How a virtual agent can help you stay ahead of the curve in customer engagement
Delivering a great customer experience is often cited as the most important goal for companies, and it’s no secret why - in its ‘Future of CX’ report, PwC found that after just one bad experience, one-third of customers said that they would leave a brand they love for the competition. A further 92% said they would completely abandon a company after just two or three negative interactions.
With these kinds of statistics, it’s understandable why 88% of companies now prioritize customer experience above all else in their contact centers. As artificial intelligence begins to play an ever-increasing role in customer service, banks, telcos and insurers will look to find new ways in which to use the technology to gain a competitive advantage.
Conversational AI and virtual agents offer one such opportunity by providing a diverse new channel to boost customer engagement with their brand, whether it’s through support, sales or service.
One of the immediate advantages of conversational AI for customer service is its ability to dramatically reduce costs for a company. As your business grows, so will the requirement for additional customer support, which can be costly. A virtual agent is infinitely scalable and can work 24/7, any day of the year, negating the need to hire additional staff to keep up with the demands of increasing support traffic.
This is similarly true of any unexpected spikes in traffic due to system outages, for example - ramping up support staff quickly in these cases can be expensive (and possibly ineffective). With a virtual agent, it’s as easy as modifying its welcome message to acknowledge the situation and pointing customers towards the relevant information.
The versatility of a virtual agent in being able to automate customer service and support queries at scale also has a crucial knock-on effect that can help cut expenditure further. By taking over the bulk of mundane and repetitive queries that were previously handled by human support staff, a virtual agent helps those same employees work happier, harder and smarter and, critically, stick around longer reducing overall employee turnover.
It’s common knowledge that a happy customer is a loyal customer. And what do loyal customers typically like to do more of? Spend money, of course. Through conversational AI, you can deliver an experience that helps to foster this strong bond by increasing self-service rates and breaking down the barriers between consumers and your brand.
Integrating a virtual agent with your backend systems only further increases its capacity to help drive revenue. Not only can you streamline the purchasing processes, making it more convenient for your customers, but by personalizing recommendations based on their account data you can steer them towards products and services that they may have otherwise missed through traditional service channels.
Conversational AI is great at delivering consistently correct information at scale. This is ideal in a customer-facing scenario, but it can be equally as powerful for a business to turn this advantage inwards. A virtual agent can be a useful tool to help existing customer service and support staff be even better at their jobs, thus benefiting your business overall.
This human ‘augmentation’ can take a number of forms, such as an HR or IT virtual agent that assists employees with questions related to their jobs. This has proved to be an effective method for streamlining internal processes.
A more novel approach is to use an internal virtual agent that customer service staff can refer to as a source of instant information and advice. Employees can query the virtual agent to get immediate answers about products and services without needing to scan through complex policy documents or navigate confusing additional systems.
Where conversational AI can further elevate this behind-the-scenes customer service approach is by analyzing incoming queries in real-time and offer up helpful suggestions and responses that customer service staff can then relay back to customers. This method, that allows a company to keep humans on the customer service front lines but with a virtual agent backing them up, has seen exceptional success with automation rates of up to 95%.
Pushing technology forward
Customer service and support are increasingly moving online and conversational AI presents the perfect channel for which to engage consumers where they spend their time most - on their phones.
The latest advances in natural language understanding are, today, making it easier than ever for a virtual agent to accurately understand what customers want, and to respond in a manner not entirely dissimilar to a typical human-to-human interaction. Proprietary language understanding algorithms are a key differentiator in distinguishing between the countless conversational AI solutions currently flooding the market. They offer everything from advanced language understanding capabilities to self-learning AI that can analyze conversation data and suggest new intents and topics that can be used to continuously improve the model.
Humans also play a vital role as the technologies themselves become easier to implement. Whereas previously it might require a team of data scientists months (or even years) to deploy a virtual agent, today, a company is able to up-skill its non-technical customer support staff into AI trainers and, with the help of self-learning AI, build a working virtual agent that is ready to deploy in a matter of weeks.
What are Chatbots?
A Chatbot is a software application used to conduct an online chat conversation via text or text-to-speech with a user in natural language through messaging applications, websites and mobile apps.This can happen on a brand’s website or app, or through platforms like Slack, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Whats-app, and even Alexa. Chatbots are used in customer service, request routing, or for information gathering. Chatbots help organizations embrace AI-powered customer acquisition, support and engagement processes to drive business continuity and growth.
According to Business Insider, the chatbot market size is projected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.7%.
Improved customer engagement - Chatbot applications streamline interactions between people and services, ensure 24/7 automated customer support and don't keep customers waiting. At the same time, they offer companies new opportunities to improve the customer engagement process. Chatbots help to identify the gaps during the conversation to find patterns during interaction with a customer, which helps to resolve the issues successfully within a few seconds. They even adjust the flow of conversation while interacting with a customer.
69% of consumers prefer chatbots because of their ability to provide quick replies to simple questions. (Chatbots Magazine).
Improved customer experience - Chatbots enable you to have real time conversations with high customer satisfaction.A chatbot can access the history of your interactions with the company to deliver a personalized experience. Customers are assured that they are delivered similar and consistent responses.
