10 Things to Consider When Automating Your Customer Support Services

When thinking about introducing AI and chatbots into company operations, what’s one thing to do or keep in mind?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Keep the Customer Front and Center

Jonathan SteimanAI and chatbots can be used to improve service levels … or destroy them. So make sure you keep the customer front and center. Will your customer be delighted by this solution or enraged? Remember that if you give a customer a bad answer, you risk losing them forever. We recommend taking it slowly. If you deploy a chatbot, make sure it has the option to transfer the customer to a human agent. – Jonathan Steiman, Peak Support

2. Test Them Out Internally

Serenity GibbonsBefore making them available to the public, try using them on an internal basis to test how they work and better understand where they could provide a benefit to your operations. It’s important everyone get to use them first, so they feel comfortable with the idea. – Serenity Gibbons, Calendar.com

3. Have a Clear Objective

Duran InciMake sure you have a clear objective in mind. AI and chatbots can be utilized in several ways, so understanding what you wish to get out of them plays a crucial role in their development. If you are using chatbots for lead generation, make sure it does just that. Your chatbot should engage users and ask the right questions to receive the crucial information you need to complete your objective. – Duran Inci, Optimum7

4. Be Conversational

Bryan KeslerChatbots are the best of texting and email combined. If you want people to interact with your bot you need to be conversational, which means asking lots of questions, providing short answers that give value and most importantly, not spamming them. When planning out your chatbot experience, you want your bot to act more like a friend or family member, and not like a car salesman. – Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide

5. Have Chatbots Take the Lead

Kristopher JonesInstead of hiding your chatbot icon in the bottom right of your site, let visitors know it’s ready to help with a welcome message. Ask questions to your customers directly related to their visit. Design questions that offer support and lead customers to actions such as, “have you ever worked with an SEO company in the past?” or “what are you looking to improve on your website?” for an SEO site. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com

6. Account for AI Learning Time

Jason CriddleA major point to keep in mind when implementing AI or chatbots into your company is that AI takes time to learn speech patterns in order to respond accordingly. With so much AI tech now available, it seems building your own software may save money, but using an existing platform will save you the time it takes to get through the inevitable learning curve the software needs to work correctly. – Jason Criddle, Jason Criddle and Associates

7. Have a Good Script

Peter BoydYou need to have a good script. Think of all possible questions and answers, and then flow chart the entire experience. There is no harm in trying this out, but you need to dedicate the time in setting up a good chat system with a lot of possible questions and answers. Then you need time to keep adding information. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

8. Anticipate the Unanticipated

Tim ChavesYou are going to provide a lot of value for your customers, but it isn’t without additional employee cost. Ask yourself if you’re ready to handle the increased workload that will be generated by creating a new channel for customers to seek help and suggest feedback. Consider potential unintended consequences of any changes in how your app seeks to help its users. – Tim Chaves, ZipBooks Accounting Software

9. Link Them to Your Apps for Fast Assistance

Adam SteeleI recently instituted chatbots, and I was able to link it to my company’s Slack so that messages to the bot show up where I’m reviewing all other notifications. Doing this for yourself can give you the freedom to see when customers are contacting you, and give you the freedom to hop in and replace the bot without a delay or confusing transition. – Adam Steele, Loganix

10. Understand Their Limitations

Shawn PoratEven though AI is advancing quickly, it still doesn’t take the place of personalized customer service. Chatbots are good for certain tasks, such as helping website visitors find what they’re looking for. But don’t expect too much from them, and make sure you also give people an easy way to get more detailed help if they need it. – Shawn Porat, Scorely

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The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.