Chatbots are for everyone, and banks are doing a great deal with them. Source: Shutterstock

Chatbots are for everyone, and banks are doing a great deal with them. Source: Shutterstock

Chatbots are easy, but customization is key for a good CX

CHATBOTS are for everyone.

In today’s day and age, chatbots are sold as solutions that can be implemented without the help of developers and coders, right onto a messaging platform such as WeChat or Facebook Messenger, straight out of the box.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t provide the best experience to customers.

Businesses need to stop and think about rolling out chatbots just because it gives them something to boast about. This is especially true of restaurants, boutiques, and small and mid-sized retail organizations.

The reality is that while building a good chatbot that really answers all of a customers’ questions is help radically improve the customer experience (CX), a bad one sends CX spiraling down.

According to IDC, 40 percent of all AI spending in the next few years will be on software solutions and chatbots represent a significant chunk of that segment.

Learn the art of the chatbot from banks

Banks pursuing the digital transformation agenda find that chatbots are a low-hanging fruit.

For them, the attraction lies in the fact that a good chatbot can reduce the workload for contact centers and thus, overall costs.

From HSBC’s Amy to Standard Chartered’s Stacy, chatbots in the banking space are really engaging with customers and assisting them with all kinds of transactions.

From balance inquiries to adding a nominee to an account, the average banking chatbot can do it all.

Previously, the same processes would be handled via phone banking executives or at the branch. This frustrated customers, especially digital-savvy millennials who form part of the fastest-growing demographic in Southeast Asia.

On looking closer, chatbots have become incredibly successful in the banking space because they’ve been focused on solving pain-points for customers and providing quicker access to facilities.

Chatbots that win hearts are customized

When deploying chatbots, companies need to remember that chatbots are taking on responsibilities performed by human workers — without making it evident to the customer.

That’s a big ask in itself, which is why chatbots must be thoroughly customized to reflect not only the brand and its voice but also the culture of the organization.

Chatbots in the banking space are great, but there are plenty of examples outside the banking space when it comes to chatbots that have been developed well.

Domino’s Pizza Bot Dom, for example, has been entertaining customers and engaging with them to provide offers, take orders, and support them with queries. It’s doing a fantastic job thus far — all because it has been designed to closely mimic the brand’s values in every interaction.

Macy’s too, designed a virtual agent (chatbot) to provide support to customers online, freeing up time for call center executives to work on the more challenging customer requests.

“When a customer asks, ‘Where is my order?’, the virtual agent can provide a customized response including the exact status. It can also provide merchandise recommendations and look up a customer’s reward points.” explained Macy’s Director of IT Robert Michaels.

“There is a seamless transition from the virtual agent to the live agent. The live agent has access to the entire interaction between the customer and the virtual agent. With that context, the agent can easily understand the issue and help the customer quickly.” Macy’s Call Center and Credit Systems VP Joe Timem.

The common denominator for them all is that they’ve been customized to support their customers in the most engaging way possible.

For businesses looking to get the most out of their chatbots, spending additional resources on customization will definitely be worth it — and help the organization score brownie points with customers delighted by the experience.