56% of consumers prefer to message a business for help rather than call customer support. (Outgrow)
Increase Customer Base - Chatbots may help you reach more people which can increase your customer base.They can help you generate leads, support multiple languages, grow customer retention rate, ask for user feedback,Provide Purchasing Ability- the list is endless.Being continuously active on these platforms helps companies reach new customers who may otherwise not want to reach out to the company with an email or call.
67% of customers globally reported using a chatbot for customer support in the past year. (Invesp, 2017)
Better Team productivity - Chatbots help raise productivity for agents by giving support and to automate repetitive business processes, freeing up service agents to handle more complex queries and provide better service to the customers.
Eliminates Human errors - Chatbots are the best way to deliver error-free service. They are programmed with all the information and there is no chance of errors.
Scaling support infrastructure according to your business needs - Chatbot platforms can automatically scale up in response to high demand, and scale down in response to reduced usage rates. This allows you to optimize your bot infrastructure, remain agile and handle high volume of queries.
Cost savings - Chatbot reduces the number of agents required on the call center floor as well as employee attrition due to the repetitive nature of routine calls.They Automate the entire life-cycle of service requests, reducing resolution time and improving work life. All of these lead to significant cost savings.
Chatbots can help businesses save as much as 30% of customer support costs. (Invesp)
Chatbots will transform the way businesses communicate with their customers and prospects.There are more and more business applications where chatbots with self-learning capabilities can interact with humans in a more natural way. There is growing sophistication and accuracy of AI which makes chatbots more robust and suitable for a broad range of applications. At the same time, there are also still challenges to overcome.The use of chatbots in business will evolve in the coming years – the design and architecture inevitably improving.It takes practice and a deeper understanding of underlying concepts to get the design right and build bots that give users a great experience.
According to Gartner report in 2019, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a mainstream customer experience investment in the next two years. “47% of organizations will use chatbots for customer care and 40% will deploy virtual assistants
Why Choose Node.Digital?
At Node.Digital, we are focused on a plethora of use cases in Chatbot development, that you can leverage in supervised self-learning conversational AI that trains itself on your existing data, delivering a bespoke virtual agent in a matter of days - not months. Automated answers can reduce the cost of service delivery, reduce downtime for employees, and improve business outcomes.
Proven Track record:
Total automation -34% - Proportion of total customer interactions without any human involvement.
Chat automation - 55% - Proportion of customer interactions in chat without any human involvement.
Resolution rate - 97% - Proportion of requests that are predicted to the right customer intent.
Trial offer-Get a custom-built virtual agent in just 10 days - at no cost , so you can make a confident decision based on a risk-free evaluation.
Partner expertise comes in Handy when you really need it:
Ensure if the Partner has Sufficient Solution Expertise:
The more experience a Salesforce consultant has with clients in different fields, the more expertise they will have in addressing your needs. Because every organization is different, each project will bring new learning experiences. This variety enables your partner to develop the most effective, customized solutions for various processes, domains, and customer components.
Some of the questions on the track record of the partner that can help you:
Referral calls can help you get a feel of experiences with a partner, and take a broader look at their customer success ratings to gain a deeper understanding of a prospective partner’s knowledge.
Salesforce consulting partners are committed to delivering customer success and have access to a robust partner community and myriad resources for support and training.Salesforce certification validates if a partner has the Salesforce knowledge and experience necessary to handle your implementation. It is also a great way to make sure that the individual is up-to-date on the most recent Salesforce releases.
Here are five different certifications that Salesforce offers: Certified Salesforce Administrator, Certified Salesforce Platform Developer, Certified Salesforce Advanced Administrator, Certified Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant, and Certified Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant.
At a minimum, your consultant should hold both Administrator and Developer certifications. The rest depends on your needs.
When you hire a good Salesforce partner, they will be experts in providing solutions not only on Salesforce but there are other areas like project management, integration technologies and product delivery which they have to be good at. They need to carry all the experience, in project management where they will make sure that the project stays on course, the post-implementation training is successful, and the delivery is flawless.
Budget & Pricing:
When it comes to Salesforce support, prices can be varied! It is important for you to have a proper discussion, regarding your budget and it will be easier for you, to find a good yet experienced partner, under that given range. You don’t have to choose the first partner that falls in that range. While cost is always a concern when considering a new partner, it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Ask partners for proposals and compare their offerings. Even without a formal RFP, you can learn a great deal about the partner — regarding their delivery and level of detail.
You may think pricing qualifies under budget, but when it comes to ongoing support it actually differs. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the “per hour” pricing. Some of the questions below can go a long way toward keeping control over your purse strings:
Make sure your partner can offer ongoing system support:
Talk about what happens after you complete your project and think clearly about what happens next. If it’s a company-wide implementation, you need to find a partner who has a clear support and account management program as you consider future improvements.Consider the partners who provide 24×7 support which can be on-site and offshore.
Searching for the right Salesforce Consulting Partner can be a daunting task, as consultants seem to be many, it can be difficult to decide on the best choice for your business. Keeping the qualities listed above in mind during your search can help ensure that you find the best Salesforce Consulting Partner for your needs.
Why select Node.Digital ?
✅ Deployed several Salesforce solutions across cloud and mobile platforms that were well received and adopted
✅ Salesforce certified partners with several employees having certifications across a wide range of Salesforce products
✅ Cost effective proprietary hybrid delivery model with qualified Onsite/Offshore resources and reusable components combined with Customer Engagement, Design Thinking and Agile Development