Leveraging NLP Chatbots and AI to Strengthen Customer Service

Posted on March 18, 2020

In recent years, it’s become more common to interact with chatbots on company websites. For example, if a customer is browsing on a website, they may notice a notification pop up in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. There, they’ll find a message from a chatbot asking if the shopper needs any assistant. While often helpful, in order for these chatbots to truly improve the customer experience, bots should utilize natural language processing (NLP).

Intrado shared a blog post titled, “NLP Chatbot & Conversational UI: Future of Chatbot Customer Service.” The blog explains NLP chatbots, conversational UI, compares chatbot customer service to traditional self-service, and shares best practices to enhance chatbot deployments.

Below, we’ve outlined key takeaways and insights on the role NLP chatbots and conversational UI play in providing businesses a comprehensive communications AI toolkit.

NLP chatbots use AI to enhance service

According to Intrado, an NLP chatbot uses artificial intelligence (AI) to read, listen and interpret whatever a user says or types. Traditional chatbots did not have this capability – they were designed and required to stick to pre-programmed phrases in a pre-programmed structure. Additionally, these legacy chatbots could only move a conversation so far before they hit their capacity and directed the customer to a support representative, phone number or webpage.

NLP chatbots, however, can go beyond asking, “Do you need help with service or repair?” and instead ask, “What can I do for you today?” The bot can then analyze the customer’s response and move them into the appropriate customer service channel. Intrado’s post highlights how NLP chatbots make customers more accepting of self-service, rather than immediately asking for a human agent.

In a recent Flowroute blog post, we shared an overview of the benefits of leveraging AI-enabled tools in enterprise communications and best practices. NLP chatbots enhance these initiatives.

Conversational UI drives a call to action

Conversational user interface (conversational UI) is commonly described as how a chatbot responds or a call to action. This may look like a “Book Now” option at the bottom of a hotel reservation website, or it may be a response to a question. Whether textually or graphically listed, conversational UI ensures the bot is driving the conversation forward with an actionable next step.

However, when a question is more complex, intelligent bots can connect customers to human agents — streamlining the process by automatically sending the contact center agent an outline of the customer’s inquiries. The result is a better experience for the customer (removing the need to reiterate themselves) and greater operational efficiency for the business.

NLP chatbots provide individualized customer experiences

Traditionally, Intrado voice solutions moved customers through a stair-step, predefined experience. Now, by leveraging NLP chatbots and conversational UI, they can deliver individualized customer support based on the needs and preferences of each customer.

AI-enabled chatbots learn from each customer interaction and collect data from each user. The data is then centralized in a single database, allowing the company to provide comprehensive and consistent service through all channels. Decision makers can gain insight on which channel the customer has used to contact the company in the past, what type of interaction it was, and which products or services they purchased. Chatbots can then learn from and leverage this data to adapt the messages and service for an individual’s situation.

Lastly, NLP chatbots offer flexibility to customers to interact with the bot how they choose. This may prove especially helpful in delivering quality customer service to international customers with varying cultural and language needs.

Bots can strengthen omnichannel customer communications

Having an omnichannel customer communication strategy is key for the success of modern global businesses. As customers increasingly make purchases from multiple channels, businesses are considering ways to offer consistent customer support across every touchpoint. NLP chatbots can help make this a reality. An NLP chatbot can be successfully implemented in multiple channels like a website or messaging app while being managed from a single platform. Some chatbots even offer integrations with voice and real-time communications, so that clients can call customer support or contact a human agent at any time during the conversation.

Consumer behaviors and preferences are constantly evolving. Adapting and establishing new ways to connect with them is essential. Enterprises that utilize NLP chatbots, AI and conversational UI will be able to enhance customer support, improve user experience and ultimately elevate brand reputation by seeing return customers and ROI on enterprise communication investments.

To learn more about chatbots in enterprise communications, check out the following Flowroute blog posts: