We have all been there. You telephone your bank, insurance broker or utility company and you are put through to a call centre and sadly things do not progress with your customer service issue as you would have hoped.

Well, it is predicted that the customer service assistant may well be a thing of the past within the next decade.  Facebook supremo, Mark Zuckerberg spoke for many when he claimed that nobody liked calling customer service lines and explained a little further as to how he sees the development, “People will converse with the bots over messaging apps, instructing them to book restaurants, order flowers and arrange holidays as if they were texting other humans.”

AI-powered virtual assistants have the potential to successfully answer up to 80 percent of frequently asked questions (FAQs), resulting in a 30 percent reduction in customer service costs and a decrease in workload for agents. However, this does not imply that chatbots will take over human jobs in customer service. Rather, it emphasizes that the synergy between humans and bots is the key to delivering exceptional customer service.

Gartner’s recent study forecasts that chatbots will emerge as the primary customer service channel for around 25 percent of companies by 2027. “Over the past ten years, chatbots and virtual customer assistants have evolved into critical components of a service organization’s strategy,” says Uma Challa, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner.

As chatbots become increasingly proficient in conversing naturally with customers, they can address a broader range of queries while significantly reducing costs and workload for customer service teams. Despite their efficiency, chatbots are unlikely to replace human customer service representatives anytime soon.

Businesses recognize that bots and humans have different strengths, and the most effective approach is to leverage the unique abilities of both, rather than attempting to replace one with the other.

The key challenge in customer service is determining the optimal way to integrate bots and humans to maximize their respective advantages and benefits.

The degree of collaboration between bots and humans, and the quantity of information shared between them, directly impacts the quality of customer service delivered.

The optimal customer service experience is achieved through effective collaboration between bots and humans. This requires a cohesive system in which both bots and humans can access and store customer data.

To facilitate successful synergies between bots and humans in customer service, it is essential to connect your smart AI-powered virtual assistants and customer care system. This integration maximizes the efficiency of bots in customer service, empowering agents to offer the best possible assistance to customers.

When setting up a hybrid customer service system that enables human-bot collaboration, the focus should be on integrating bots and humans to deliver the best possible customer service, rather than on replacing humans with bots.

We will outline step-by-step how to establish a successful human-bot collaboration.

Understanding your customer

To satisfy your customers, it’s essential to comprehend their expectations. Personalized interactions with businesses are highly sought after by today’s customers. Furthermore, 64% of consumers expect real-time engagement from brands, and 80% perceive immediate responses as contributing to brand loyalty.

To meet these expectations, a combination of conversational AI chatbots and engaged human agents is required.

Conversational AI chatbots are equipped to handle the initial point of contact quickly, and their conversational abilities create a natural, seamless flow that leaves customers with a positive brand experience.

When a customer has a more personalized request, chatbots can hand the conversation over to human agents, who can resolve more intricate issues.

Set clear goals

Deploying chatbots to meet customer expectations is merely the initial stage. Defining precise business objectives for the chatbots is critical. These goals may include decreasing the response time for customer inquiries, collecting customer data for agents, or decreasing the number of phone calls in your call centers.

Once you have established how chatbots will assist your team, you can clarify the responsibilities of bots and humans.

Establish clear responsibilities.

During the final phase, you determine the type of inquiries that chatbots should address and where human intervention is required. Consider how bots and humans can supplement each other’s strengths.

For instance, bots are proficient at quickly responding to frequently asked questions, whereas humans are better equipped to manage intricate customer requests. Bots are ideal for handling, storing, or collecting data, while humans are more adept at addressing emotions.

Elevate your customer service to the next level.

The main challenge is to establish a system that optimizes the strengths of each resource. That’s why it’s imperative for humans and bots to collaborate closely, and for the workflows of bots and agents to be integrated. It’s important that data collected by bots is accessible to agents, and vice versa.

Therefore, it’s crucial to use a setup that combines your virtual assistants with your customer care platform. Otherwise, the automation will not benefit your clients or your team!

By assigning bots and humans to handle the types of requests that best align with their skills, your customers will receive efficient and personalized customer service.

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