At Amicus ITS, with Spring looming at last, we are considering taking our first baby steps to explore the world of smart bot technology. Developing a bot as a new route of engagement and communication is an experiment, demanding fresh thinking, analysis, reflection and nurture from us all. We are up for the challenge. However, just because Amicus ITS is a tech firm and IT solution provider, there’s no assumption that the route to adoption is a given. It needs to be a positive compliment alongside our existing customer service. Our baby bot, affectionately christened Amy by one of our Sales team, will have to prove herself, not just by being a smart technology, but by developing a good working vocabulary. Her first words we hope will focus on helping customers with general sales enquiries before she has any chance of graduating to anything grander.
Why develop a bot?
The potential for AI in customer service is twofold. With machine learning and Neural Linguistic Programming it can seamlessly give customers the right information they need at the right time by offering self-service options and eliminating the need for a call to a service centre. Secondly, AI has the potential to give customer service representatives more information to help them handle the complicated issues that self-service cannot resolve.
Our instincts to start this journey now in our business lifecycle are borne out by the latest statistics. At this week’s #MarketingExpo at London’s Excel, chatbots were trending as a key topic of conversation. 34% of call centres in the UK are stated as using AI now, with the expectation that this will rise to 68% by the end of 2018.
The human bit
How we as people communicate and our responses to different types of engagement, is fundamental to the art of good conversation and we have to seek to provide a great customer experience with Amy. Yielding positive results in a customer’s interactions with a business through a bot has commercial potential in the long term. But for now, it’s all about getting it right. We know that a bot should not pretend to be a person. If we can ensure Amy provides provide relevant information, answers and signposts for you, some of you will enjoy trying this route of enquiry. But there will always be our people too, alongside and behind Amy, always on hand 24×365 to help support you in every way we can.
Having a bot in a B2B environment is perhaps less straightforward than if we were in the retail trade. However, there is as much opportunity to make a difference if we do this well. Amy will need to become customer savvy if she’s to make a difference and be welcomed as part of our service family. We are keen for our bot not to be a turn off and we would love to include you in helping raise this tech child! There will be a feedback option built in to the platform when it’s launched in a few months time. If you do choose to comment, you will help in our education too! So, watch this space for news as we look forward to becoming a digital parent to this disruptive technology child. What do you think of bots? Let’s start the conversation!