The retail industry offers the clearest picture of the digital reckoning of the past 12+ months - the world saw a growth in retail eCommerce sales of 27.6% worldwide in 2020. Enforced changes have brought about huge shifts in consumer habits and mentality that don't appear to be going back to the pre-pandemic norms.
If we take that analysis and combine it with the findings from our State of CX Trends 2021 report, it gives a clear indication that introducing automation via private messaging channels can help brands handle the increase in digital interactions and provide amazing conversational experiences at the same time.
70% of consumers have used messaging channels to interact with a brand and 81% expect to be able to do so. These stats back up the data from our own platform, which saw an 87% growth in private messaging conversations year-on-year in 2020. There's no way to find a purely human solution to address this increase in traffic–it would send costs through the roof and be an inefficient way to provide CX.
By automating the process, introducing well-designed bots to complement human agents, brands can provide quicker responses to customers across their lifecycle. It doesn't need to be restricted to customer services queries, but also can be hugely effective during the acquisition and re-engagement stages.
Here's our CEO Ido's 5 tips for integrating automation into your customer experience strategy to super charge your brand's CX.
1. Make the Bot Contextual and Specific
"The key to great automation is to provide value and save people time. Consumers are smart, they know when brands are employing tactics to block them from getting to an agent, without getting any value. But when value is being provided by a bot and interacting with a customer as an individual, it's actually preferable. Resolving the issue in-channel ."
2. Keep the Human Touch
"The way that humans differ from automated services is our emotional intelligence.
But that doesn't mean that the bot shouldn't have the same feeling as the brand. Think of your bot as an extension of your brand. It's an extension of your customer engagement. It's almost one of your team members. A bit of personality will go a long way.
Remember that great service is your best marketing. Don't block your consumers from getting to an agent, but when transferring to an agent, make sure that you're giving them agent all of the visibility into the conversation that it has been had.
So you're providing visible bot replies, and you're not only transferring that conversation itself, but you're also transferring the metadata around the conversation."
3. Don't Force the Consumer Down the Wrong Path
"We as humans, we have memory, but remember when we have a conversation and we change something in the middle of the conversation, we don't have to go back to the beginning of the conversation.
Think about your bots in the same way; realize there's no back button. And lean on memory to enable having coherent and flowing conversation. Your consumers will really appreciate that. "
4. Integrate to Resolve in Channel
"Enable the integration into backend systems integration; into backend systems payment systems booking systems, and so on will enable your customers to actually resolve what they need in-channel. If they want to change a booking, or if they want to buy a new item or return an item, those integrations will enable you to do that seamlessly in a self-service manner.
So when you think about it this way, you bring together the natural language understanding to understand what the consumers are talking about. The API connections, to enable the consumers to interact and resolve in-channel and leaning on memory means that you can have a consistent and coherent conversation."
5. Iterate and use Errors as Your Intelligence
"The last piece might be the most important one. It is iterating, constantly iterating.
Look at what consumers are saying. Look at where they're dropping. Look at what they're saying when they're dropping. Look at when they're asking to be transferred to an agent.
Start by looking at the initial intent. What are the conversations that they're having with the agents to enable you to build this? The automation flows in the right and the best way possible.
Throughout the years we've developed the best practices of how to bring it all together. And these are just a few ideas. We go through the build and then we launch and we constantly iterate, iterate on the intents, and iterate on the language and the conversations that are being had.
Remember that this is a conversational experience."