How chatbots can provide a better customer experience
2 August 2023
4 min read
Brandon Turpin 2023 Digital Marketing Intern, IBM Blog
Maria Morel Product Marketing Manager, AI for Customer Care, Watson Assistant

Over the years, chatbots have become seamlessly integrated in our day-to-day lives — in our homes, on our phones, on social media or in apps for shopping online, healthcare, customer support and more. They offer the advantage of identifying and understanding users, offering accurate answers, and completing tasks. As the prevalence and accessibility of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to grow, it is imperative that virtual agents integrate it into business practices in order to seamlessly support the growing number of end users.

Today, AI makes the difference between good and bad customer service. Impractical and limited chatbots that insufficiently resolve queries and struggle to deliver satisfactory outcomes, frustrate users. Whereas intelligent virtual agents engage in solution-oriented conversations, answer questions accurately, and leave the customer satisfied. Customers that have a positive chatbot user experience are more likely to have positive relationship with a brand. Investing in a chatbot that understands human conversation delivers meaningful benefits to businesses and consumers alike.

As chatbots start leveraging today’s powerful technologies such as generative AI, natural language processing (NLP), intelligent document understanding, speech recognition, speech synthesis and more, they offer even more convenient and fulfilling outcomes. Chatbots that deliver consistent and intelligent customer care become good friends that save precious time and empower us to focus on high value activities.

Chatbots and the customer service experience

As the world shifts to a more fast-paced lifestyle, there is a status quo of fast and efficient customer support services. To meet customers wants and needs, businesses need to provide around the clock support. Without artificial intelligence, meeting these expectations and maintaining satisfied customers would simply be impossible. Customers expect instant responses and solutions to their problems. Additionally, customers want to feel understood by service providers. However, with some support teams handling thousands of calls from customers daily, meeting these needs in real-time has become increasingly challenging. That raises the question, how can business owners keep all customers satisfied with their customer experience? Don’t fret, as we can call on our good friend, the AI chatbot.

How do customer service chatbots work?

Chatbots are computer programs that understand customer questions and automate responses to them, simulating human conversation. Through the functionality of AI powered chatbots, business owners can vastly improve customer satisfaction, while also relieving the pressures on human agents.

Customer service agents receive high volumes of calls daily, quickly becoming outnumbered by customer queries that typically have common answers. Consequently, customer needs are left unmet over time, depleting customer satisfaction, business reputation, customer returns, and the bottom line of businesses immensely. However, through the implementation of NLP and business knowledge bases in chatbots, automated responses to the frequently asked questions (FAQS) can be deployed quickly.

With the use of customer data provided by chatbots, businesses can:

  • Expand their knowledge base on issues that plague customers during their service experience
  • Reduce wait times throughout the customer journey, allowing service teams to concentrate on more significant customer interactions that need legitimate human intervention.
  • Provide themselves with relevant metrics for customer satisfaction
  • Allow customers to explore a more personalized experience
  • Maintain healthy costumer relationships
How can customer relationships be improved?

Becoming increasingly popular, business owners have looked to chatbot vendors to provide their customers with a better customer experience. IBM helps businesses deliver consistent and intelligent customer care across all channels with watsonx Assistant.

watsonx Assistant immensely improves the customer experience with a reliable virtual assistant, that provides consistent and accurate answers fast. watsonx Assistant can be deployed by business owners for a variety of use cases, ranging from customer service, human resources, and marketing. watsonx Assistant is built on market-leading large language models (LLMs), NLP, and machine learning which provide an accurate understanding of common questions, delivering customers with seamless self-service.

Additionally, watsonx Assistant integrates seamlessly into business systems, like customer relationship management (CRM) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) platform, without requiring companies to migrate their tech stack or write complex coding structures.

Through watsonx Assistant’s functionality, IBM has provided business owners with fully scalable and flexible solutions to high-traffic volumes in customer service. These solutions have enhanced customer engagement, subsequently boosting financial results for watsonx Assistant customers with an ROI of 370% and USD 23 million in benefits over the last three years. Watson has solved the problems of business owners across a variety of industries, including banking, retail, government, insurance, and healthcare. Businesses like Humana, The Master’s, and ABN AMRO Bank N.V. are just a few companies who have reaped the benefits of watsonx Assistant’s solutions across a diverse set of use cases.

Camping World, the world’s largest retailer of recreational vehicles (RVs) globally, was able to transform its customer service experience through the help of watsonx Assistant. After COVID-19, a customer surge revealed gaps within agent management and response times. Additionally, not providing a 24/7 call center was also an issue for Camping World, as many customer queries would go unnoticed, furthering the relationship between customers and businesses. Powered by the IBM watsonx Assistant, Camping World’s virtual agent, “Arvee”, helped increase customer engagement by 40% across all platforms and decrease wait times down to about 33 seconds. This was accomplished through the integration of LivePerson, a conversational cloud platform, along with new features such as SMS capabilities, 30 plus FAQs, and the collection and involvement of customer data, which helped increase Arvee’s efficiency by 33%.

With IBM watsonx Assistant, you can incorporate market leading intelligent customer care across all channels and touch points. watsonx Assistant can empower your team to promote client retention strengthen customer relationships and deliver best in class customer experiences that are more efficient and accurate than ever. Help leverage your bottom line with IBM.

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