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BizReport : Ecommerce : June 25, 2020

How to build a better chatbot

Chatbots are not new to the digital space, but as more consumers work from home, shop from home, and stream more content, the need for a better chatbot has arisen. We asked a digital expert how brands can building a better chatbot experience.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Since shelter-in-place orders have gone into effect, there has been a dramatic change in how people shop and how people contact brands for CX or CS issues. Do you foresee this change continuing now that restrictions are lifting? Or will digital communication continue to be a go-to? 

Raisa Nair, Digital Marketing Manager, Progress Software: Digital communication has always been a great asset for brands, as it is a quick and easy way to conduct customer communications in real-time. But since the beginning of the pandemic, digital adoption increased exponentially, and brands started to prioritize engaging their audience better over digital mediums. This priority on digital communications will remain the same, and even increase, for many brands due to multiple reasons. First, multiple brands have already moved into the digital space due to monetary loss in traditional set ups, and are able to engage with their audience better online. On the flip side, consumers have realized that communicating or engaging via a digital platform is much more convenient for them. And on the brand's side, reaching customers digitally results in better customer engagement in a cost-effective manner. So yes, digital communication is here to stay, even after the pandemic subsides.
Kristina: In your opinion, will the changes in consumer behavior over the past 3 months continue? Or will people go back to their old ways of researching and buying?

Raisa: These changes in consumer behavior will stay, as online researching and buying has shown to be more convenient and streamlined than traditional means. This will typically vary based on the industry, but for most brands, consumer needs will likely move to and stay within digital mediums.

Kristina: More and more brands are going to chat-bots and other AI options for consumers' initial contact - are they doing enough to serve their shoppers? 

Raisa: Right now, many brands are either setting up new online experience journeys for their customers, or improving upon their existing online platforms. But to do the most for their customers and enhance the touchpoint they have with them, brands must adopt AI-powered chatbots. Chatbots offer personalized and one-on-one engagement opportunities with consumers, improving customer satisfaction by enabling real-time and quick interactions. On the brand side, chatbots are the perfect solution for support teams with 24/7 availability, and have helped resolve delay issues due to long call holds. In addition, chatbots are helping brands increase efficiency while onboarding new hires, improving their overall productivity.

Kristina: How can brands build a better chat bot experience?

Raisa: Brands should build chatbot algorithms and conversations based on customers' real life experiences. Companies can do this by spending time analyzing conversations they have with their customers, extracting those that are repetitive and converting them to step-by-step conversations for similar customers. Brands should also use conversational UI to guide users through a conversation and next steps directly - for example, displaying a list of buttons with available delivery time slots, instead of making the user guess what slots might be available. Finally, brands can build a better chatbot experience by using acknowledgments when users provide useful information. Take advantage of the information provided in past conversations so that future conversations can be more personalized.

Tags: chatbot experience, chatbot trends, customer service, customer service chatbot, cx trends, ecommerce, Progress Software

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