In 1966, Eliza was born. The brainchild of Joseph Weizenbaum and a team of computer scientists at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Eliza is widely recognised as the world’s first chatbot. She was pretty basic compared to today’s chatbots but could identify key words in sentences and then ask questions back to the user based on that input.
The ability to automate conversations, answer basic questions, and provide user support was established with Eliza’s introduction. The benefits to businesses were immediately clear. Instead of customers waiting on a call or an email from a customer service agent, customers received immediate answers to common questions, reducing the cost of customer service while simultaneously enhancing customer satisfaction.
Since the 1960s and the early development of chatbots, the internet has exploded, and mobile and social channels have revolutionised the way we all communicate, including how customers interact with businesses. Today, businesses operate in an omnichannel environment. And it is vitally important to be present where your customers are—on websites, mobile apps, and social media channels. This is particularly important for enterprise businesses where scaling operations for greater productivity is vital to growth and often the key to evolving from start-up to SME to long-term sustainable profitability.
What’s more, as a business grows and its brand and reputation develop, customer experience becomes ever more important. Recent research has revealed that 80 per cent of customers believe that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Moreover, more than two-thirds (67 per cent) say their standard for good experiences is higher than ever. And with 76 per cent of consumers and business buyers saying that it’s now easier to take their business elsewhere, the pressure is on for organisations to get the customer experience right. So, how do enterprise businesses provide customer support at scale?
At Zendesk, we’ve developed Enterprise Chatbot specifically to meet the needs of large, high-growth businesses and deliver speedy, seamless interaction at scale.
Speed of response reduces delays and customer frustration
For enterprise businesses with worldwide operations, business occurs without borders. Transactions can originate from Adelaide to Zurich 24-hours a day. And if transactions are happening customer support needs to be on-hand. Waiting is not an option—not when an alternative product or service is just a click away.
Enterprise Chatbot can be added to the customer support channels you use, such as messaging, email, and even third-party apps like Slack, which means you’re in business even when local customer agents are in bed. Being responsive to customer inquiries eliminates delays and the time customers spend waiting for your response.
Of course, your multi-channel worldwide operation demands a multi-lingual response. And, thankfully, Enterprise Chatbot is a far cry from its 1960s predecessors, being able to recognise different languages and respond accordingly.
Seamless interaction increases customer satisfaction
It is a harsh fact of business life that growth often means greater complexity. More products and services, more people and locations, more channels and diverse customer needs can make it harder to deal with customers quickly and efficiently. The more complex your operation, the more difficult it can become to navigate, which can increase customer dissatisfaction. And in a world dominated by social media, negativity spreads rapidly.
Intelligent triage uses advanced AI to detect a customer’s language but also their intent and sentiment—in other words, what they want and how they’re feeling. Armed with these insights, an agent can engage with a customer in the right way, enhancing the customer’s experience.
Furthermore, Enterprise Chatbot allows you to build bot conversations and guide a customer to the information they seek. For large businesses with a high volume of common customer questions, this reduces the burden on agents and frees up their time to manage more strategic or productive tasks.
Mode, a London-based fintech business, reduced the number of agent-handled customer inquiries by 75 per cent using our automation and self-service options. Phil Andrews, Mode’s Senior Customer Operations Executive, commented: “Building automation into our messaging and optimising the bot flows helped us reduce friction and deliver a customer-first experience.”
Scalable solutions expand as your business does
Back in the 1960s, Eliza broke new ground. But she sat in isolation, unable to connect with other business functions, data, or customers’ needs. Today’s Enterprise Chatbot integrates customer support with the wider business, company information, and customer data to offer personalisation at scale.
As a business grows, it often grows apart to the point where the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing. As a result, communication and collaboration become harder to maintain. The very things that high-growth businesses depend upon.
Zendesk Sunshine is an open, flexible CRM platform. Sunshine is built on AWS and lets you seamlessly connect and understand all your customer data—wherever it lives. It’s fast, powerful, and gives you the freedom to build personalised customer interactions.
Enterprise Chatbot and agents are your dream team
When chatbots were first introduced, the fear was that they would replace humans and fully automate customer experiences. That fear is very different from the facts. Today, 80 per cent of decision makers believe AI should be allied to human skills and not replace them.
For enterprise businesses, the ability to offload manual tasks and free-up human skills for valuable strategic operations, such as customer relationships, is vital for building sustainable growth. Equally, AI enabled, smart chatbots that have the capacity to warmly greet customers, qualify their needs, and hand-off to an agent when appropriate are vital to maintaining positive customer experiences.
Working in tandem, Enterprise Chatbot and agents can offer personalised, seamless customer experiences that enhance customer loyalty, brand equity, and business profitability. Now, let’s pose our initial question again. Do you really need it?