It’s no exaggeration to say no business discussion today is complete without the mention of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). The novel technological paradigm has dramatically transformed our understanding of how AI affects the way we work. Generative AI profoundly impacts every organizational function and customer service is no exception.
One of the key applications of generative AI is enhancing the capabilities of chatbots used extensively to deliver customer support. Now, this begs the question whether innovative computing development can be used to enable chatbots to acquire human-like abilities to converse, understand and resolve the issues faced by customers. Well, the answer is NO.
It may sound ironic but many experts believe when a chatbot behaves like the ‘perfect’ human agent, it can result in eerie or creepy experiences to customers. So, the priority of companies should not be to try making their customer support chatbots sound like human reps, but rather make them less robotic. Let me explain what this means and how we should approach the question of enabling customer conversations using chatbots.
Chatbots Need Not Be Human But Must Be Able to Resolve Customer Issues
Customer support bots are designed to handle specific requests of clients. The objective of creating these bots is to enable the user to find answers to his queries and solutions to his problems. But, if a chatbot converses like a ‘real human’, there is a danger of the customer expecting responses that the bot is not designed to provide. The attempts to make chatbots behave like human reps may negatively impact your ability to deliver delightful customer support. You need to remember expanding a bot-enabled conversation beyond the desired purpose puts a huge burden on its design; this will make it difficult to account for all the queries a client might pose.
So it’s better to reframe the design of your customer support chatbot and enhance its conversational abilities to guide a user toward the solution, rather than making it to act like a member of your customer service team.
Language Design Must Be the Key Focus Area
You must majorly concentrate on enhancing the language design of the chatbot to deliver the right responses to customers. A few important aspects you must consider include the following.
You must pay close attention to the vocabulary and the level of linguistic formality of the chatbot. Bear in mind the use of jargon may leave a lay user confused; however, when it comes to audiences with relevant technical skills, it could expedite the resolution of their requests.
Span of Turns
The number of messages and the quantum of time in which a chatbot sends dialogs to a user before eliciting his response is a key aspect to consider. Keep this as low as possible to ensure high levels of user engagement.
Emoticons and Emojis
You must determine which emoticons and emojis to use and when. However, this is easier said than done. Emojis, especially hand signs, are interpreted differently in different parts of the world. So, you must be very careful with their usage not to offend anyone. You should also consider the challenges faced by visually-impaired users who use screen readers.
Elements of Punctuation
Chatbots must be able to render elements of punctuation correctly to convey the intended message in a proper manner. For instance, consider the following sentences.
- Let’s eat grandpa.
- Let’s eat, grandpa.
The only difference between the sentences is a comma after the word eat but the sentences convey two entirely different meanings.
Name of the Chatbot
You must choose the right name for your chatbot as it affects the way users perceive your brand. As a best practice, avoid names that indicate a specific gender or identify with a particular ethnicity or race. The same applies to the avatar and profile picture of the chatbot.
Reaction to Success and Delivery of Apologies
You must determine how your chatbot responds after resolving a customer request successfully. Likewise, you should also train the bot to apologize to the user in a polite manner, if it’s unable to provide the information sought by him.
The Voice of Chatbots Must Sound Right
Some firms use voice-enabled bots to interact with customers. Businesses need to consider the factors listed below to strike the right chord with the clients.
Tone and Pitch
It’s advisable to use a formal tone and avoid a high-pitched voice. Make sure the chatbot sounds clear and polite.
Rate of Speech
The rate of speech must be moderate; a high rate of speech may make the intended message incomprehensible, while a low rate may sound monotonous.
Discourse markers are expressions that indicate a shift in a conversation. They are also used to signal acknowledgement and convey excitement. A few common examples include – Got it!, Okay and So. The chatbots must be trained to use discourse markers the right way to engage the user effectively.
Apart from these aspects, you must be careful to ensure the voice-enabled bot sounds gender-neutral to avoid stereotypes. You should also go in for a neutral dialect, unless the chatbot caters only to the needs of users belonging to a particular region.
Beyond these factors, you must also make sure the chatbot gets the flow of the conversation right. This can be done by focusing on elements such as the following.
- Timing and duration of pauses between messages
- Variations in dialogs to enhance engagement
I’d like to conclude by saying companies should not be enamored about providing human-like capabilities to their chatbots. Rather, they must focus on leveraging the latest technologies to enable the bots to provide better responses to requests of client, and thereby, deliver high levels of customer satisfaction. At Solunus, we help you leverage state-of-the-art Salesforce tools to deliver excellent customer service. Our rich experience gained serving firms of diverse sizes across the industry spectrum and a strong emphasis on comprehending your unique needs allow us to ensure the best ROI on state-of-the-art customer service tools.
Solunus is a leading Salesforce consulting company, based in Dallas, TX, USA. Our proven ‘needs-first’ approach coupled with our unrivaled expertise of the Salesforce platform enables us to provide the perfect solution to help you deliver delightful services to customers and achieve rapid growth.