Last month during the first in a series of articles, we discussed the importance of communicating effectively with your customer using telephony. Over the next few months, we are going to approach all aspects of customer contact, including chatbots, customer portals, email, and SMS, all of which are used to reduce calling volumes.
We must accept that a growing number of consumers do not feel comfortable communicating by phone and want to keep interactions with their supplier of services on an impersonal basis. Chatbots can achieve common goals for both consumers and businesses and are becoming increasingly prevalent and accepted. A recent 2022 study shows:
- 88% of consumers had a chatbot experience last year, with a 69% satisfaction rate.
- 62% would rather use a chatbot than wait to speak to an agent.
- About 53% of respondents find waiting too long for replies the most frustrating part of interacting with businesses.
Chatbots are set to become ubiquitous but must be used effectively and not provide a source of frustration as the above 69% satisfaction rate means 19% were NOT satisfied.
Can my chatbot be easily configured or changed?
What you can do for yourself
Looking at your company chatbot, does it ask the right questions in the right order? Can you measure the effectiveness of the chatbot in terms of lost connections, time of chat and results from that chat? More importantly, does it update your system? Can it connect to your portal to execute functionality and navigate to a work queue or agent?
What the Optimus chatbot can do for you
Our chatbot is completely configurable. It allows Optimus customers to choose which questions it needs the consumer to answer to provide the greatest positive impact on the account and your operation. It can also provide rich metrics on chatbot performance and allows easy amendment without reference to IT.
Optimus saves the chatbot transcript to history made available to the agent in real-time. It can also be used to dynamically direct the account to a work queue of your choice, all of which are entirely configurable.
Does my chatbot set out its expectations?
What you can do for yourself
Conduct 30 minutes research into the chatbots in your life and ask yourself whether they set out their aims clearly and deliver that promise. Open-ended chats that invite conversation and then fail to understand the consumer’s question are a sure-fire way of losing that connection.
Test whether your chatbot states exactly what the customer can achieve through that medium and allows them to carry out that action easily. If not, are you able to direct the customer to the right person/work queue easily and quickly?
What Optimus can help you achieve.
Optimus provides a series of options in chat for the consumer to choose from, which are entirely configurable to meet the needs of your business. For example, a simple option would enable the consumer to make a payment through a hyperlink. Such options are clear and easy to follow, thus avoiding unrealistic expectations from the consumer and at the same time, allowing automatic update of the account.
Another option would be to direct the consumer to your portal. You have already established a connection with the consumer and by now, allowing them to choose from a richer choice of actions that work in real-time, will continue to meet their needs and that of the business.
Where is your missing link?
To be effective, chatbots must be able to provide the consumer with alternative forms of communication. Do you know the stress points in your chatbot operations? Have you evidence of areas of weakness where chats are disconnecting because they run out of options or alternatives?
If you can spot those most common disconnections, are you able to easily fix them by changing or adding options and providing linkage to other parts of your collections system?
What Optimus can help you achieve.
Optimus provides the ability to change, test and implement without recourse to us or your internal IT resource. Everything is configurable and more importantly it operates in a real time environment.
With our ability to provide chatbot metrics, you can measure chatbot effectiveness and therefore make amendments. It also enables you to cost the operation and if ineffective, escalate the case to an agent in real-time. Should you be operating internationally, all aspects of Optimus are configurable to your language or currency of choice.
Does my collections system meet my customer’s needs?
As a consumer, what do you expect when communicating with your supplier?
Do you expect to be able to communicate with them when you want to? Do you also expect to be able to communicate with them in your chosen method? And finally, do you expect that communication to be effective? In other words, does it meet your expectations? One element in the part of that equation is chatbots and how they deliver.
If your collections system doesn’t meet these requirements, your collections performance will be impaired. It will not meet the needs of your customers, your business, or your regulators.
Optimus can deliver.
The Optimus collections chatbot operates in real-time. It communicates directly with the Optimus collections platform, updating text and payments and can drive action codes providing further automation of the account to allow your agents to help consumers with complex needs. It connects directly to the Optimus portal should your consumer wish to take that route or can direct them to an agent. Those actions are automatically recorded on the Optimus collections platform for future reference, either in-house or if required, as evidence to the regulator.
Ask yourself whether your business is communicating effectively with its consumer; do you make it easy for them to contact you and when they do, does the consumer and your business achieve a satisfactory outcome? The Optimus collections system will answer those questions positively.
Why not contact us for an informal discussion on how we can help your business communicate effectively with its consumer.
Contact Bruce Turnbull at 44 (0) 7971 418 914 or email@example.com, or Nigel Young at +44 (0) 207 183 1573 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Writer
Following an executive management board role with an operating subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group, Bruce Turnbull has spent the past 20 years providing collections management consultancy services to several blue-chip lending companies including Courts International, GE Capital, and Provident Group.
More recently Bruce has served as Managing Director of two UK operating subsidiaries of CoreLogic, Inc. (NYSE: CLGX), a $3 billion-dollar global data, analytics, and related services company. Bruce is currently a Director of the Vulnerability Registration Service and provides business consultancy to Telrock Systems.
About Telrock Systems
Telrock Systems is a global technology provider of modern cloud-based collections and recovery software solutions for creditors and 3rd party consumer collections organizations wanting improved functionality and smarter capabilities. Our flagship solution, Optimus, is an enterprise-wide collections and recovery software platform built new from the ground up. It leverages open-source technology, powerful cloud computing, PCI DSS compliance, and more intelligent designs resulting in the broadest and richest collections and recovery Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering in the market. We provide our solutions in North America and Latin America (LATAM) from our Atlanta office, and in Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific (ASPAC) from our London, UK office.