The chatbot against all odds

If the perceived waiting time often differs greatly from the real waiting time, the emergency has become a system. Organizations must confront the new immediacy constraints revealed by hyper-connected individuals. To meet this need, artificial intelligence offers a solution that is already proven, actionable, and embodied by conversational agents.

The real-time individual and the cult of urgency

The phenomenon of urgency, detailed in the works of the French sociologist and psychologist Nicole Aubert, is unfolding in a context of general tense currents, accentuated by the crises linked to COVID. Technological tools, reinforced by the use of teleworking, offer and sometimes arouse new behaviors of impatience. Or even dubbed “Zapper Syndrome” by Francis Jauréguiberry, a French sociologist whose research focuses on the relationship to time created by the development of technology. Consumers are used to taking their daily lives into their own hands (retail checkouts, booking non-agency travel, doctor appointments, etc.) and are ready not to wait any longer.

A contemporary mutation, the extension of the concept of self-service to the digital, has entered the mores. This is called self-care or self-service. It responds to changing lifestyles and new consumer needs. It offers a new freedom in total autonomy. Of course, self-care does not mean the end of human interactions, the question of balance should not be questioned. There are questions, topics that we want to process automatically and others (sometimes more complex) that require an exchange with a human.

So, the promise of self-care is to give consumers the power to self-medicate and get instant answers to their questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Technologies have played a fundamental role in changing the relationship to time. They abolished space and time. It is possible to order online anytime, any day of the week and from anywhere as long as you have access to the network. They also allow you to automatically find the answers to the questions you ask yourself, even the most complex ones, through a conversation in natural language.

Emergence of self-service and conversational agents

Automation is obvious: From the contact center’s point of view, technical resources are optimized and the quality of life of employees in the workplace is improved; From the customer’s point of view, we meet their need for immediacy. This automation is possible thanks in particular to artificial intelligence. One of the most proven use cases is that of the Virtual Agent or Conversational Agent.

Understanding the natural language NLU (Natural Language Understanding) will allow to extract information in a conversation. In fact, natural language processing consists of identifying words and semantic similarities in a conversation to understand, interpret, and analyze intentions. The callbot will thus identify the reason for the interaction and extract key information. The user will express themselves freely for a smoother experience. An advanced callbot dynamically adapts to the context of the conversation. This is what we call conversational memory or customer interaction memory. In concrete terms, it is about relying on the course of the conversation in order to record information and not having to ask unnecessarily, for example in the event that an answer was already spontaneously provided during the conversation. We must also consider the enrichment of context through real-time interaction with information systems. The latter provides the applicant with complete and personalized information when searching for a delivery date, the availability of a checkbook or the date of a refund.

However, automating the conversation does not mean deceiving the interlocutor about the character of the callbot. If attachment to the realism of the voice is sought, the point is not to ape the human (anthropomorphism). Conversational convenience and execution speed will be key, and these are not the only assets of a virtual agent.

The benefits of automation

Deploying a virtual agent solution does indeed have a direct impact on customers, but also on contact center staff, for example on their financial results. The ROI of a virtual agent solution was thus measured by IBM. Beyond its contribution to revenue growth (+3%), it impacts all historical KPIs of customer relationships: from the First Contact Resolution Rate (FCR), which has increased by 14%, to the Cost per Contact, which has increased by 18%. have sunk. , not to mention customer satisfaction (+12%) and employee satisfaction, which have increased significantly.

Whether relieving congestion in the contact center through better pre-routing qualifications or directly providing the response the caller expected, the virtual agent is now essential to a successful experience. Queue management deserves a comprehensive, integrated and omnichannel approach.

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