How NLP Customer Support Chatbots Can Increase Customer Satisfaction
In this special guest feature, Abhinav Girdhar, CEO of Appy Pie, believes that whatever your stand on AI chatbots for business may be, two things are certain – Chatbots will become an industry standard and NLP will continue to evolve. A stalwart in the field of mobile app development, Abhinav Girdhar received his bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Westminster, London. His expertise lies in Search Engine Optimization, Mobile Applications, Web Analytics, Ecommerce, Entrepreneurship, and all things related to the DIY app building process. In 2015 he founded Appy Pie with a commitment to bringing new age technology to the technological novices and even those who do not have deep pockets. His commitment to lead the organization while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and accountability is responsible for Appy Pie’s emergence as the leader among its peers.
Virtual assistants are not a new thing. Remember Clippit, the paperclip on Office? It wasn’t very successful, but the cute little paperclip started acclimating users to speaking directly to an AI server instead of a live person. I actually used the Google Assistant on my smartphone to research this article, since I could not remember Clippit’s name. That’s progress.
With virtual assistants getting better each day, it stands to reason that the next generation would be the chatbot – a customer-facing text or text-speech bot created to aid customers.
Unlike virtual assistants, chatbots are more popular for businesses. Chatbots have been adopted by various businesses and organizations in the past decade and have been used for various purposes by businesses especially customer support and lead generation.
There are many reasons why businesses prefer chatbots, but the primary reason is the rise of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and its ability to increase customer satisfaction.
What is Natural Language Processing (NLP)?
Natural Language Processing is the manipulation of natural language by software. NLP is used by AI-based software such as chatbots, and virtual assistants to take normal human speech/text from a user and turn them into executable commands.
For example, saying “What’s the weather today?” to a virtual assistant will compel the assistant to retrieve weather data and or speak it out.
Has an AI achieved perfect NLP?
Perfect NLP hasn’t been achieved by any machine on the planet. However, the application of NLP in business is thriving.
NLP has evolved enough to help automate basic tasks. Amazon, and Google seem to have been actively using and tweaking NLP for Alexa, and Assistant/Home respectively. Seeing how far these have come, it’s safe to say that the future of NLP is promising.
Chatbots and NLP
Chatbots are a milder application of NLP. NLP chatbots are made especially for customer support and are relatively easier to design and code. Even a half decent try at making one can affect your customer satisfaction positively.
How NLP Customer Support Chatbots Help Customer Satisfaction
Once you do end up making an NLP chatbot, here’s the advantages you’ll have with your new bot:
- ‘Friendlier’ Support Environment: NLP chatbots create a friendlier environment for your customers. A normal chatbot will simply recommend a help article by reading keywords in user queries. While not a bad approach, this response feels ‘cold’ towards the customer. Meanwhile using an NLP can help make the conversation over a customer query more ‘humanlike’.
For example, instead of just recommending an article, an NLP-based chatbot would further ask, if the article satisfies the user or if they need more recommendations. An NLP chatbot will always feel friendlier to the user and is likely to affect user perception.It will therefore provide a more interactive experience for the user.
- Immediate Availability: Unlike chatbot alternatives, a chatbot is always available. No matter what the time zone, or the time a customer asks a question, the chatbot will reply instantaneously. A chatbot’s availability is what makes it popular for the customer support process. From a customer standpoint, getting help exactly when you need it is a winning feature.
- Comfort: Customers like using chatbots. Humans may be social animals but it’s been proven over and over that modern humans like to communicate with machines. Chatbots are comfortable to use for customers and they prefer it to chatting or talking with a live agent.
- Wow Factor: An often ignored aspect of chatbots in business is the wow factor. The availability of AI help can be a marketing win for your products. The idea that AI can help with your product may be a reason why your customers choose you. For Example, one of Alexa’s biggest selling points is its wow factor. This is why it has found more success than other NLP-based devices. Wow Factor is a powerful customer satisfaction tool.
Whatever your stand on AI chatbots for business may be, two things are certain – Chatbots will become an industry standard and NLP will continue to evolve. It is honestly not a bad idea to begin early in the jump into AI based customer support. Who knows? You might even end up having the best support AI in your own industry!
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