Chatbot smartphone

The chatbot at the heart of customer service

The chatbot is an important element in companies’ web marketing strategies. It intervenes particularly at the level of customer services. In addition to triggering the purchasing process, the chatbot makes it possible to complement the usual devices within the commercial departments of B2B and B2C companies. This system seems complex, but this article allows you to see more clearly.

What is Chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer program that simulates text and voice conversation. It is a chatbot that interprets a message and formulates a response accordingly. As part of a voice message, it is called a Voicebot.

The chatbot is the point of contact between a company and its customer. It aims to respond to the problems of the latter. It is deployed on various platforms: Facebook Messenger, website, mobile application, Skype, Trello, SMS, etc. Voicebots are more used in the Amazon Echo, Google Home, HomePod range.

The chatbot intervenes on two major axes: transactions and knowledge. When the conversation platform is transactional, it concerns all booking and purchasing tasks. In this case, his capacity for understanding and interaction must be high. The conversation is based on pre-established patterns. It is necessary to test a maximum of scenarios.

For a knowledge-based platform , tooling is different, more complex. It usually meets the need of customer services and must be able to answer a considerable volume of questions. Chatbots are then equipped with artificial intelligence in order to carry out operations according to the context and the interlocutor.

How did the chatbot develop?

Chatbots have been on the rise steadily since their inception. The first form of this program was designed by a professor at MIT in the years 1966. But its current form came out in 1995 with the Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity program. This program is, in fact, able to simulate a useful conversation with a human interlocutor.

IBM designed in 2005, an artificial intelligence program named Watson capable of answering questions on a natural language basis. In 2010 major retailers such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon launched their own user interfaces. But it was Facebook that revolutionized the chatbot with Messenger in 2016. Indeed, Messenger makes it possible to develop robots that interact with its users. This will contribute to the democratization of the concept.

How does a chatbot work?

The chatbot works by identifying keywords or « vectors » inserted in the questions of Internet users. To decipher a sentence, he is based on the notions of intentions and entities.

Intent serves to emphasize the client’s purpose. It is identified by words or pairs of words used in a sentence. For example for the sentence « I would like to make a reservation of a table of 2 people for tomorrow evening at 8 pm », the intention is recognized with  » make a reservation « . Other words would have been categorized in the same theme: book a table, make an appointment, book a table, etc.

The entity is the variable element used to provide greater precision to the initial request. It may contain one or more pieces of information. In this same sentence « I would like to make a reservation of a table of 2 people for tomorrow evening », three entities are recognized: the date (tomorrow evening), the time (20 h), and the number of people (02). Again, other words could have been used.

Chatbots use decision trees in their operations based on predefined scenarios and dialogues. More powerful chatbots rely on artificial intelligence, and natural language recognition.

How to integrate a chatbot into your system?

To set up a chatbot, the essential step is to define the objectives and focus of your customers. To do this, it is necessary to determine the points of friction in the customer journey, recurring requests to customer service, and an anticipation of their problems.

The chatbot must be part of the company’s ecosystem. It receives and shares information with other communication channels.

Why use a chatbot in customer relations?

The success of chatbots is not only explained by the evolution of technology. But to the fact that it is as useful to consumers as it is to companies in their customer services. Internet users are satisfied with the speed of the responses. Companies maintain both customer satisfaction, but also a winning ROI.

Indeed, for companies, they make it possible to automate part of the customer relationship. Faced with the growth of competition, and the evolution of consumer behavior, companies must improve the quality of their activities. Maintaining traditional customer service involves an additional investment at the risk of congestion. The solution therefore lies in automating responses.

Those that have a high impact for the customer can be a recurring request for the company. This is the case of a password reset or parcel tracking for example. The automation of this type of request therefore makes it possible to relieve the customer and focus the attention of the customer service on more complex requests. The chatbot thus reduces the contact rate. By reducing this rate, companies restrict customer service expenses.

Statistics show that 60% of Internet users shop in the evenings and weekends while French companies available 24/7 represent only 50%. This lag demonstrates that the implementation of a continuously available and automated customer service is necessary in order not to lose opportunities.

The chatbot gives the possibility to personalize the interactions between the company and its customer. During the first exchanges, the chatbot collects data on customers who enrich their profiles.

The chatbot is now part of the digital landscape with 80% of companies using it in 2020. This is a major strategic issue.

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