to enable customers like you to self-serve through voice or text interactions with a computer.
This is just one example of how companies across technology, media, and telecommunications (or TMT) are leveraging conversational user interfaces (UIs) to meet their unique service delivery challenges. More and more, TMT customers expect the same leading customer experience from their support interactions as is delivered by the products themselves. These buyers are increasingly digital-native, with growing expectations for service and support to be integrated or adjacent to the services themselves. For example, wireless subscribers expect support options within the carrier's app, and software customers expect service on the same platform they are using from the provider. Moreover, TMT customers expect sophisticated personalization across channels, including chatbots. If their need cannot be resolved by the UI, customers expect to be transferred to a human with context on the issues and which products the customer uses.
Chatbots get smart:
The chatbot has evolved. Today's top chatbot platforms offer a powerful bundle of advanced cognitive technologies, including native machine learning and natural language processing and generation. Such technology can handle large datasets1 to process, evaluate, and respond to inputs, mimicking human conversation. This enables numerous customer engagement applications, including common uses such as billing support, customer authentication, and FAQ responses, and more sophisticated applications, such as technical support.
Chatbots can integrate with back-end systems to aggregate what a company knows about a customer (e.g., products, usage, and error messages) and proactively diagnose problems. For example, a wireless company can detect excessive dropped calls and proactively suggest there may be a problem in the customer's neighborhood, and a hardware manufacturer may take action based on error codes received from its hardware. Further, a chatbot can consume volumes of service records to guide a customer in troubleshooting a product.
TMT leaders leverage chatbot technology to address costly challenges that hurt customer satisfaction: Ineffective customer hand-offs, manual processes driving handle times, procedural confusion or inconsistency, etc. Others are hindered by traditional data silos that exist in TMT companies, especially relating to customer data. These firms must design cognitive programs that break silos to uncover data and insights outside their traditional IT systems, enabling them to service customers in new ways.
Chatbots are a strategic avenue for companies to begin integrating AI into their business, and the benefits can be significant. To learn more about how conversational UI and other AI-enabled technologies can help improve your customer engagement strategy, get in touch.
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