MilliOnAir interactive Magazine April 2017 - Page 101

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At their current stage of development, chatbots are not a 1:1 replacement for human customer service professionals, so relying on them to handle interactions that require a nuanced, personal touch is simply unrealistic. A successful bot should, by specific embedded cues or questions, understand when the hand-off to a human is necessary and expedite that process before the shopper on the other end of the interaction becomes frustrated or impatient. The best bots help the agent solve the customer’s inquiry more quickly by providing additional insights with the hand-off, as Linc’s platform does.

What takeaway would Alessandro offer to brands that are wary about reports of the less-than-stellar success rate of the current generation of chatbots and eager to sidestep the major pitfalls of this new technology?

“Take the articles with a grain of salt because they are talking about the mass of bots on the platform. Success depends on the domain-focus and the problems the chatbot is trying to solve. We’re seeing a lot of potential and success in post-purchase engagement and customer service because it’s a natural interaction to be handled within a conversational channel. For example, if 60% of post-purchase questions are about order tracking and returns and I build a chatbot that only handles tracking and returns, it’s already handling the majority of customer questions. That’s a huge win. It’s about the nature of the questions and post-purchase inquiries are easy to tackle when you have the expertise to do so and the data,” he says.

In short, ‘keep it specific and build it smart’ is the chatbot mantra you should be embracing in order to see ROI and success this year.

To learn more about chatbots and how to leverage them in 2017 to reduce customer service costs, and drive additional revenue through upsells, check out The Definitive Guide to Conversational Commerce. It offers a thoroughly-researched look into these emerging channels and answers the most common questions and points of confusion.