The Best Practices For Employing Customer Service Chatbots

The Best Practices For Employing Customer Service Chatbots
Retail

As the use of virtual agents expands, research has identified specific ways that companies can optimize the efficiency and value of their chat-based services, from designing an ecosystem experience to giving the customer more control

PSFK Labs
  • 30 april 2018

Today’s organizations across a wide range of industries are increasingly incorporating chatbots into their business, especially within customer service relations. Virtual agents make it easy for customers to have their voice heard, which is why it’s all the more frustrating when bots are difficult to engage, too complex to understand—or simply don’t work.

There are particular pitfalls to avoid and protocol to follow when it comes to successfully incorporating bots into services. The following directives will assist customer-facing organizations as they consider how to make their bots entirely effective, approachable and effortless to interact with.

Focus On Building Trust
Don’t pretend to be a human—be authentic with the software, user experience and platform the bot is integrated within. Let users know when the bot understands or doesn’t understand user questions, responses or needs.

Be Clear About The Problem It Solves
Develop a clear idea of what the end user can accomplish. Focus on defining a specific need, feature or use your bot can seamlessly accomplish, then slowly consider adding more features to the experience over time.

Curate The Experience
Clearly explain to users what the bot can help them accomplish. Limit the number of questions chatbots ask to avoid user attrition, and provide suggestions or explicit directions to guide users along their queries. Allow bots to infer context to streamline the user experience when possible.

Give Customers Control
Ensure that there are fallbacks in place to pass over to live agents or seamlessly schedule follow-ups. Allow users to easily restart conversations and seamlessly pick up where they left off.

Design An Ecosystem Experience
Design with scale in mind, and consider how multiple teams can contribute to the conversation path and insights—while retaining consistent user-to-user engagement. Respect the medium in which the bot appears, ensuring bots seamlessly connect to key systems to automate routine tasks.

Optimize Over Time
Log ongoing conversational history and source any available information about users, with their permission. Enable bots to learn and evolve over time, both to customers’ individual needs and general user behavior, evaluating and refining the experience continually.

As the use of chatbots proliferates, their serviceability, efficiency and value to customers increases, and businesses continue to learn about how best to employ them. For more information on how brands are improving their services using virtual agents, see PSFK’s Customer Service Debrief

Today’s organizations across a wide range of industries are increasingly incorporating chatbots into their business, especially within customer service relations. Virtual agents make it easy for customers to have their voice heard, which is why it’s all the more frustrating when bots are difficult to engage, too complex to understand—or simply don’t work.

+AI
+AI
+chat
+chatbots
+customer service
+customer support
+customer-service-debrief
+Design
+Market Research
+psfk labs
+retail
+work

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