How to choose the right chatbot solution for your organisation

Smart chatbot technology is enabling brands to keep up with the ever-increasing pace and demand of today’s consumers. Choosing the right platform could mean the difference between a slick and seamless customer service solution, and a total waste of time and budget.

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Delivering efficient yet cost-effective customer service has always been challenging, but customers are now more demanding than ever. They want information fast. They have little patience for sub-par experiences and expect answers on their terms and on their schedules. It’s true of all demographics but is being led by Millennials, 33% of whom are only willing to wait between one and three minutes to get a response to a customer inquiry. 56% report having switched from one company to another because of underwhelming customer service.

Smart digitalisation of the customer experience is how today’s organisations are looking to solve these problems. Enabling customers to get the support they need themselves is highly desirable to most firms, and if done well, it’s a lower cost channel and a speedy solution. Done poorly, and approaches to self-service technology can have high costs and a negative effect on customer satisfaction.


The answer: self-service delivered by bots

Conversational bots offer significant promise. They can play a role on the frontline of customer service to help satisfy the needs of consumers without having to resort to a live agent, improving first contact resolution and avoiding costs of other customer service alternatives (such as call centre staff).


Segments of one

Virtual chat agents can help personalise customer experiences. Most marketers agree that personalised digital experiences are paramount to current and future CX success. The challenge for customer service managers is not only automating and streamlining customer engagement but building out personalised systems that keep customers feeling that they are known and heard. Good personalisation moves beyond basic recommendation engines to create individually tailored experiences.

Not all bots are created equal, however. Organisations should take care to choose virtual agents that can handle level one customer support and frequently asked questions. Dealing with slow, complex and inflexible solutions is no longer acceptable.

Keep an eye out for the following important features when considering your options:

  • Pre-trained content: virtual agents that come pre-trained with industry and domain content on FAQs your customer is likely to ask. Organisations only need to enter specific company information to enable answering of questions such as ‘What time do you close?’ or ‘Where’s my nearest store?’
  • Configured, not coded: this means there’s no need for a technical or machine learning background to get your system up and running. Content is configured through an intuitive user interface, making it easier to tailor answers.
  • Publishing: once the bot is set up, a snippet of code can be embedded within your website or app, and can begin to work immediately.
  • Engagement metrics dashboard: a graphics interface allowing access to rich analytics about the conversations that your customers are having with your virtual agent.
  • Customisation: good virtual agent solutions can be integrated with other applications like billing systems or CRMs. They can also be configured to perform the hand-off to live agent support staff.
  • Software as a service: virtual agent solutions can now be delivered entirely from the cloud, without the need for implementation or build to get started, nor the concern about continually updating to current versions.


Get a FREE one-month trial of Watson Virtual Agent to see how quick and easy it is to build a chatbot for your organisation – no machine learning experience required!



Image copyright: davinci / 123RF Stock Photo

BY Partner ON 26 July 2017
This article was produced by or on behalf of a partner and does not necessarily reflect the views of Marketing Mag or Niche Media.