I remember when the hype around chatbots has started. It was March 2016, Mark Zuckerberg was presenting a new Messenger Platform that should have redesigned the way we communicate with businesses. Fast forward to May 2020; few more messaging apps have been unlocked to businesses (Apple Business Chat or WhatsApp for instance) and webchat increased its importance. But no significant paradigm shift in customer communication has happened.
The people are still calling and writing emails to businesses. Or sometimes even fill the web forms to request the support. For large organizations, only 1% of support traffic is happening in messaging. No wonder that chatbots and any serious initiatives for automation of support have failed. There was no business value they could deliver.
Still, calling the business or writing an email seems to be so unnatural these days. Also, everyone understands the value of automation and believes that it would happen in the near future. The only question here is: What is the path to get there?
Four years in business messaging
To answer this question, we have to understand what these four years of business messaging have brought and what is the current situation. First of all, people started to discover other means of communication when talking to companies. Facebook Messenger is a good example for customers coming to the business from Facebook social platform. Secondly, help-desk software providers like Genesys or Zendesk integrated messengers into their software allowing companies to leverage new communication channels. Lastly, natural language processing (NLP), an AI technology for analyzing the human language, has evolved over the past few years.
All in all, everything is set up to take a step forward and finally solve the friction of thousands of customers calling the businesses and navigating through IVRs (Interactive Voice Response). On the company side, decreasing the astronomical cost when dealing with repetitive tasks is essential as well.
When talking to large organizations, we noticed that the missing piece of the puzzle is a conversational strategy; A solid plan of an enterprise on what channels to provide the support, how to propagate them, what is the channel priority, what are the touch/entry points, what conversations to automate, etc. As a result, the correct conversational strategy moves traffic from inefficient channels to cost-efficient ones while increasing the customer satisfaction.
We drafted several business case calculations for enterprises and it revealed that moving as little as 5 % of the traffic can make a huge impact in the call center cost structure. And we know that it is just the beginning. You can reduce the cost for your organization and still make the exceptional user experience be a key differentiator on the market. What matters is your strategy in talking to your customers.