The future of CX depends on a delicate balance between automation and human interaction, which is why chatbots have an important role in companies’ strategic roadmaps. These artificial intelligence (AI) systems use a combination of text, messaging, and speech data to meet shoppers’ needs for fast answers in key decision moments. According to a recent analysis from Grand View Research, the global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.25 billion by 2025.
Here are two chatbot examples that can teach valuable lessons on how to navigate and build a chatbot strategy for better customer experience.
Piedmont Health: Getting started without complex AI
This Atlanta-based healthcare system has been using a HIPAA-compliant chatbot to help prospective patients find answers to their questions, faster. Now 8 months old, this chatbot has fielded more than 16,000 conversations with 80% of inquiries fielded without a live operator. Piedmont’s call center agents say that they are more efficient, and able to monitor between 3-5 chats at the same time.
“The bot’s ability to address basic and repetitive questions is freeing them to focus on more complex inquiries, a better use of their skills,” explains analyst James Gardner in an article about the chatbot in MedTouch.
Piedmont Heath’s approach to getting started was straightforward—the company took a batch of frequently asked questions and put them online. Unlike other chatbot examples, Piedmont Health’s was not based on artificial intelligence. Rather, the technology uses a neural network and rating system to improve upon its answers. The goal was to create a foundation for Piedmont Health to collect data and build upon over time. The underlying AI is simple, to avoid unnecessary complexities.
“A pilot like this will give you a sense of your website users’ appetite for a new communication channel,” writes Gardner. “You can also prove out the business care for further investment and iron out staffing, training, and other operational challenges.”
Amtrak: Building an extension of your core UX
The first consideration when building a chatbot is that conversations are typically made up of several stages—introductions, substance, conclusion, and actions, with common rules clarification, options, and feedback. At any given time, user journeys are in a state of flux and unpredictable.
One way that Amtrak’s chatbot circumvents this challenge is to keep in-app conversations short. Julie, the name of the chatbot, focuses on connecting train travelers with information that already exists on the website.
According to one analysis, Julie has helped Amtrack increase bookings by 25% and save $1 million on customer service.
Buyer journeys are complex. Expect your chatbot program to evolve, and collect data that builds up to that next iteration for your CX strategy. By launching small and early—before embarking on a larger roll-out project—you can learn how your customers speak to your company over this medium and continue to align the chatbot with core user experiences.