These computer programs are developed to converse with humans, both orally and in writing. They invite themselves more and more into customer relationships… with more or less happiness. Keley Consulting conducted a survey of 100 digital managers: 38% are not satisfied with their chatbots in terms of revenue growth… but in 2018, they were 89% ready to invest in these tools! So to avoid disappointments, here’s an overview of what’s good to know about software robots before you release them into the wild.
In the top of uses comes first the Customer Relationship: designed to discuss with humans, the chatbot fits into a user experience and offers a more personalized and interactive experience with the brand. It increases the conversion rate of merchant sites, for example, and reduces the use of call centers.
The chatbot is much more user-friendly than a voice mailbox and can be used in all situations. Regardless of the channel used, instant messaging or telephone, or even a connected speaker, a caller becomes potentially available 24/7. We can even imagine that the chatbot is programmed to contact the customer as soon as he has something new on a subject, a promotion on an article or a test in store… all without cluttering his mailbox already well saturated with ads!
“From the moment you bring an object into the order of language, oral or vocal, you assign it a social place.”
But beware of the risks of disappointment. To do its job properly, the chatbot must go beyond reading keywords. He must be able to identify intentions (if the sentence is positive or negative, if the question is open or closed…), recognize synonyms, categories of words, accept spelling mistakes… in short, rely on automatic natural language processing technology and integrate regularly updated learning blocks to adapt to his environment. And above all… avoid cul-de-sac that generate significant frustration. The chatbot must always be able to pass the hand to a human!
In the organizations, the conversation robot can also be a good idea. It is a good alternative to Frequently Asked Questions, for example, on technical, legal or HR issues. It saves time for the employees in charge of these subjects, who only intervene as a last resort. User-friendly, the chatbot does not require you to go through a long list of questions: the user questions the bot, which instantly gives him the answer. The internal services, on the other hand, feed on issues they had not identified and enrich the robot as they go along.
“Too few engineers are aware of the weight of words and the impact of their work. Use dialogue artists.”
In any case, there is a pitfall to avoid before launching your software agent: it is better not to humanize it too much! If his job is to simulate a dialogue, he should not mislead about his nature by giving the illusion that an operator is behind the keyboard. Manipulating emotions can have unfortunate consequences. You have to know how to measure the degree of humanity of a chatbot, according to Clothilde Chevet, a doctoral student in information and communication sciences, who has studied the way robots are made to speak: “From the moment you bring an object into the order of language, oral or vocal, you assign it a social place,” she says. However, too few engineers are aware of the weight of words and the impact of their work. Her advice: use dialogue artists. An additional cost, but the quality of customer relations, a key factor for success, will increase.
(Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash)