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Customer Engagement

How to Make Intelligence the Foundation of Your Self-Service Strategy

iStock-924555494_robot_service bell_resizedWhat would happen if self-service were more accessible, easier to use, and capable of resolving considerably more complex issues without escalating to an agent? 

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to redefine what’s possible in self-service. If you’re not already reviewing your self-service strategy to see how you can take advantage of the latest AI technology, now may be the time.

IVAs and Bots

Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) and Chatbots are garnering a lot of attention these days because they live at the intersection of AI and self-service. They’re interesting because they create a self-service experience that feels much more intelligent than traditional menu-driven self-service. In a recent survey of 36,000 consumers in 18 countries sponsored by Verint, nearly two-thirds (63%) stated that they are happy to be served by a chatbot if they have the option to escalate the conversation to a human when needed. And, 41% said they could not tell the difference between being served by a chatbot and being helped by a human behind a screen.

If you’re considering IVA or Chatbot solutions as part of your self-service strategy, keep these three things in mind:

  1. Think Beyond the Technology

AI is exciting and has tremendous potential. It’s easy to get wrapped up in how various IVA or chatbot solutions apply AI technology—and this is certainly important. But keep in mind the technology is just a means to an end. What really matters are the business results you can achieve by deploying this technology.

Take care to clearly define the problem you want the IVA to solve. For example, you may want to offer self-service in new channels, increase self-service utilization in an existing channel, increase conversions and revenue, or simply improve customer experience across the board. The technology can help you achieve these results, but it takes a strong overall solution to help ensure success.   

  1. Think Beyond the Bot

IVAs and chatbots can be deployed as point solutions that improve self-service in a particular channel. That certainly has value—but if you want to be strategic, think beyond the bot. Consider how customer interactions in a particular channel fit into a customer journey that may involve multiple self-service channels and sometimes escalate to assisted service. 

The real value in an IVA is its “intelligence,” and a true enterprise-grade IVA can share that intelligence across multiple channels to support the whole customer journey. This is how intelligence can become the foundation of an enterprise-wide self-service strategy.  

  1. Learn From Others

While IVAs and chatbots may be new to your enterprise, you don’t have to blaze a trail on your own.  Learn from others who have successfully deployed IVAs—here’s an idea: Join us on Tuesday, April 24 at 2 p.m. ET for a live webinar with Forrester: Intelligent Virtual Assistants are Hot! Learn How to Avoid Getting Burned. Register here.

The webinar will feature Forrester’s analysis of the latest trends in the IVA space, as well as a conversation with leaders from Dell and Novo Nordisk who will share best practices and lessons learned from their IVA deployments.

 

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