Unsure how to improve the operational efficiency of your channel strategy with an intelligent automation/chatbot solution? A chatbot or voice assistant can optimize processes, decreasing the amount of human intervention needed for many tasks.
How can you ensure your chatbot strategy is improving your channel marketing?
In this post, we bring you 6 steps to make the most of your chatbot channel strategy.
The Post-Pandemic Challenge for Channel Marketing.
COVID-19 forced enterprises to adapt their channel marketing to increasing demand, and the new points of contact with customers. From a week to the next, half the people were working from home and abiding by the rules of social distancing. The new normal implies performing most of the daily activities such as working and shopping, online, from a computer or mobile.
Customer Experience Is the Key to a Successful Channel Strategy
“Care, creative thinking, and new tools can address customers’ acute needs today and forge stronger ties in the post-COVID-19 era” McKinsey.
Customers look for easy and seamless contact with companies. The overall situation is stressful per se, so they expect companies to make things a little easier for them.
How do you meet your customers’ expectations? By giving a great customer experience, of course. According to McKinsey consultants, customer experience is the top consideration for customers in the post-COVID-19 era.
This growth in expectations skyrocketed the demand for digital customer service solutions. People demand convenience. A chatbot or digital assistant provides great CX with minimal effort from the part of the customer.
Take, for example, TransportBot, designed by the lead at Pure Speech Technology (that’s us). The digital assistant provides real-time information about travel and transportation services for Sydney and NSW. As for convenience, it is a matter of giving the customer choices. With Transport Bot, a customer can reach it on Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant.
Adapting Your Channel Strategy to Post-Pandemic Challenges
You have an urgent need to keep up with the acceleration in digital transformation. This not only causes a surge in enquiries but also the need to connect with your customers over several channels. Without a robust digital channel strategy, your company may face:
- Inability to address sudden peaks of customer inquiries – if you have a limited workforce, you can’t prepare for it. As a result, customers need to wait longer for service, and you risk losing them.
- Difficult to open new channels – without some level of automation, it can be near impossible to attend several channels at the same time. Everywhere you look there are potential customers. In social media groups, commenting on your posts, or on your website. Every single point of contact matters.
Most companies in this situation find themselves barely keeping head above water, in the pressure to deliver a good online customer service. The manual efforts to cover gaps prove inefficient to meet short-term peaks or to scale up to meet demands. They’re simply not enough.
How Conversational AI Can Boost Your Channel Strategy
Building a business case and adding a chatbot/voice assistant automate routine tasks, such as answering common queries. That way you can:
- Easily scale up to demand– some companies, such as Sephora, have most of their tickets handled by the bot. The bot is available 24/7, and can take hundreds of queries at the same time.
- Help track the channel success – bots make it easier to attribute sales to a specific channel. Marketers then can refine their efforts according to the results.
- Give a great customer experience to your users – a well designed conversational AI solution not only answers your customer inquiries. It also engages the user, with clever options and calls-to-action that actually increase conversions. That’s why Gartner mentions voice assistants and chatbots as top CX trends for CIOs.
A good channel strategy boosts retention rates by increasing customer satisfaction. A well-built chatbot, based on a well-designed business case, can make it happen.
Want to learn more about Conversational AI? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Conversational AI
Challenges When Building the Business Case
But, building the business case yourself has its challenges, for instance:
Accessing industry information
Due to the pandemic, industry meets, such as conferences are now digital or were simply postponed. A quick search showed that from a list of eight international conferences, only two are offered online: Chatbot Conference, and Chatbot Summit. Therefore, it is harder to connect and get the latest insights and developments.
Sure, the internet is full of information. But accessing the right article/white paper can take hours of research. The piece of data you are looking for may be scattered through many resources. Then you have to piece together/ compile the data to extract valuable information. Check out specialized sites where you can find useful and insightful information, such as ChatbotLife.
As you start building your case, chances are that you will check on vendors to find a quick solution. But vendors usually push for their products, which can lead to rush decisions. Moreover, since enterprise chatbot technology is relatively new, many vendors are still learning on the job. Finally, even if you choose the “safe” option of big tech names like IBM/Microsoft, you can have poor performance. The reason? Big tech vendors are not specifically dedicated to conversational AI.
Business Planning Issues
If you are not a tech company, you may find uncertainty in determining the benefits, technology, or staff requirements for an enterprise conversational AI solution. Moreover, there is a notorious shortage of conversational AI skills in the tech market. How do you know how to choose or train the right team? Professionals with the knowledge and experience to build a strong business case and the right solution for it are scarce.
Since the market is young, you can be unsure of how to predict the expected benefits of new chatbots. This also applies to calculate costs.
6 Steps to Building a Winning Chatbot / Voice Assistant Channel Strategy
1. Align the chatbot goals to your overall business goals
Think about what business goals you need the chatbot/voice assistant to fulfill in the next 24 months. Then, when planning the business case, make sure the chatbot product goals serve your overall business goals. Is the bot goal to drive traffic? Cut costs through automation? Improve user retention?
2. Define the clear benefits you expect from this strategy
Along with the goals, what financial and intangible benefits do you expect the chatbot to bring? Maybe you expect the bot to increase conversions or revenue. Or perhaps to provide user self-service of the simple repetitive tasks. Define the metrics you will use to measure the solution’s success and the benchmark that makes you happy.
We find many of the metrics ‘out of the box’ of chatbot platforms are too low level to show business outcomes.
3. Identify and prioritize use cases
Now is the time to know who you are gearing this strategy to. Detect the main pain points or gains users have and the solution needs to solve. From that, identify key use cases. Use a mix of business value and do-ability checks (access to data/systems, speed of implementation, team skills) to prioritize. Whilst ‘user stories’ are a popular approach, we prefer to explore user needs through the jobs to be done framework.
4. Plan the delivery and operating models
At this stage, you want to plan how you will deliver and maintain the chatbot. For example, do you have project and tech capabilities, or will you hire or outsource? How fast do you need to move, and how will you maintain visibility on the uplift of performance to ensure it meets business benefits?
5. Pick the right technology based on actual requirements
Armed with your business drivers and use cases, it should now be clear what your tech requirements are. Do you just need a FAQ/Q&A chatbot with content management and approval workflows? Custom integration to your backend systems to complete transactions? Do you prefer to use a GUI “low-code” platform like Cognigy? Or your organization might prefer the AWS / Google / Microsoft stack because of existing investments. The complexity of the chatbot will also influence which AI/NLU is fit for purpose.
6. Analyze planned costs, holistic benefits, and ROI
Don’t forget to take the budget into account. When planning your business case check how the forecast benefits trade-off with costs and timeline. Aim for an ROI < 12 months for your CAPEX spend and include a benefits realization plan.
Save Time and Costs with your Enterprise Chatbot with Pure Speech Technology
Hopefully, you’ve found the tips and considerations useful to apply to get your voice/chatbot business case off the ground. If you want to leverage decades of experience in the Conversational AI field or have a professional custom solution developed, reach out to us. Some benefits of working with us for Business Case discovery and Intelligent Automation Strategy:
- Launch faster and with confidence
- Solution 100% tailored to your requirements
- Saves costs of buying half-solutions from vendors.
- Independent vendor advice and prevent vendor lock-in.
- Leverage lessons learned from our 20 years’ experience in the industry.
Start building a robust foundation for your conversational AI technology solution. Contact us today.