How will technology change customer service? A common answer to this question is, “Improvements in automation and self-service will erode the importance for call centers and the human agents in them.” That answer gets reinforced every time you read an announcement from a company touting success of a new automation project. It also gets strengthened by the marketing efforts of all the vendors selling self-serve technology. However, if we adjust for recency bias and profit motive, can we still be sure this trend is real? It’s a question too important for casual conclusions.
Tag Archives: chatbot
Chatbots have earned a number of pseudonyms over the last few years. Some are accurate representations of the technology; others are just downright wrong. I mean, you wouldn’t call your customer service agent by a different name other than the one they gave you, right?
It’s important to understand that not everything that comes under the umbrella of artificial intelligence is considered a “chatbot”. Let’s explore the most frequently used inferences of “chatbot” and dispel some of the confusion around the terms. You might have been calling “chatbots” by the wrong name all along (not that they’ll really mind).
Here are 7 terms that are often used as an alternative to “chatbot”, and what they actually infer: Continue reading →
As consumers become more empowered, organizations need to think about what it truly means to be “customer centric”. The best brands are the ones that have complete control over the entire customer experience. These are the companies that understand the nuances of the marketplace and know how to tailor service accordingly.
Since customer expectations are changing just as rapidly as the advances in technology, enhancing the customer experience is an ongoing goal for most companies. Dimension Data found that over 82% of companies recognize the customer experience as a competitive differentiator, and 77.5% recognize it as the most important strategic performance measure. To stay competitive in the year ahead, it’s essential that you understand the most important trends.
Here are 10 leading customer experience trends for 2017. Continue reading →
What a huge year it was for bots! A term that was barely on the radar became a sizzling hot trend. Facebook kicked off the mania by opening its Messenger platform and now has 33,000 bots. Competing platforms have high numbers too: 19,000 for Kik and 10,000 for Line. It looks like 2017 will continue the momentum.
But after the hype comes the backlash. Too many expectations were placed on this idea, as I wrote in ChatBot Backlash Boogie Woogie (which includes a list of 4 specific expectations and why they were misguided.)
Now that we’re past the initial crush, it’s time for bots to start the slow climb to a mature technology. One of the clearest sign-posts along that climb is the metrics that are reported.
We’re always on the look-out for new industry research and we try to point our readers at the best ones we find. But, just like you, sometimes we’re not in a reading mood and, for those times, videos can also provide great information in a “lean-back” mode. Companies put out lots of product videos these days. Sadly, they are often filled with stock video, unnecessary animation and generic, buzz-word filled dialog.
In today’s post, we’ve assembled some videos that are actually informative. They cover aspects of the contact center that are all connected somehow with this year’s main trends.
Like the seasons following each other, the hype cycle is part of the natural order in technology land. When #BotMania went thermonuclear in May, it was only a matter of time before the disillusionment set in. Then comes a wave of blog posts, like this one, explaining why.
A backlash is often caused by out-sized expectations (Remember “Segway will be bigger than the internet”?). That’s certainly part of this story. But there’s an equally important factor this time: poorly defined vocabulary. We shouldn’t feel too bad, though. The customer service industry is changing rapidly causing new words to enter the conversation, and existing words to morph in meaning. (That’s why we’re putting out the New Customer Service Lexicon. See Part 1 and Part 2.)
It’s time for a bot reality check.