In the modern world, technology has redefined a “typical” consumer journey. Consumers now expect to engage with a business using a variety of channels, so it’s imperative that businesses have cohesive omnichannel strategies designed to keep customers engaged and satisfied at every touchpoint throughout their journey.
Any effective omnichannel strategy will employ contact center tools to ensure this happens. Tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots allow contact centers and their agents to offer the best possible customer experience through proactive, relevant customer service.
In many ways, AI is the backbone of a high-quality omnichannel strategy. It takes behavioral data and gives businesses a clear idea of the consumer journey’s who, what, when, and why in real-time. Contact center agents can then use this information to customize the service experience and proactively solve any issues before they really become issues.
Beyond that, AI also plays a major role in self-service solutions such as chatbots. Chatbots have come a long way since the days of AIM. They can hold natural conversations that understand a wide array of topics, adapt to different communication styles, and detect changes in emotion. A majority of companies that employ them see higher complaint resolution and call volume processing. While they can’t replace human service agents altogether, they’re great tools for handling initial contact and providing instant answers to basic customer questions.
Consumers are increasingly comfortable with chatbots, too. Smart assistants like Alexa and other conversational AI solutions have increased adoption of the technology, and chatbot interactions increased by as much as 250% in the early months of the pandemic.
Going forward, chatbots will only become more intelligent and more naturally conversational. As a result, they’ll play an even bigger role in the customer service experience in the near future. Businesses that want to create the best customer experience should make AI and chatbots a key part of their omnichannel strategies.
If you’re considering bolstering your contact center operations and omnichannel offerings with chatbots, consider the following benefits:
1. They tear down silos
For an omnichannel experience to work, agents shouldn’t have knowledge gaps when interacting with customers whenever possible. Any time customers find themselves telling the same story more than once, it’s a failure in the system and leaves a bad impression. For customers to move between channels seamlessly, data can’t be stuck in departmental silos, and any walls between channels need to come down.
Text and voice communication, for example, should be integrated rather than treated as separate things. The goal should be to get a complete picture of the customer journey rather than separate puzzle pieces that have to be patched together. Look for chatbots that use contextual data and advanced conversational analytics to put the pieces together for live agents in real-time, ensuring there are no gaps in service or conversation.
2. They create a customized, proactive experience
An effective conversational chatbot doesn’t deliver the same decision tree to every customer. Instead, it harnesses the power of AI and analytics to guide each customer through a pared-down selection of relevant options. Even more, AI-powered contact center tools can anticipate customer needs and reengage them through asynchronous outreach.
This type of outreach makes it possible to engage with consumers proactively, providing useful information and relevant touchpoints. Modern chatbots can update customers on the status of their service tickets, remind them to redeem digital coupons before they expire, and reach out with information about existing services that the customer has previously shown interest in.
3. They improve compliance
Chatbots aren’t prone to making the same mistakes as humans, which means they can help contact centers meet standards of compliance. Given the right data, chatbots account for regulation changes, customer policies, and other important information in every customer-agent interaction. Also, updating a chatbot with new policy changes is much quicker and more efficient than retraining all of your service representatives.
Omnichannel strategies are the future of customer experience. AI and chatbots will play a pivotal role in how that future plays out and how effective those strategies are. USAN Contact Suite provides contact centers with tools that make use of this technology and enhance both the customer experience and contact center agent experience at once.