Ask Me Anything: Implementing a Chatbot

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Jesse Brightman

Thinking of implementing a chatbot but not sure where to begin? Solvvy’s Customer Success Director Jesse Brightman helps businesses identify chatbot implementation strategies that work best for them. From deciding who in a company should be involved to setting a timeline and preparing for launch, Jesse answers some of the most pressing chatbot implementation questions businesses have.

Q: First things first: Who within a company should be involved in chatbot implementation?

A: The process can start with just one employee advocating for a better customer and agent experience by offering self-service at their company. Once you have senior level approval, all your company needs to get started is a subject matter expert in your customer service process and our chatbot implementation team can do all of the heavy lifting. Then, we can work with them to get the chatbot implemented. For more complex organizations, our highly skilled change management team can help you navigate any internal hurdles.

Q: What objectives should a business have when preparing to launch a chatbot?

A: Every business is unique and, thus, likely have their own reasons to implement chatbots into the customer service experience. Generally, we see businesses implement chatbots to greatly improve their customer’s experience while making their internal teams more efficient. For some businesses, this is about customer satisfaction, retention, or support, whereas for others, it may be to drive revenue through product discovery, upsells, or increase conversations. You create loyal customers with exceptional, easy interactions, and loyal customers stick with you and buy more. So, if you can do all of these things AND reduce operational costs, it’s a win on all fronts.

As my Solvvy colleague Bob Grohs discussed in a previous blog post, there are measurable improvements to customer support processes that chatbots quickly bring upon implementation that supports all these goals.

Q: How long does it take to implement a chatbot?

A: Implementing a chatbot can be completed in as quickly as one week. It can be longer for more complicated Enterprise implementations, but still within a month typically. Like all additions to your tech stack, especially when automation and machine learning are involved, there are always new ways to continuously improve the chatbot based on data and feedback. We advise businesses to set up 30-, 60- and 90-day benchmarks upon implementation.

With our implementation team, by day 30 the chatbot should be up and running with both functionality and actionable analytics. Then, by day 60, we’d expect that the business is understanding the technology, reviewing the analytics and making changes to the chatbot to fine tune the experience. By the 90-day mark, the chatbot is embedded into the customer service process and your company is already seeing a noticeable return on investment.

This timeline is different for every company and chatbot. It’s important to know that chatbots can — and always should be — adjusted and updated based on metrics, a business’s current promotions, and feedback from the team.

Q: Why is it important to integrate a new chatbot with existing digital channels?

A: Businesses should be where their customers are. Whether a customer wants to contact a business on their homepage, a checkout page, or even through a company’s social media platform, integrating chatbots with existing digital channels ensures consistency and efficiency. These integrations allow for one build with multiple deployments so that customers get the optimal experience no matter where customers are interacting with a business’s chatbot.

Q: What’s your advice for leaders on securing buy-in from customer support agents?

A: When employees recognize that the chatbot is there to handle the simple, tedious and automatable tasks, they feel more positive in a role that allows them to focus on the challenging, high-level issues. This increases morale, reduces churn and leads to less employee turnover. Making customer support agents a part of the chatbot integration is a wise investment of time and resources.

Leaders’ jobs are to serve their teams by articulating the vision and benefits of this type of investment at the individual level, the company level, and the customer level, and make their teams feel a sense of ownership as well. It’s simply good management to ensure employees not only understand how a new strategy benefits them, but also empower them to feel ownership over it.

Interested in taking the next step toward implementing a chatbot? Contact Solvvy to schedule a live demo today and learn how our team can help you every step of the way.