The recent surge in popularity of chatbots has led to more automation of various fields. One prime target for chatbots is customer service automation. Chatbots are already being deployed that can help consumers shop, book flights, make dinner reservations, and schedule their day, so why not resolve customer service issues? If you’re interested in automating some of your customer service efforts, the following information may be of use.
Chat log history is a must
To be effective, chatbots need to be accurate at recognizing what a customer is asking or trying to do when they initiate a conversation with the bot. They also need to accurately choose the best approach to go about answering the customer’s question, correcting their problem, or directing them to the appropriate live agent who can help them from there. Many companies who are developing chatbots are doing so without the benefit of access to chat log history. Chatbots utilize machine learning to teach themselves to be more accurate over time. Chatbot developers can input dozens of probable scenarios and hundreds of different ways that frequently asked questions might be worded but actual chat log history–real transcripts of actual conversations between customers and live agents or chatbots are going to be the most useful of all. By adding this to a chatbot’s memory bank, it will be more accurate.
There’s no such thing as a perfect algorithm, yet
There are all sorts of different algorithms out there to help chatbots more accurately assist customers. They all have different strengths and weaknesses but none of them are one-size-fits-all. The most advanced chatbots will still make plenty of mistakes because the technology to perfectly replicate live customer service agents simply isn’t there yet. The best you can do is carefully research the various chatbot algorithms that are out there and test them for accuracy according to what kind of chatbot you’re trying to develop. You’ll have to decide what’s most important to you in a chatbot when developing it because you can’t have it all.
Recognize the shortcomings
One of the the things that makes chatbot development so difficult is the complexity of writing a program that understands semantic relationships between words. Computers are good at recognizing patterns, word order, and keywords that might clue them in to what a human is asking of them. But they don’t have the common sense knowledge about how the world works that humans do. Even the simplest sentences can be difficult for chatbots because while it can easily access the definition of each word, it can’t take all of them together to understand the meaning of the sentence as a whole. AI researchers are gaining ground on this task but in the meantime, businesses who wish to use chatbots for customer service should have realistic expectations for what chatbots can and can’t do for them.
Chatbots aren’t a replacement for live customer service agents
It goes without saying that a need for live agents still exists and will for some time. Chatbots are best used in conjunction with these live agents. Let chatbots automate answering the simple questions and resolving simpler issues and direct the more difficult ones to the appropriate live agent.