The human handoff: When bots and humans work together

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Bernhard Egger
Retail Community Manager bei BSI
#retail#service#chatbot#humanhandover

Today’s customers communicate through various digital channels. Younger target groups, in particular, use digital communication media especially frequently and also accept Artificial Intelligence (AI) very well (PwC, 2020). Artificial Intelligence systems are becoming increasingly important in today’s service landscape.

If you also master the human handoff, you can create excellent customer experiences with little effort and great efficiency.

Key points

  • The human handoff refers to the handover of a conversation from a chatbot or another digital conversation partner to a human employee;
  • For this handoff to work smoothly, a flawless infrastructure must be in place across all channels;
  • Effectively deployed digital assistants can facilitate delightful customer experiences and more efficient service.

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A uniform platform for hybrid conversations

Chatbots are one of the countless digital channels that particularly younger audiences turn to. For them, it is perfectly normal for a process to switch between three or even more channels – or between AI and a human counterpart.

Using more channels increases your chances of being found as well as the convenience factor for your target audience. The key challenge here is that the data and information that is important for the conversation must be up to date, complete and uniformly available regardless of the channel, which prevents the need to repeat information or even its loss during the handover from a chatbot to an employee.

A hybrid chat via various digital channels is intended to offer a top-notch customer experience. To achieve this, you need a well-thought-out, efficient system that stores customer data and makes it available to everyone involved. Secondly, for your employees to be able to work accurately, you need a platform that combines all channels in a straightforward user interface (GUI).

Clear-cut numbers: Many companies could automate the processing of more than 60% of their customer communication (Enterprise Bot, 2022)!

First-rate service experiences with hybrid chats

Customers expect excellence because they are accustomed to positive experiences with AI: Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana and other assistance systems are their daily companions.

You don’t want to fall short of this standard. The hybrid chat is a good approach to the solution. It allows you to combine the strengths of AI-based chatbots and live chats and effectively compensate for the weaknesses – limited communication skills here and limited availability there. Even leading companies such as Mercedes and BMW optimize their customer experience in self-service through intelligent chatbots.

Digital assistants and the benefits of seamless human handoff processes

Automated systems are not intended to replace people but to supplement and relieve them. In doing so, AI processes each concern as far as it can and as long as the customer is willing to do so. When the automated process comes to a standstill, an employee takes over.

For this transition to proceed seamlessly, all the information from the previous conversation must be available clearly. This is one of the most important tasks of a communication platform in the retail industry.

Challenges of cross-channel communication

Communicating via multiple digital channels is challenging in many ways and therefore requires very well-thought-out solutions.

When they use synchronous media such as the phone, customers expect an immediate response. Self-service options, in addition, make it possible for them to send inquiries and resolve concerns at any time of day or night. E-mails and direct messages on social media platforms, on the other hand, are asynchronous media.

With automation and AI integration, your company can provide a direct and synchronous response to your customers without even deploying your service personnel. This is an effective way to increase customer satisfaction and retention.

At the same time, companies must unconditionally ensure data security when a bot responds to their customers’ inquiries, for example, when it comes to invoices and contracts or when personal data is transferred.

We recommend you review the usability of your chatbots on a regular basis using various scales (Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 2022) – by doing so, you ensure customer satisfaction.

Strategic tips for digital channels

With an ingenious system covering all your digital channels, you can take advantage of the benefits of cross-channel communication and meet your target groups wherever they are. We suggest you pay particular attention to the following points.

Offer self-service in real time: This is not only possible with service automation but also very efficient.

Automate the entire customer journey: You will create delightful service experiences.

Set up employee training: This is how you can secure the best possible human handoff.

Monitor and fine-tune your chatbots: Keep an eye on your customers’ satisfaction.

Conclusion: Take advantage of the benefits of a perfectly timed human handoff

Primarily younger target groups are increasingly communicating through various digital channels and are also willing to accept Artificial Intelligence as a conversation partner. Therefore, automated systems and AI play a key role in hybrid communication. Good timing is a prerequisite for a human handoff so that you can combine efficiency and excellence in customer service.

Have we piqued your interest in hybrid customer communication, service automation and conversational AI? The team at BSI has many years of experience in the retail industry and would be happy to assist and advise you.

Go to bsi-software.com now. Our software and service speak for themselves.

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Bernhard Egger, Creator of Customer Delight

+41 58 255 96 85

bernhard.egger@bsi-software.com

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