Move over Live Chat: Chatbots Put A New Shine On Customer Experience

Ross MacKenzie
Categories: Technology
Tags: Chatbots

Conversational Commerce - the trend toward interacting with businesses through messaging and chat apps – is evolving and it looks like it needs to. A recent survey of Internet users by Helpshift, the US mobile software company, has confirmed what most of us have long recognised  – that the majority find contacting customer service a frustrating experience.

The main misgivings about customer service were cited as the long delays in hold times, the risk of being transferred from agent to agent and having to repeatedly recount their tale and having to navigate complicated automated systems – press this, press that, with the result being depressed!

Chat-based messaging, the core of conversation commerce, takes the pain away, with Live Chat having served as the panacea that was, until, the evolution of chatbots – the AI-powered messaging platform that simply outshines Live Chat because of its brainpower.

Chatbots have substantial benefits both for the business and its customers. For the business it can deliver lower costs through less reliance on human intervention, you have a service which never tires and can ‘read and react’ to a customer’s feelings; you’ll get lightening speed response times to customer enquiries, round-the-clock availability, a more satisfied customer base and storage of essential data which can inform marketing and business plans, track promotion results and identify additional sales opportunities. What’s not to like?

At the same time, the customer will feel less stress as there’s no more trawling through website FAQs as the answer will be a mere question away; they can talk with a BOT that is always reliable and up-to-date; there’s less hold time and no complex keypad automation to navigate; no being passed from agent-to-agent. What’s more because our chatbots are designed around natural language programming, it will provide a service in any one of 23 languages, including Arabic, and can even detect sentiment. This means it can empathise with a customer’s mood and sensitively adapt responses accordingly.

Chatbots have multi-sector appeal. Take healthcare, for instance. They can answer health plan enquiries, help in finding providers, easily handle FAQs about disease prevention and management and schedule appointments. For service operators such as beauty salons, hairdressers and restaurants, the Chatbot can be your online reservation agent even serving up specific recommendations on dates, times and promo offers to ensure the customer gets the best experience.

The beauty about chatbots is that they can be up and running with remarkable speed but to get the most out of them, you should have a customised bot and one with the grey matter that ensures it just gets better with age.  Set your priorities for the bot, these will come as you focus on identifying the interactions your customers are already having with your product/service or brand. Design the chat interface to meet these priorities. Think of your bot as a master-communicator with more than a touch of the opportunist.  But get it right from the get-go because you should be aware that customers are unlikely to return to a chatbot that doesn’t perform well.

How do you achieve that? Well at Cobweb UAE we have designed a subscription-based service – CobwebCompleteChatbot – which can take you from conception to operational delivery in as little as a few days, for less complex BOTS – slightly longer for the more involved.

Chatbots work by being the first port of call for the customer, reducing the layers of human involvement needed. And because the chatbots we design are easily configurable across multiple channels and are based on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform with in-built AI and Machine Learning, they ‘train’ as they go along. They will pass difficult queries over to a human but listen in, absorb the answers, and store them up for next time – it is a chatbot with a brain and so becomes increasingly efficient the longer it’s in operation.

With Microsoft’s Azure Bot service, you can build, connect, deploy, and manage intelligent bots to interact naturally with your users on websites, apps, Cortana, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, Facebook Messenger, and more. You can get started quickly with a complete bot-building environment and you’ll pay only for what you use. As an example, for a monthly subscription, which can start from as little as US $50, you can reap the benefits of a customised BOT. You can start with a simple reservation system or facility to speed up answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and scale up as your needs demand.

You don’t need to worry about data security because Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service is managed by its own data-centres and even better news is that two of these will open in the UAE next year. So, privacy is protected to international standards, with healthcare providers assured of protection to the USA’s stringent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

Why CobwebCompleteChatbots?

Because it’s a subscription service which helps you budget better and takes care of the entire process from commissioning to implementation and you have expertise on call to help you at all times.

Because Cobweb UAE is a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner which means you’ll get the superior service you’d expect from a company Microsoft has put its trust in.

Because you can have the peace of mind that comes from Cobweb’s leading-edge cloud experience – is one of Europe’s largest cloud solutions providers having been born in the cloud in 1996. It now has more than 200,000 cloud customers accessing its rich in-depth expertise to grow into flexible, agile businesses through the deployment of best-of-breed cloud technologies.

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