AI Chatbot Buyers Guide:
How to Pick the Right Chatbot for Your Organization
When a customer contacts your business with a question or issue, they expect fast and accurate answers. Instead, they’re often put in a queue to wait for the next available agent.
Who’s to say that next available agent is the best resource for handling that specific question or issue? If the issue can’t be resolved on the first conversation, the queue is going to become longer as agents play hot potato over who can handle the customer’s issue. First Contact Resolution (FCR) is a key contact center metric to assure operational efficiency and deliver better customer and agent experiences.
This can happen on any channel, whether phone, chat, text, email, or social media messaging. Not getting to the right resource the first time results in agent handoffs. Frustratingly, that requires the customer to repeat themselves over and over again. All of this negatively impacts the customer experience (CX) and contact center metrics, including Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).
The better way to handle incoming communications is with intelligent routing. This helps to ensure that every customer communication is sent to the best resource for resolution.
Intelligent routing definition:
Routing (also known as smart routing, intelligent customer routing, and intelligent call routing) is a technology that automatically sends inbound customer communications to the right place, so that agents, or groups of agents, can take ownership of appropriate items and use the best tools available to assist in real time.
What is smart routing? Smart routing is synonymous with intelligent routing. Different term, same technology.
How does intelligent routing work?
Intelligent routing is fueled by data. With information about the customer and the question (or even better, knowing their intent), you can route that inquiry to the best resource available, rather than waiting for the first agent available.
You can ask a customer what they’re looking for before they’re routed to the right agent.
If you know who’s contacting you, you can pull data from your customer relationship management (CRM) system to inform routing.
What clicks has the customer taken leading up to the point where they reached out for help? This can help you understand what they might be looking for.
Intelligent routing is facilitated through a customer engagement platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Often, intelligent routing happens through a chatbot interaction. A customer may begin engaging with the chatbot for self-service, but if they need help from an agent or hit a dead end and therefore must speak with an agent, the chatbot leverages the data it has already gathered to route the customer to the best agent to resolve the issue
There are a few different types of intelligent routing, which largely depend on what channel the customer uses to contact a business and what resources the business has for fielding incoming communications.
Live Chat Routing When a customer clicks a “Chat Now” button on a website, this type of routing directs the customer to a human agent for a live chat conversation. Data gathered along the customer journey (such as what page the customer is on when they click that “Chat Now” button, how long they have lingered on a webpage, and other webpages visited along the way) along with CRM data can help the intelligent routing engine decide which agent or agent group to route the customer.
What this looks like:
Sophisticated live chat routing capabilities at the department, agent, and work item levels can be as simple or detailed as you need them to be. As your business grows and chat volume rises, you’ll likely find that live chat routing is a lifesaver.
Automated & AI Routing
This type of intelligent routing starts with automation, or AI. For example, a customer may interact with an AI chatbot before, or even instead of, speaking to a live agent. Here again, data fuels the routing decisions.
The chatbot’s job is to route the customer to the best available resource to answer the customer’s question, which aligns to their intent. That best resource may be an online resource, a human agent, or another chatbot.
The bot will assist the customer using natural language processing (NLP), an AI technology that understands the intent of the question without relying on keyword matches. The customer can ask their question any way they want, and NLP will parse out the intent. The chatbot then matches the intent to the best resource for answering the question in real time
That best resource might be:
Sometimes the best resource for handling the customer’s request is another chatbot. This may be in a situation where an enterprise has one bot that answers FAQs and another bot that can help customers with things like transferring money between accounts, booking a hotel reservation, and other transactions. (This strategy helps chatbots specialize in one area, and handle requests in that one area really well.)
Intelligent Routing Device
How does intelligent routing happen? With an intelligent routing device or platform. Routing rules determine how incoming communications are directed to specific folders and departments.
Intelligent routing devices definition: Often a feature of a larger customer engagement solution, an intelligent routing system (or intelligent call routing system) is the technology that uses data to automatically send inbound customer communications to the best resource for resolution.
Routing rules can be based on:
Intelligent routing is a valuable method for improving the customer experience and customer satisfaction while boosting sales, agent productivity, contact center efficiency, and the employee experience (EX).
Call Routing Strategies & Best Practices
Each business is unique with different routing needs. How one company routes customer communications may not be right for another. Here are some strategies and best practices to consider:
Set up departments, folders and permission groups. This can allow you to:
Decide what CRM data to use for routing:
Set cross-selling strategies:
Create seamless chatbot-to-agent transitions
Consolidate routing rules with an omnichannel engagement platform:
Automated Call Routing Technology
Especially useful in high volume environments, best-in-class automated routing technology gives administrators control over work assignments based on agent workload, department rollovers, and other factors.
Here are some key technologies that give you more control:
Machine Learning Contact Center & Call Routing
Since intelligent routing uses information to get customers to the best resource for their inquiry, the intelligence it uses should grow over time. Platforms with machine learning ensure that the AI that drives intelligent routing is able to learn from every customer interaction.
This happens through feedback. Agents and customers alike can be asked to rate how satisfied they are with how the customer was routed.
How does machine learning work in intelligent routing? Here are some examples:
As organizations change and grow, it’s helpful to have AI that learns how to shift and keep getting better on its own. This relieves businesses from the additional work of gathering routing insight on their own, deciding what changes need to be made, and hard coding every single routing rule. An intelligent routing solution with machine learning will help alleviate extra work right out of the gate.
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