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Chatbots with Artificial Intelligence - How to Add Them Now

Sandra Thomson By Sandra Thomson
Jan. 29, 2018

Is your organization wondering how or when to add artificial intelligence (AI) to customer engagement? AI is a misused term. Chatbots that use Natural Language Processing (NLP) and/or Machine Learning *are* Artificial Intelligence and now *is* the time to integrate bots.

Don’t focus on the term AI.  Instead focus on what a chatbot can do for your organization. Here are some comments we hear a lot at CaféX when the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) arises:

  • “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is scary and difficult!”
  • “My business and customers aren’t ready for AI.”
  • “We don’t have AI experts on staff; it’s too complicated for us to deploy today.”

scary-robot.jpg

Meanwhile, chatbots are not just common; they’ve become an expected part of customer engagement – both by businesses and customers. In a few short years, I’ve moved from seeing bots as unique and interesting, to often being my preferred interaction channel. As multiple studies have shown, I am not alone...

  • 40% of consumers do not care whether a chatbot or a real human helps them, as long as they are getting the help they need. (HubSpot, 2017)
  • 35% of consumers want to see more companies using chatbots. (ubisend, 2017)
  • 95% of consumers believe 'customer service' is going to be the major beneficiary of chatbots (Mindbrowser, 2017)

This presents a conundrum for some businesses that almost amounts to a logic equation... 

Bots are Artificial Intelligence(AI)
+
AI is complex and scary – robot apocalypse scary. 
=
Therefore – Bots must be scary, and complex to implement.

Rest assured, this argument is false. Bots are practical and efficient business tools that are easily implemented using algorithms that are available today. And, they’re already proving their value on the business front. Consider these other statistics...

  • Chatbots are expected to save banks between $0.50 and $0.70 per interaction. (Juniper Research, 2017)
  • 95% of businesses are happy with the way chatbots are helping business. (Mindbrowser, 2017)

Tools such as the Microsoft Bot Framework make it easy to build bots that fit the unique needs of a business. No expertise in data science or sophisticated AI programming is required. In addition, many system integrators and resellers are already leveraging these tools to quickly meet customer needs. However, building the bot is only one part of the customer engagement equation.

Simply building a chatbot to emulate the legacy Integrated Voice Response (IVR) doesn’t necessarily move the business forward in terms of customer engagement. Bots need to provide intelligent and useful interactions – such as providing account balances, password resets, and other fundamental, routine tasks. When the customer needs something more complex, a transfer from bot to a live agent without context typically forces a restart of the interaction – which is not acceptable to the customer nor beneficial to the business. Bots must be contextually seamless within the end-to-end engagement ecosystem to facilitate a seamless user experience.  

Businesses and integrators looking to employ chatbots should be wary of ‘bolt-on’ bot implementations that can create context gaps – and ultimately fail to satisfy customers. Within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment, seamlessly incorporating bots – whether developed using the Microsoft Bot Framework or not – into the end-to-end omnichannel customer engagement flow can be easily accomplished utilizing CaféX Live Assist™ for Dynamics 365.

Through Live Assist for Dynamics 365, chatbots are managed as agents, with the full capacity to transfer the customer to a live agent at any time. The live agent receives the customer with a complete contextual history, enabling them to quickly grasp the nature of the call. Once on the line, the live agent can employ the full range of omnichannel and Dynamics 365 tools to address customers’ needs. Omnichannel features such as escalation to  co-browse and document push improve customer satisfaction and help drive online sales.  And, all pertinent data, logs, and transcripts are saved for actionable insights and campaign utilization. 

Bots are here, they’re not scary, and with the right tools, it’s easy to implement a strategy that meets customer expectations and improves business performance.