Artificial Intelligence is everywhere these days, especially with the rise of chatbots and virtual assistants.
And a quick search on Google will show there is a lot of discussion about how to build chatbots, as well as a never-ending stream of possible use cases.
For example, customer-facing chatbots for online ordering and answering questions already permeate retail, financial services, insurance and even real estate. Chatbots for IT help desks, field service enquiries and healthcare are now also beginning to take off.
But rather than focus on the trendy nature of bots, let’s ask a broader question: What is your business’s goal in employing a chatbot?
It’s an important question because there is a tendency to think too small. For example, the manager of a help desk might be focused only on improving call wait times in order to improve his numbers. But chatbots represent a bigger opportunity. Chatbots, armed with the right data, can dramatically improve the quality of customer experience across all of the touchpoints where they interact with your business.
That’s why as we see an increase in chatbots we also see the need for bots to have access to timely data — such as customer, product and service data —to improve the virtual experience of customers.
Chatbots cannot exist in a vacuum. They are intended to enhance the experience that customers can already get from existing vendors or online retailers. If bots do not make the experience more useful, they will fail to engage with impatient users.
When a company’s chatbot needs data it must access key internal systems, from customer relationship management to service desk, in order to ascertain how to deal with the customer’s query. For example, if a customer has a “gold” or “platinum” tier service level agreement, its response must be faster and more comprehensive. The bot needs to know what product the customer owns, warranty info, contract details. It needs to know where the customer is geographically.
A bot needs a single, centralized view of all customer data in order to provide this higher quality experience. But how can they achieve this?
Integration is the answer. Once relevant systems are integrated with the chatbot function, the bot can provide a knowledgeable, informed service. And this is how organizations can use chatbots to differentiate themselves.
Integration technology has always been the platform for supporting innovations, allowing new technologies to seamlessly integrate with existing systems without requiring systems of record to change. For chatbots, integration allows your business to add a new customer experience channel on top of the existing systems to solve most types of interactions. This can be answering questions, opening service tickets, checking account balances, making payment, placing orders and anything else you can provide in an automated way. It’s just a matter of having access to the systems and data to make it possible.
Without the right data, chabots lack the intelligence needed to give customers excellent service. Niche applications of chatbots are opportunities wasted. Think bigger. Now is the right time to transform how your customers do business with you. And integration technology can help you get there.