Hybrid Chatbot: The coming together of AI and Humans


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Chatbots have been adopted to enhance customer experience since it’s release into the realms of AI in 2016. The reason being the innumerous advantages it has over humans such as — time and cost savings, quick resolutions and ability to collect data and provide insights about your customers. As per the facts, 64% of consumers expect a brand to have real-time conversations. However, consumer expectations are constantly changing, and satisfactory resolutions are becoming the core of customer experience. The percentage is as high as 80% were receiving immediate responses is taking over customer satisfaction and positively influences brand loyalty. (Source: Dimelo)

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However, research has shown that despite the progress in AI, chatbots are yet to master the art of communication. In other words, they are only as intelligent as they are programmed to be. This is indicative of the fact that there will be situations where chatbots will fail to give the desired output — this where human’s intelligence comes into play and probably the only way any query will be solved. A chatbot, therefore, can be considered as “the first line of defence and human agents come to play when that line is breached”. (Source: Kommunicate)

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With businesses shifting to better the process of customer resolution, chatbots are here to stay. However, the problem lies in understanding the user intent as the chatbots are programmed based on the business jargon. This has led to the thought of combining ‘human effort and chatbot ingenuity’ with an attempt to transform the experience into something more valuable. (Source: Rocketbots) Chatbots will no longer be restricted to its capabilities because of this merger and will be in a position to utilize the potential of a human handover. What becomes crucial here is to ensure that businesses implement set standards that define what chatbots are capable of and to what extent will they answer the questions. The human dependency remains, but the focus should be on optimizing the process and confirming minimal interaction.

Let’s explore why this hybrid model will be a success for businesses:

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  • Enhanced customer satisfaction: A chatbot can play a critical role by taking over both internal and external communication of any company, especially in responding to the general inquires. This allows more time for the customer support team to deal with complex questions, questions that demand specific resolution. A win-win situation.

  • Sales booster: A sales qualifier, chatbots are programmed to always look out for customers visiting a particular website and converting them into potential prospects. It also helps to optimize the page visits of the users and engages with them by providing relevant information, personalized recommendations, and promotional offers to boost sales. (Source: Reve Chat)

  • Help train bots better: Chatbots and customer support team are in a continuing process of collecting meaningful data from the customers. By collecting questions that are not being answered at the first stage and requires human handover, a chatbot can be further trained and expanded. (Source:Rocketbots)) This will allow a chatbot to learn the questions and come up with appropriate solutions when needed by its users.

  • Cost Cutting: As per the reports, every year, there are 265 billion customer requests with businesses investing nearly $1.3 trillion to respond to the queries. Chatbots can save up to 30%. (Source: Reve Chat) Implementing chatbots can, therefore, help in cut down on extra costs of hiring a support team and time.

  • Improved customer support efficiency: Brands are always looking for ways to engage with their users without raising the flags of hesitation or frustration. A hybrid chatbot model fits well in this scenario. Chatbots are designed to deliver immediate one-on-one responses leaving the customers happy and satisfied. In situations which demands a personalized approach, a human handover comes into play. By adopting a problem-solving approach as per the need of the users, the hybrid model stands out to be a clear winner in improving the efficiency of customer interactions. (Source:Reve Chat)

With customer experience becoming critical to brand’s success, hybrid chatbot model will be the go-to marketing strategy for most of the businesses. Research by Bain & Company states that: “businesses that successfully engage with their customers were able to increase the customer spend by 20% to 40%” (Source:Bain & Company) This approach furthers the customer experience by providing the best of both worlds.

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