By Anthony Mangini

A Primer on Customer Service AI Chatbots.

A rendering of a chatbot.

How will these emerging technologies impact innovation in the customer experience space? 

Generative AI has been making significant waves in the technology world as of late with the introduction of services like ChatGPT, DALL-E, and Bard. This branch of AI refers to the creation of intelligent systems that are fed vast amounts of training data that enable them to be capable of producing original and creative content, be it text, images, or even music. As a matter of fact, DALL-E’s text-based function created the rendering of a digital chatbot seen above. Powered by machine learning algorithms, language processing models, and built upon layers of neural transformer architecture, these emerging technologies have major implications for the businesses that are choosing to utilize them. Implementing similarly structured hybrid chatbots allows for more dynamic customer engagement, personalized always-on availability, and streamlined digital support, all while allowing for seamless handoff to live agents when complex fringe cases that require human assistance arise. 

Creating Unique Customer Experiences 

A primary consideration businesses should account for when deciding to implement a chatbot is what capabilities they want the bot to have. Chatbots come in a variety of forms and can be programmed in several ways. Those looking for simpler chatbots might be interested in a completely different type of bot than a company looking for a chatbot that can emulate a human experience to the best of its current abilities. According to a recent Forbes survey, 73% of businesses either already use or plan to use chatbots to interact with customers. In reviewing the different options available, these are among the top choices one may choose to implement: 

  • Rule-Based Chatbot – Suitable for simple, structured interactions and FAQs. Relatively easy to build, maintain, and offer consistent responses to the user. Limitations when it comes to handling more complex or open-ended conversations as this type of chatbot has a lack of contextual understanding.
  • AI-Powered Chatbot – Designed to handle more complex interactions, understand natural language, and generate human-like responses. Excel at adaptability and can learn from interactions with users. Training and fine-tuning can be resource-intensive and may require substantial amounts of data.
  • Hybrid Chatbot – Combine the strengths of rule-based and AI-powered approaches while offering increased flexibility. Allow for pre-defined responses and the ability to handle more dynamic conversations. Great option when you need a balance between automation and human-like interaction. Require careful design, development, and integration efforts. Performance may vary from case to case.  

While each option serves its own function, and the levels of complexity in engineering differ, it is critical that any chatbot implementation is carefully planned and executed. Rushing to implement chatbots can result in substandard user experiences, and limits in functionality, among other problems causing unneeded brand damage and harm to a company’s reputation. Tactis ensures that any chatbots we implement are properly trained, developed iteratively, undergo extensive testing, and allow for human intervention when necessary. We create intelligent and useful chatbots, and our process ensures a positive user experience as the end result. 

Supercharging Digital Omnichannel Support 

Chatbots have quickly evolved and can now utilize generative AI technologies to create brilliant user experiences, perhaps most timely in the example of ChatGPT, a hybrid and generative AI chatbot. Since launching in late November last year, it amassed a user base of over a million less than a week after the prototype went live. Popularity and global interest in the app have yet to quell, and it now boasts an impressive 100 million active users per month, making it the fastest-growing web platform in history. This underpins the appeal that smart and interactive chatbots possess to the general public as an information source. Employing these same principles and functionalities when choosing to implement a chatbot is an excellent way for companies to supercharge digital service offerings and enhance the overall customer experience across touchpoints.  

Just Go With the Dialogflow 

At Tactis, we have assisted a variety of clients in the implementation of chatbots for their websites. Harnessing the power of Google Dialogflow to create chatbots that are intelligently designed to best assist their users with whatever inquiries they may have. Tactis has experience in creating chatbot solutions that both allow agents to digitally assist users and that can connect users via telephone to skilled live agents at our supported contact centers through a CCAI integration using Dialogflow CX. 

Striking A Perfect Balance: Humans and Bots Hand-In-Hand 

While there are many benefits to be leveraged through generative AI channels, it is imperative that businesses refrain from shifting existing models to those that rely solely on automation. Channels through which this technology exists, in the example of a hybrid chatbot, should be used in tandem with available live agent support when human expertise is required to provide excellent customer service. It is understood that chatbots account for increased engagement, are available around the clock, and provide streamlined self-service options, but AI is still far from a perfect science as a stand-alone offering. Though benefits exist for companies in implementing fully automated chatbots, these should be outweighed by the nearly 80% of consumers who still prefer human interaction when customer service issues arise. Only humans can understand the full breadth of customer interactions, including the context and the emotion behind them, and know how to assist best when cases become complex. Embracing technology is an important consideration for businesses trying to remain at the forefront of innovation in the customer service space, but the human touch will always remain irreplaceable.  

About Tactis 

As a full lifecycle customer experience agency working for organizations across all points of communication, combining human touch with digital expertise to create outcomes that matter, Tactis delivers high-touch solutions that span marketing, technology, and human interactions. Through leveraging data and embracing technology, Tactis generates transformational customer experiences that ensure that both federal government and commercial entities own the high-expectation, high-attention moments from which truly human experiences can emerge.