What can a chatbot do for your service desk?

hand-1571842_640Everyone’s heard the hype about artificial intelligence and how it’s going to take over the world one day but lets get back to earth and talk chatbots.

They are out there, live and kicking. You can see them on corporate websites and in messaging channels. They are difficult to design, expensive to build and all they can do is chat? I don’t think so.

Here’s my top ten chatbot features that can make a great service provider and customer experience.

1. Provide user guidance to resolve issues. Chatbots can ask the right questions and gather the right information to interrogate knowledge bases and to resolve issues.
2. Find information, and FAST. Designed in the right way, a chatbot can retrieve just the information you want at the touch of a button. Forget searching around FAQs, intranets, confluence pages and sharepoint sites. The bot can do all of that for you and much better than any human.
3. Automate boring, repetitive tasks. A bot doesn’t get sick, is always pleased to speak to anyone and is delighted to do all those boring monotonous tasks that any service desk agent tries to avoid.
4. Provide data insights – your data is the key to your success. Your service desk agents can concentrate on tasks that will improve your business and pro-actively resolve issues. They no longer have to constantly ‘fire fight’ day in and day out.
5. Be available 24×7. Bots never sleep, get bored or miserable. They can provide an excellent service 100% of the time. No more key person dependency.
6. Stamp our telephone IVR ‘press this button for’ pain – whoohoo! All customers dislike these – enough said.
7. Learn more about your customers. Customer conversations can improve over time (NLP) and, if designed in the right way, can provide a personalised service tailored to the needs and activity patterns of individual customers that will delight each and every one of them.
8. Characterise your organisation and your services. To provide a unique and engaging experience, design your bot with a character all of it’s own to engage your customers.
9. Create a ‘personality’ for your business. Whether it be sleek and professional or fun and funky, the bot can be the front of your organisational image.
10. Bots support humans. There will always be the need to speak to a human when things get difficult. Use a bot to triage support requests and leave the ‘curly ones’ to the humans.  However, make sure the human knowledge is transferred to the virtual bot so they can solve it next time. This will grow your knowledge base and continuously improve your customer service capability. win/win I say.


The Dangers of a Bad Bot

Many companies are rushing to build and deploy Chatbots. They are the latest must have technology in the constant battle for competitive advantage, or at least parity. Coupled with AI, chatbots offer internal and external customers an intuitive way to interact with your company, explore your services or products, and take actions.

Chatbots can interrogate other systems, AI can be used to enrich the decision making through analysis of large data sets, and well-designed conversations can significantly increase the success of a business’s call to action. Whether focused on sales, service or information Chatbots are quickly becoming the go-to choice of technology deployment for many business’s. As with any new technology though, there are dangers. Chatbots could undermine your brand, drive away customers, cost vast amounts of money to develop, and worse, chatbots could undermine your ability to move into the age of AI.

A recent Gartner survey of Global CIO’s found that only 4% had deployed any AI capability, while 37% were struggling to identify suitable use cases for AI. At the same time Gartner has projected that Chatbots will grow at a rate of 200% per year, reaching over 30 million by 2021, closely following the growth of websites at the same stage of their development. How many businesses today wouldn’t have a website?

So on one hand we have an almost exponential explosion on chatbots, but a limited deployment of AI. This provides a clue to the dangers many businesses are facing.

The other danger comes from the development process itself. Chatbots are seen by many CIOs as a technology solution that allows automation and potentially the removal of cost through reduced headcount.

This can lead to chatbots that:

  • Don’t support the brand, in conversation or through their graphical appearance
  • Have limited capability, focused on cost removal, task automation, rather than enriching the user experience
  • Due to the narrow initial focus are difficult to develop further
  • Fail to enhance the business case for further development and movement into AI.

A failed or disappointing chatbot can lead to difficult boardroom discussions, undermining a company’s ability and willingness to invest in AI. This could have a long term negative impact for the business.

A well designed chatbot addresses all the points above;

  • Supports and promotes the brand and company values
  • Enriches the customer experience as first priority
  • Is scalable by design
  • Enhances the business case for AI, allowing augmentation of knowledge and decision making with skilled people.

One of the key issues we see at TaskAI is that customers have an expectation that a bot can be built very quickly. And while, from a technology perspective, that is true, it can undermine the rationale for having the bot in the first place.

The design process is the most important.

  • What is the use case?
  • Where will the development lead in the longer term?
  • What data will be available, now and in the future?
  • How will the chatbot be supported by real people?
  • What is the personality of the bot?

Companies need to think about their chatbots in the same way as they would if they were developing a new role and looking to recruit a new staff member for that role.

  • What is the role they will be performing?
  • What responsibilities could they take on moving forward?
  • Who are their managers and how will they be supported?
  • What is there personality, do they fit in with the team, and will they effectively promote the company?

To avoid a bad hire, or a bot that undermines your company and your long term capability the focus should always be on design.

To understand more about the design process go to https://taskai.co/services/

Strategic AI

Are you looking to gain a better understanding of the impact AI can have for your organization?


Read the Gartner Trend Insight Report “Craft an Artificial Intelligence Strategy” https://gtnr.it/2IgwDri

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TASKAI are an innovative startup that is gathering momentum in the customer service desk space providing a unique customer experience and task automation.

If you want to learn more, contact us today for a free consultation to see how TaskAI can work for you.

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