How Chatbots Can Help Transform Your Business in 2021

Its been a couple of years since Chatbots were first introduced to the mainstream but it still feels like a lot of businesses fail to understand the true value of having a chatbot. At Tellistic, we are engaging with companies of all sizes both large and small to consider implementing a chatbot solution not just for consumers but also for their employees. Before we discuss the benefits, lets first understand what a Chatbot is and what it’s not, before we delve into how Chatbots will help businesses.

According to Wikipedia

A Chatbot is a software application used to conduct an on-line chat conversation via text or text-to-speech, in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human agent.

That definition helps capture 2 things that are important: Online & live human agents which I will try to explain their importance later on. The fear with a lot of businesses is that Chatbots are not ready for the mainstream, they are too dumb, they don’t have enough features or they just feel like this is a channel that is not for them. While those fears were all true in 2015, a lot has happened in the last 5 years to ensure you can now deploy a Chatbot across all business segments with ease.

In the era of instant response, notifications, social media and everything happening in real-time consumers have shown that they prefer companies that can offer them a channel that is friction-free, always on & has the ability to respond intelligently to their concerns. So how will Chatbots do that?

24-Hour Self Service Channel

Human beings are amazing, intelligent & creative but they are not robots. We all understand the importance of downtime & the solution to offering customers a 24/7 customer service is not to hire another human being because eventually costs will begin to outweigh the benefits & the human agents will also be overwhelmed which can all affect your company.

Having an intelligent bot handle customer queries can save you money by allowing for the most common queries to be quickly resolved by a bot. In 2021, when a customer is unhappy with a product or a service they will immediately share their challenge online & when you respond the damage is done.

With today’s technology bots can understand pictures, shapes, Key words and even different accents. All this is being made possible through API’s from the main cloud providers. Microsoft has built a full array of Artifical Intelligent APIs you can easily integrate with your apps, workflows or systems and the Bot will handle all that with ease.

AI Search Capability

We all understand how data has grown over the years and is doubling every year. Companies have lots of documentation, manuals, training docs, images, video files etc. Well what happens after 5 years of storing data, most will now delete and the smart ones will keep it. With all this data, you would need a tool that can quickly help you search through your content. Bots have the capability to integrate with search APIs like the Azure Search API

The reason why this is important is because since the year 2000 when people started to rely on the internet for search and research, we all have been trained to use Google and ask it questions. Why not bring this to your enterprise & make everyone more productive & also improve the experience. (P.s We all dont like using SharePoint to search for docs 😂)

Reduce Friction

When a consumere has got an issue they need addressed, the traditional way of doing things was to find the customer helpline & find someone to connect with and explain the challenge you are going through. Well when a company grows from 10 customers to 1 million customers not every company will be able to scale their customer care departments. Customers want to contact you and not wait through a prompt that instructs them on how to get help when they are being billed for the call.

Would it not be better if a customer went to your website, whatsapp, app and instead logged an issue and you would have a Chatbot handle that interaction professionally?

A chatbot will even help the customer articulate their problem in a more structured way & you can route that straight to your CRM system. Chatbots are meant to make things easier for the customer & much more organised for the business.

Integration with Other Business Process

As we now have a SaaS application for every department workflow, its important to overstate the abilities for Bots to integrate with your ERP, CRM or even billing system. A good example would be to look at an Insurance company. If a customer wants to find details about his/her policy, when is it expiring?, how much is the renewal going to be? If you have a properly built chatbot which understands key words & intent you can properly integrate it with your internal systems & the Bot can submit requests based on the input & give the customer feedback within minutes. Compare that to Calling your insurance agent, waiting for him to lookup your details & then finally getting them maybe an hour later or even a day later.

Another example would be to enable bookings & appointments. A bot will be able to collect the required information & pass it on to your internal systems and even schedule it on a calendar.

Help Employees be more productive

Employees across all departments are pushed every year to be more productive. Productivity comes in many ways, it could be to do things faster, to do more things in the same time or it could be to spend less time on repetitive tasks. Bots are not meant to replace the human touch in our companies. As the japanse say Jidoka — Automation with a human touch. Many are worried whenever they hear Bots, Robotic Process Automation or even Automation because we all are automatically inclined to believe that it will replace humans.

We worked with a company based in Nairobi who wanted a Bot to help the IT deparments helpdesk. The Bot would handle basic queries on information & would also allow for their employees to raise helpdesk tickets all from their Microsoft Teams application. When you think about a help desk job it primarily is recieveing calls or emails from your fellow employees on the most common issues. How about we create a bot that can understand those most common issues & answer them promptly instead of needing an email thread? (If intersted in having this bot, )

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Click here to book a session for a demo on all these scenarios for your enterprise

We have got many more scenarios where you can implement a chatbot to help with tasks. It does not have to be a technical challenge, Bots can also be used to do other things like help with Wellness Programs, Training for your employees, Onboarding, Games etc.

I published this article on our website first. You can get that here

#Chatbots #API #Teams #AI

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