Many companies have moved away from customer service agents to IVR (interactive Voice Response) systems. These can be annoying. For example, while listening to the fifth prompt in the third level of options, many calls transform from patient pleas for help to aggravated demands. This is not a good thing, especially since we have long known that the more effort you impose on a customer the less likely he or she is to stay loyal to you and refer others. And although phone support isn’t as popular as it once was, live chat is popular – and may stay that may for many years to come.
As a companion technology to live chat, web chat takes a very different approach to automation. Most web chat service providers have equipped their solutions with word-spotting strategies. These support rudimentary canned responses and some ability to offer agents hints about the topic of conversation. Some e-commerce owners explore the power of enhancing their live chat solutions with inexpensive artificial intelligence or cognitive computing platforms coming on the market. Others stick to training their agents sufficiently to adequately answer 95% of all questions asked. Companies like Home Depot and Trust Guard have live chat agents that go through vigorous training to provide an exceptional live chat experience.
Less Effort, More Loyalty
But other companies remain focused on IVRs. That’s because of the new cognitive engagement technology. It will enable the customer to reach the information stored at the fifth prompt of the third level on the IVR with much less effort. Less effort equates to a much better experience and increased customer loyalty.
Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and SAP are among the most notable companies taking advantage of AI and cognitive interfaces. All offer cloud-based processing and can scale from a few concurrent sessions to tens of thousands of sessions. Nuance enables the use of speech interfaces for any of these processing platform providers. Genband and Genesys recently announced intelligent interfaces via partnerships in which IBM provides the heavy-lifting. Aspect, Avaya, and Cisco have all published some information about cognitive engagement tools.
Relief & Risk
Implementing cognitive engagement tools in your contact center can be simple. In most contact centers, you do not have to break anything or turn anything off in order to complete the delivery.
This is not to say that there are no risks. Omnichannel solutions vary widely among manufacturers, and live chat can be part of these solution portfolios. If your current web chat vendor exposes an API, then you have a chance to reuse your existing live chat solution.
Holy Grail in Bot Form
The industry is evolving quickly. “Bots” seems to be the theme. I have heard some customers and vendors use the words “chatbots” and “phone bots” to describe these solutions. But live chat – speaking to a human being – but not face-to-face – is what we all want.
A derivation of the theme is evolving in the social media business. Facebook Messenger and WeChat bots are two examples. For any size enterprise, such a solution may be a viable option. This seems to be a great opportunity for small enterprises to offer technologically competitive solutions to their larger competitors.
Cognitive engagement technology will have the same impact on labor costs in contact centers that IVR had 20 years ago. The idea that you can replace humans with bots without the need for clunky, press-6-for-support interfaces is the new Holy Grail for contact center finance professionals. Of course, live chat will never be completely replaced by bots or knowledge bases, will it? It seems reasonable to believe that live chat is the gateway drug for business owners. Through a successful live chat experience, they’ll begin offering a more complete customer support system. Here they can use live chat and web chat options. Lucky for them, Rhino Support provides business owners with live chat and a pre-set knowledge base. They also offer a unique and easy-to-use support ticketing system all in one sweet software package.
Special thanks to Chris Vitek for his article found here: http://www.nojitter.com/post/240172526/web-chat-gateway-drug-to-ai-for-customer-support