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If you want your chatbot design to deliver genuine customer engagement, there is one simple rule: Build it properly, writes MATT GROBLER, pre-sales engineer at INOVO

Chatbots don’t work. Well, not unless they’ve been integrated intelligently and strategically to create a seamless customer journey. By 2022, Gartner predicts that 70% of customer interactions with businesses will involve emerging technologies such as machine learning (ML) applications, chatbots and mobile messaging.

Chatbots are a bit like magic in that they are powerful tools in the right hands. But if they’re thrown into gaps in the business without strategic direction or the customer underpinning the foundations of their design, then they can potentially do the opposite of what the business wants. They can frustrate customers, deliver poor service and damage the brand.

There are six essential elements that make up a solid and effective chatbot implementation. These six qualities will define the relevance of the chatbot, the value it brings to the business, and whether or not it has the magic needed to transform customer engagement.

1: Company strategy is key

A chatbot strategy won’t work unless there is buy-in from the C-Suite. It has to be part of the company strategy and this has to include a holistic view on where the business wants to take its chatbots and what channels it wants to use. There are multiple use cases for chatbots, so knowing precisely what use cases are the most important or relevant will define the investment and the business approach from the outset.

2: The 80/20 rule

When you initially develop a chatbot apply the 80/20 rule – 20% of the effort to solve 80% of the problem. The easy wins need to be pinpointed and targeted to allow for immediate results and value from any chatbot implementation.

From product information to store times to basic service information, there are several simple starting points for any chatbot strategy that can be used to give customers immediate insight and support. These can then be leveraged into richer and more relevant use cases as the business and its strategy evolves.

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