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What are Chatbots?

In the context of customer engagement, chatbots are automated customer service assistants that businesses deploy to interact with customers, answer questions, push web pages, and act as a concierge to initially field and handle requests. They are sometimes used synonymously with terms like virtual assistants, virtual customer assistants, avatars, concierge, and virtual agents.

What do consumers want from chatbots?

Chatbots.org surveyed 3,000 consumers about what they want from chatbots.

59% of respondents (62% in the US and 55% in the UK) found that having to repeat information to a human agent in the event of escalation from VCAs was the biggest hurdle to using them.

Not surprisingly, this is a result of chatbot deployments that are completely disconnected from agent-assisted touchpoints. The second biggest pain point at 32% (29% US and 37% UK) was chatbots “getting stuck and not knowing what to do next.”

This is a common problem that arises from a lack of focus on knowledge management to back the chatbots with intelligence and knowhow.

53% of the consumers surveyed (54% US and 52% UK) found chatbots to be “not effective” or only “somewhat effective.” US consumers were harsher in their assessment of chatbots with 14% rating them as not effective versus only 5% of UK consumers

This is perhaps an indication that US consumers are challenging chatbots with more complex questions than UK consumers.

Chatbot Best Practices

Done right, chatbots not only help contain customer service costs but also enhance the brand. We have compiled some best practices for successful virtual assistant implementations learned from over 15 years of experience in this space. Also, read about why chatbots fail and what to do about!

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