Chatbots are adopted by businesses in almost every industry to offer a conversational experience to customers and employees. AI-infused chatbots provide information and solve queries for users. This is reflected by CNBC, which reported that 75% to 90% of queries will be handled by chatbots by 2022. Let’s talk about how chatbots enable self-service capabilities for users.
By 2022, 70% of office workers may interact with
conversational platforms on a daily basis."
What is Chatbot Driven Self Service?
Chatbots assist users with self-service options to get instant online answers without the need to interact with human agents. Using the power of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU), AI-infused chatbots and assistants create a digital self-service environment. Artificial intelligence and machine learning play an important part to make chatbots intelligent enough to hold real conversations with users.
Service desk chatbots work differently than customer-facing bots. So, based on the business need, the chatbot development process changes as well as the set of rules, NLP engine, dialogue management (determines the context), and chatbots architecture.
Chatbot Driven Self-Service for Employees
Automated programs like chatbots allow employees to complete their routine tasks easier and enable them to get information anytime. Chatbots can integrate with platforms like Microsoft Teams, knowledge bases, company web applications, HR portals to access any information they might need. These bots are typically in the form of instant messaging to provide anything from technical support to general queries.
As more and more people continue to work outside the office, they are using chat facilities that provide quick responses. Organizations have expansive knowledge bases, project information, FAQs, reports, and other vital data, and all this data can be moved into a search index that integrates with chatbots to get answers in real-time.
Let’s look into an example:
An employee wants information about the employer’s vacation policy. They can directly visit the company’s chatbot-driven self-service window to get information instantly. Instead of sending emails to multiple coworkers and employees or searching through the employee HR portal to find the vacation policy. A chatbot will search through the connected data and provide the answer in seconds. Chatbots can also take things a step further and could suggest or ask employees if they wish to submit a vacation request. Depending on the employee’s response, the bot will take appropriate action.
Self-Service Chatbots for Customers
A business' focus should always be to provide superior customer service experiences to their customers. In some businesses, customer service agents are available to guide customers but the challenge here is with an increasing number of customer requests it is not possible for human agents to handle many customers at a time and even deploying many employees would be costly. Self-service customer service chatbots can handle any number of customer requests at a given point in time. They can suggest resolutions and allow customers to perform tasks to help themselves. This is a great way to help customers while allowing them to solve their own problems.
So how do self-service chatbots for customers works?
Conversational Self-Service Approach
Many customers who try self-service also tend to reach out to the customer support team because self-service information is not readily available. Even when customers use the most basic customer inquiries, follow-up is required. Customers can interact with chatbots and get help with follow-up questions as well.
Most customer inquiries can be answered by chatbots however, there can be some that can't. This can happen if a bot is not trained for a particular task or maybe the customer query is too complex, personal, or sensitive for the chatbot to handle. Such queries are escalated to a human agent automatically.
Chatbots are capable of performing escalation with necessary information. This gives human employees a rough idea about the query, basic information of the customer such as location, language, product, etc. This basic information saves a lot of time for the business and customers, per ticket.
This is a typical (simplified) customer service workflow:
Now, let's compare this with a typical self-service workflow with a chatbot:
New Source of Information
Self-service chatbots also act as a new source of information for many customers. With the help of chatbots, customers can find any information they need, in real-time. Since chatbots are very interactive, customers can get all their questions answered in just a few keystrokes.