Conversational platforms, such as chatbots, are rapidly becoming a popular medium of interaction between enterprises, customers and employees. Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70% of white-collar workers will interact with conversational platforms on a daily basis. At the same time, analyst data shows that the global use of top messaging applications has surpassed the use of top four social networks. This tectonic shift in consumer behavior requires brands across industries to recalibrate their customer experience strategy to increase customer satisfaction and reduce customer attrition. This is especially important for B2C businesses such as telecom, media, financial services, utilities, and e-commerce.
Regardless of whether you’ve just begun your chatbot journey or you’re considering more complex chatbot experiences for your customers, here are three tools to help you evaluate your progress.
Start your chatbot journey where it is most contextually relevant to your business and customer service objectives. You can use this Chatbot Maturity Matrix (see Table 1) to evaluate your readiness and target early success.
|Chatbot Maturity Model||Characteristics||Target Chatbot Deployment Opportunities|
|Immature||No Natural Language Processing (NLP)
No learning. The chatbot cannot learn by itself from its interactions with customers
|Simple Q &A|
|Simple Q&A + actions|
|Advanced||NLP + context
|Futuristic research areas||NLP + context + emotion
Delivering a memorable chatbot experience is no trivial task. It requires a multi-disciplinary approach with extensive planning around four important pillars: functionality, conversational intelligence, personality and interface (see Table 1).
|Pillar||Description||Must Have Features|
|Functionality||Does the chatbot do what it is supposed to do, and if so, how good is it? Are there existing alternatives (apps, websites, search engines, etc.) to accomplish the same task?||Chatbots must accomplish their primary task, outperform alternatives and have adequate domain knowledge.|
|Conversational Intelligence||Does the chatbot feel human? Is it witty or easily confused? Can it understand the contextual difference between “I am fine” and “’m going to be fined”? Can it retain and build on the conversation’s context?||Chatbots must have ‘human-like’ conversational capabilities and be able to preserve context throughout the chat session.|
|Personality||Does the chatbot have a personality? Can it indulge in humour, enter and exit gracefully?||Chatbots must have a personality that’s best suited to the domain it’s deployed in. Personalities make a strong impression.|
|Interface||Does the chatbot experience take you outside the chat window? Does the chatbot interact with buttons, text, voice or a combination of all of the above?||Chatbots should have interactive elements in the interface, along with the ability to handle text input and minimal external links.|
Claim your complimentary session with Firstsource chatbot experts who can help you plan around the important pillars of a chatbot strategy. Contact us.
If you’ve already deployed a chatbot to serve your customers, you can use the scorecard shown in Figure 1 to benchmark its performance at regular intervals. This exercise will help you amplify what’s working, fix bottlenecks, and leapfrog from your current chatbot capabilities to the next level.
Give yourself a “1” if you “Strongly Disagree”, a “5” if you “Strongly Agree”, or any other value in the continuum based on your best judgement.
|Pillar||Description||Must Have Features|
|Functionality||Can interpret commands accurately||1||2||3||4||5|
|Can execute requested tasks||1||2||3||4||5|
|Is able to maintain a discussion||1||2||3||4||5|
|Is able to activate a new topic||1||2||3||4||5|
|Number of services available in the chatbot||1||2||3||4||5|
|Trustworthiness||Offers dependable information||1||2||3||4||5|
|Offers rating capability||1||2||3||4||5|
|Shows breadth of knowledge||1||2||3||4||5|
|Gracefully handles unexpected input||1||2||3||4||5|
|Security & Privacy||Protects and respects privacy||1||2||3||4||5|
|Is safe from intrusion/breach||1||2||3||4||5|
|Efficiency||Is easy to use||1||2||3||4||5|
|Supports canned responses vs. free text||1||2||3||4||5|
|Is available at all times||1||2||3||4||5|
|Is accessible via multiple platforms||1||2||3||4||5|
|Graphical Appearance||Offers a friendly user-interface||1||2||3||4||5|
|Uses emojis and pictures/gifs||1||2||3||4||5|
|Humanity||Creates an enjoyable interaction||1||2||3||4||5|
|Reads and responds to moods||1||2||3||4||5|
|Offers personalized options||1||2||3||4||5|
|Empathy||Offers personalized suggestions||1||2||3||4||5|
Share the results of your benchmarking exercise with a Firstsource chatbot expert for an interactive, diagnostic discussion about your organization’s chatbot roadmap. Contact us.
Chatbot deployment success requires stakeholders to: adopt a continuous experimentation mindset, objectively analyse the performance metrics, and frequently iterate to close the gaps and improve performance. The upside of getting chatbot deployment right is superior customer loyalty, in turn translating to a higher share of the customer wallet in the long run.