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Virtually Speaking

When It Comes to Chatbots, We Need to Think Big

Posted by Jen Snell on Sep 6, 2019 5:43:02 PM


We talk to a lot of customers who have been burned by previous chatbot deployments. Most aren’t sure how to pivot and improve engagement. From these conversations, we’ve noticed a very interesting and alarming trend. Across the enterprise, companies tend to have limited, narrow chatbot strategies. Even organizations with large, talented teams tend to think small when it comes to the goals and scope of their chatbot implementations.

Companies have been conditioned to think small. Vendors have promised business results, but most of the technologies do not scale, which inevitably forces these companies to either think small or dramatically grow their team. We challenge our customers to think big, and they are often surprised when we encourage them to develop a strategy that scales across their organization and supports the team they have. It feels daunting and seems like an impossibly large vision.

However, thinking big is actually the key ingredient to chatbot success. When organizations think small and only deploy chatbots for discrete tasks, they’re setting themselves up to fail. Think about it this way, chatbots with discrete tasks are operating in silos. They have only the data from the one type of interaction they’ve been created to process, and from this narrow pool of data, they are supposed to derive insights that can help your business.


Getting It Right

It’s no wonder they get things wrong. Imagine if, as a sales agent, you were only allowed to talk about product features, and if a customer had questions about pricing or delivery, you had to pass them off to another agent. You’d have nothing more than a narrow understanding of your customer’s needs, and your customer would be understandably frustrated.

Chatbots work best when they are deployed across an organization, supporting your entire business — not just a small slice of it. At Verint Next IT, we’ve seen success with this strategy firsthand. Our customer, Alight Solutions, a health benefits administrator, now services over 350 corporations. Together, these corporations represent more than 10 million employees, all of whom have questions, concerns, and ultimately various reasons to connect with a call center. By deploying an intelligent, enterprise chatbot, Alight has been able to service their growing clientele without expanding their team. Their chatbot, Lisa, has proven to drive real business value – boosting CX at scale and helping to improve efficiencies. In 2018, Lisa handled 2.3 million interactions—with over one million interactions handled during open enrollment, which is the busiest time of the year for Alight and its clients. Perhaps even more importantly, employees enjoy interacting with Alight’s chatbot, Lisa. Hear more customer insights and perspective on Alight’s chatbot solution in this short video or read the full case study.

Chatbots that can serve multiple organizational needs are better positioned for success because they are built to solve complex, not discrete problems. A cross-department deployment strategy enables chatbots to support human agent success by serving as the connector of knowledge throughout an enterprise. When a chatbot has been designed to scale across an organization, it easily delivers enriched insights, informed by inter-departmental, multi-layered data. For example, scalable chatbots are able to deliver insights from customer experience to product development teams. They allow teams to easily leverage data from sales and apply it to marketing. These chatbots are able to understand customer intent and accurately predict their interests. They aren’t just additive – they’re multipliers.

The best trends in chatbot technology are ones that are grounded in growing adoption, increased customer happiness, and improved financials. However, these foundational elements can only be accomplished if we encourage our clients to think big. Remember that your chatbot should enable you to scale your capabilities and business intelligence without necessitating additional hires. It’s time to think bigger and expect better results.

Check out our video on the Alme® Platform and how it drives strategic AI.


Topics: Business, Technology, Enterprise Chatbots