Getting Started with Chatbots and Conversational AI

Posted by Bryan McKay, Practice Lead - Enterprise Search in the Cloud PS Practice

Nov 08, 2021


In today’s market, digital interactions are everywhere. People — from customers to business partners — expect to find information and resources online. Chatbots powered by AI enable companies to deliver remarkable digital experiences and efficiently address your customers’ needs.

Early chatbots represented a big leap forward in the way businesses interact with their audiences, but today’s technology has matured much beyond those initial capabilities. 

Now, businesses have the ability to interact with their audiences through frictionless features that create an immediate, automated, and conversational experience.

The number of organizations that report using chatbots increased 67% from 2018 to 2020.

How Conversational AI Can Improve The Customer Experience

Today’s conversational AI is no longer limited to using words as triggers or delivering a finite set of canned responses or informational links in return. Complicated requests and multi-step actions no longer need to be hurdles. 

You can now explore customer-facing capabilities and deliver a more seamless experience through natural language processing capabilities of conversational AI. 

Amazon Lex is an example of an innovative platform that features a strong understanding of natural language and also includes conversational AI tech to facilitate easy conversations using typical speaking patterns.

Integrated with Amazon Kendra, an intelligent search service, you can quickly and easily build conversational interfaces and embed them into major messaging platforms, websites and mobile applications.

When a potential or existing customer lands on your website, you have the ability to create a natural experience for them with conversational AI. Here are a few ways chatbots can be used to improve your customers’ digital experience: 

  • Question-oriented chatbots: Are an excellent way to begin your chatbot journey and represent the simplest entry point into the technology’s broad range of capabilities. These bots provide quick responses to your audience’s questions while also addressing potential gaps in the website experience. By providing a bot to answer site visitors’ questions, you can help eliminate confusion and provide information that may not be easy to locate using drop-down boxes or other navigation tools alone. An AI-powered bot puts answers at your audience’s fingertips, facilitating a productive trip to your website and a better opinion of your brand. Give customers the ability to find answers to their questions without spending unnecessary much time searching or waiting. 
  • Problem-solving chatbots: Helping people solve problems is another common chatbot focus and it’s the logical step after you’ve provided answers to site visitors’ questions. A one- or two-sentence response isn’t always enough to address someone’s issue and a chatbot with additional capabilities can help provide a richer experience. Responding to technical questions is one area where AI chatbots can be tremendously useful. A customer who’s experiencing trouble with a piece of equipment is a common example. By going online, the individual can describe the machine’s behavior to the bot and, through interactions, the chatbot will schedule a technician to go out and help the customer solve the issue.
  • Chatbots that empower customers to take action: The third major category of chatbots are those that help people take action. This can entail relatively simple actions, such as identifying specific forms a site visitor must fill out to apply for financial assistance and directing them to a downloadable version. In other cases, an action-oriented bot might assist the individual with a walk-through of the form’s fields. Your visitors finally have a way to accomplish tasks that are too complex or obscure to handle on their own, but that don’t necessarily require one-on-one assistance from a human agent or service team member.

A well-designed chatbot can function much like a human agent by helping visitors get answers to their questions, routing them where they need to go for additional information, or alerting your team if intervention is appropriate. The right chatbot often gives people on your website an alternative to waiting on hold for a customer service agent and sets the stage for a successful interaction.


How To Get Started with Conversational AI

With the right technology in place, you can improve your business by implementing AI-powered chatbots to streamline information gathering, reduce workload on your customer service agents for common inquiries, and provide your audience with an efficient and intuitive self-service option. 

If you’d like to learn more, check out our workshop where we can help you discover the power of conversational AI.

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Bryan McKay, Practice Lead - Enterprise Search in the Cloud PS Practice

Bryan leads Onix’s Enterprise Search practice, helping customers find what they are looking for faster. He implements enterprise search technology to help customers grow their business, leverage information in systems and silos across the organization, tap into the network of expertise in the organization to improve collaboration and innovation, and deliver an enhanced customer experience.

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