Do you and your chatbot need therapy?

In all good relationships, there comes a time when the two parties involved find themselves needing a little intervention, a bit of therapy, a series of counseling sessions… Close partnerships will inevitably encounter the same issues as other partnerships. In marriages, the culprit for bumpy roads can range from children and religion to money and in-laws. In business relationships, the problems can arise from miscommunication, loss of trust, or change in finances. Regardless of the nature of the problem, and regardless of the kind of relationship, therapy is in order.

Organizations that have implemented a chatbot as part of their customer engagement program can eventually find themselves in a rocky relationship with that chatbot. The reasons can vary, but much of the time, it boils down to three major issues that need to be addressed.

  1. Communication – A chatbot is able to answer questions pretty efficiently and accurately – as long as the customer is using the kind of language or semantics that were used when the chatbot was being programmed. But what happens when a customer uses broken English or misspells or mispronounces a word? Or what if they use a colloquialism with which the chatbot is not familiar? Well, what you have there is a failure to communicate. Fortunately, there is a more advanced sort of chatbot – a virtual assistant (VA) – which is equipped with Natural Language Understanding, so it’s able to discern intent of the customer and thereby can find the appropriate resolution or redirect the customer to a live agent with the needed skillset.
  2. Values – Your values can change the longer your chatbot is in place. You may soon find that you value the quality of service your customers receive much more than you value the savings that is supposed to come from automating customer interactions. Chatbots are great at answering common, surface-level questions many customers have, but they are not able to add to their knowledgebase on their own. Without artificial intelligence (AI), there is no machine learning to continuously teach the chatbot, as there is with a virtual assistant. Nor can chatbots learn from real-life agent interactions – VAs can. The more a VA learns, the more in-depth knowledge it can provide your customers – and the more value they receive from their experience with your company.
  3. Passion – All good relationships have their honeymoon period, where nothing wrong can be done by either party. But then the passion dies, and someone’s going to be disillusioned. As with a chatbot, many organizations finally come to realize that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Their chatbot is very limited in its abilities and there’s no foreseeable future of improvement. However, a virtual assistant that’s powered by AI and comes with the service of customer engagement experts can be continuously optimized – continuously improving the relationship between VA and customer, VA and brand, and, most importantly, customer and brand. The passion lives on and grows.

These three issues, of course, are only a few of what could potentially be many problems that arise from automating your customer engagements with a chatbot. If your organization has found themselves looking at their chatbot, wondering what went wrong, it’s time for therapy. You need to find a professional that specializes in repairing broken relationships and helps you redesign your partnership.

To look into “chatbot therapy”, watch this webinar led by two customer engagement pros that specialize in designing optimal customer relationships by cultivating a healthy brand-chatbot/VA relationship. “Why is my chatbot not working? The secrets to designing a great customer experience.”

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Nuance welcomes thought leaders across industries to What’s next. The perspective of our analyst community, customers and partners is critical to understanding the future of Conversational AI.