I started dictating this article to Siri, but I gave up within a few minutes after I had to repeat my words again and again. Emerging Human Assisted Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Assistants, and Machine Learning technology has become a reality everywhere. We use them to check the status of our orders, reorder a prescription or book our trips. While chatbots enhance and optimize company function, bots assisted by humans are shown to be more effective for businesses, at least for the time being.
Mobile devices are the preferred way to access the internet for the majority of the population, and while mobile apps continue to thrive, companies are struggling with creating engaging experiences with their customers as their apps get lost in a sea of social networks, games, entertainment, and news. Even when users give it a try, seven of every ten use it for less than 24 hours!
It would come as a surprise to few these days – no one enjoys calling customer service. Millennials, a demographic that will reach 50 percent of the workforce by 2020, would rather “get their teeth cleaned” than call into a customer service line and two of every three consumers prefer to communicate via some form of instant messaging. So why do companies continue to employ these old forms of customer engagement, at an outstanding opportunity cost of $61 billion per year?
ServiceBots could be a solution to some of the current woes of the retail industry. Using instant-message-based systems, these bots can automate many of the functions of a retail operations service desk, bringing a conversational machine interface to what is a costly human-to-human interaction today, thereby reducing the need for scaling human resources, while bringing faster and friendlier support to store employees.
It’s a very typical scenario: The Service Desk has processed a Customer Request believing the issue has been fixed, closing the ticket and sending a completion notification to the end user. In the meantime, from the customer’s perspective, the problem has not been fixed at all. Now the client is frustrated not only by the original issue but by the bad service experience. One of every two customers will switch providers, every year, just because of something like this!