Intelligent chatbots and voicebots are effective helpers that relieve employees of recurring inquiries so that they can concentrate on more complex jobs. But with the right software behind it, bots can do much more than just answer questions. A well-trained AI allows chatbots to work more efficiently and expand their service capabilities.
It comes into play on the one hand, for example, with more complex requests for predictive forwarding to an employee. On the other hand, it allows the bot to proactively contact the customer or to respond to already known facts and previous conversations during the next contact – i.e., to learn something new with every interaction. The resulting personalized and empathy-based interaction with the customer ensures trust and loyalty.
In the digital marketing of products, personalized interactions form the basis for customer loyalty and trust. Digital interaction often begins where a chatbot or voicebot stands by the customer's side. Artificial intelligence helps to ensure that it offers empathy-based and personalized service and is perceived as a valuable helper within an orchestrated customer experience.
Digitization has fundamentally changed the relationship between companies and their customers. Online sales channels and services are ubiquitous, and products and services are increasingly marketed and sold digitally.
The past two years of the pandemic have once again fueled the demand for digital interaction. According to a study by McKinsey, online sales rose to a level that experts had originally expected for 2025. More than ever, companies are dependent on offering efficient and personalized service on digital channels when the customer needs it. With the use of bots, companies can create added value digitally and at the same time relieve employees.
With AI-based bots for intelligent self-service
Seamless service is about more than just handling inquiries and payment transactions. Chatbots and voicebots form an important basis here if customers want to get in touch with the company via the website or other communication channels because they are available 24/7. They can also proactively provide customer support at critical moments and automatically respond to routine queries. This makes it possible, for example, to intervene in a purchase process on the website and to support the customer in completing it successfully.
Bots can access databases and retrieve product or payment information there, as well as store data such as chat histories, which could be useful for future interactions with the customer. In this way, they can respond in a personalized manner to the respective customer and the request. Due to their almost human questions and answers, bots based on Conversational AI are perceived by customers as competent and pleasant conversation partners. They also give the company's employees time to process individual concerns. If the request is too complex for the bot, it automatically forwards the customer to a human contact person. The result is a seamless, personalized service for the customer. This is how companies increase customer satisfaction and ensure loyalty.
AI for personalization and empathy
There is a big difference between a simple, rules-based chatbot and one driven by AI and connected to a platform. Rule-based chatbots work in isolation from other systems. They only provide answers to predefined questions. Data preparation is done manually and is time-consuming. Such a bot cannot learn new things and is therefore best suited for forms and simple questions.
Neither the pure basic bot dialogue via a simple question-answer game nor the purely situational communication including the use of customer information are dynamic enough to form the basis for an orchestrated customer experience. Customers may be willing to communicate with a virtual agent, but their willingness drops sharply when they feel intimidated or even hampered by electronic communication. Only effective, human-looking bots that can judge empathetically can awaken the desire for interaction. This accommodation on an equal footing is rewarded by customers and pays off in loyalty to the company.
In view of increasing demands for individuality and empathy in customer interactions via digital channels, only an AI-based system can offer the desired added value. While a few years ago bots could only answer given questions, today they use algorithms to determine which questions they need for a specific customer request and anticipate what the customer is likely to say or needs next. To do this, they are integrated into a platform that ensures access to knowledge databases and networks this information with one another. Using AI, the bot independently searches for information from the relevant databases and is constantly learning.
Companies should strive to ensure that bots are able to respond empathetically to customer requests. In this context, empathy means listening to the customer, understanding their wants and needs, and responding to them. Based on the customer's answers and preferences, this platform builds knowledge that can be used in the next conversation. In this way, the customer experience can be improved as part of an ongoing learning process across the entire customer relationship – similar to salespeople in their daily dealings with regular customers.
AI doesn't just increase bots' abilities to answer questions. To deliver a truly personalized experience, businesses need to know when customers need real-time assistance. Digital experience solutions enable businesses to proactively engage with prospects as they browse the site for information. In such situations, they can then trigger actions based on predictive engagement, such as web chats, and offer relevant information based on user behavior or ensure that potential buyers do not abandon their shopping carts. Predictive routing enables the bot to refer the customer to a suitable employee, if necessary, to complete the transaction or clarify individual questions. To do this, the skills and availability of the employees are compared with the concerns of the customer.
For AI-powered bots to work effectively as virtual agents for sales, marketing and customer care, silos must be broken and data from sales, marketing and customer care must be brought together. This gives the bot a complete picture of the customer and their unique preferences, laying the foundation for an empathy-based, personalized service. Ultimately, this groundwork is crucial to differentiate yourself from the competition in a market where bots are becoming ubiquitous.
By Daniela La Marca