23 Oct

Hybrid Chabot’s – The Future of Customer Service By Jas Anand

Technological changes are driving new frontiers in trade and industry. The new age businesses are creating a new level field across industries. The traditional business are facing competition and there has never been more need for innovation and nimbleness to hold on the market share.

The industries are changing and disruption is the new normal across sectors. Will outsourcing be protected from this? The answer is clear and it will certainly not be protected from it. The only way is to innovate and create solutions that can help the outsourcing market evolve further.

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Competitive Advantage of the biggies will be partially neutralized

The customer service inbound projects have mostly been dominated by mid-sized and big outsourcing firms with tight SLA’s. The SLA in turns require enhanced technology and diverse skill set of members, thus becoming an entry barrier in some way for new players to enter and compete. Hence large scale customer service campaigns needing more than 200 seats have been a part of the big boys club with competitive advantage tilting in their favor.

It is not that the biggies cannot move to hybrid Chabot’s – they can and they have piloted it with success. However, if they replace their own revenue partially by Chabot’s, then they will end up reducing their own revenue in the long run. With more perfection of the chatbot’s the human element will be reduced as AI takes more prominence in our business processes. Hence they are in a catch 22 situation and find themselves in similar state to the telecom carriers who got disrupted by WhatsApp and Viber particularly in the international voice traffic

This will open up the game and new players can enter this field (which is relatively new and the learning curve is shorter now) and here the competitive advantage of the biggies will be partially neutralized

This is opening the industry once again to the customers who will be biggest beneficiaries, to the new entrants and this will also offer consolidation opportunities to the nimble big players in the segment

Mastering the Bot – Stupid Bot vs. Hybrid Bot

The key lies in mastering the bot. Until Siri (from Apple) became prominent, bots were seen as a distance future technology with questions around its practical implementations. One success story sends the right signals to the market

I have personally interacted with a few stupid bots on Facebook and on few websites. The stupid bot is the one that cannot answer a question due to lack of comprehension or due to insufficient inputs to address wide variety of concern. After the series of interaction, the customer is given the customer service number and this leaves the customer with no answer and also a feeling of having wasted his time with a mindless machine.

This can all be changed and there are two ways to do it:

  1. Configure your chatbot’s well – spend time and be as detailed as possible. The jury is still out as to what percentage of queries should be taken up by the bot. From my discussion with experts, anywhere between 40 to 50% resolution by the bots is good at the time of implementation and it can be potentially taken to 60 to 70% range after improvisation. The AI technologies are expected to improve over next few years and some of this may be enhanced further
  2. Secondly, create hybrid chat bots where the conversations can be taken up by the live agent in case the bot hits the wall. The transition from bot to the man behind it has to be smooth and seamless

Advantages of Bots

The bots offer various advantages:

  1. The cost savings as 50% of the manpower can be replaced by chat bots in the future and not on day 1
  2. The management of personnel is more cumbersome comparted to maintenance of the bots
  3. Small businesses and SME’s can deploy chatbot’s to set up a customer service channel which might have been a luxury in the classic outsourcing / call center model. This will give more width to the customer service as a function and overall client satisfaction
  4. The bots will also offer a wide interface for integrating into different telephony OTT apps and various social media vehicles
  5. The manpower will not vanish in the near future as there is something called as empathy, urgency and critical problem solving that can be best provided by a well trained personnel. However we are entering an era where the machines and man will work in harmony to deliver the customer service objectives

For more understanding about implementing the Hybrid chatbot’s, please email us at bd@asiatel.com.hk

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