How to Adapt to Conversational Business?

I have attended to the Conversational Business Summit event hosted by Sor’un and Userspots at the beginning of March. I have gained quite important knowledge about conversational business trends in this event.

Conversational Business is an important trend for a while. Businesses and clients transfer their messages to each other real-time. During that moment, a natural language supports the message transaction. Mostly today, companies support these processes by bots and artificial intelligence (AI).

However, companies must be careful while adapting to the conversational business model. If a company focuses on technology tools such as bots and AI’s rather than the business’ needs, the company will most probably fail. In this post, I am sharing my notes from the event on how to adapt to this business.

Conversational Business Summit Event 2019
Conversational Business Summit Event 2019

Focus on Customers and Conversation

At the beginning of this post, I have mentioned the common mistake that companies do: Focusing on Technology. However, the main purpose supposed to be solving the problems of the customers, helping the customers, selling products to the customers.

Sor’un has few tips about how to do it:

First of all the businesses have to decide on what they would like to speak with the customer. For example what subjects do the business need to talk with the customer? Decide on the answer of these questions, and move on.

Businesses have to design successful end-to-end processes. They have to complete the process by satisfying their customer. Uncompleted processes create dissatisfaction at the customer. (Example for uncompleted processes: “Please call the call center for further step.”, “We are sorry, we cannot understand what you say.”, etc.) An insurance company (Aksigorta) at the event emphasized the correct design’s importance to customer satisfaction. The correct design helped them to raise customer satisfaction level 4.5 out of 5.

Usage of technology tools such as AI (artificial intelligence) is not mandatory. There are situations where there is no usage of AI, but still the bots are very successful. This can be achieved by focusing on the best experience and solving the customers’ problems. As a result, tools are just enablers that enhance the business, however they should not be the main purpose.

Even though the businesses adapt to bots and design successful processes, live agents’ existence is a must.

A local bank (Isbank) has a great example for focusing on the conversation. They believe that designing dialog is the center of this this process. They designed the possible customer process scenarios. They collected more than 10,000 sentences to train AI for the local language.

Continuous Improvement

After the completion of designing the bots, the conversational business development process still continues. The companies suppose to track the situations that the bot cannot answer. The bot will be trained after this discovery.

Sor’un shared a real customer experience on continuous improvement. When the customer launched their chatbot product, the bot’s successful response rate was 40%. After the analysis and training, the bot’s successful response rate became 75%. With only two weeks the bot almost doubled its performance.

Persona

Creating a persona is important. Persona should be the face and sound of the company.

Sor’un shared an original persona example during the event. An automobile distributor company create a persona. The persona desribes a retired worker from a car company. The likes philosophy and he is an expert on cars. Not only his likes and dislikes were created for persona, but also his short summary of his life story was created. After creating the persona, the character’s style of conversation could be designed.

Even though this job seems simple, building persona requires a hard work. Persona created for the conversational business become the company’s image for the conversational channels. A well-designed persona leaves a positive impression on the customers.

Isbank (a local bank) also believes persona is quite important. 14 different personas have been tested with the focus groups. Plus, they tried to find the tone of voice. They trained the bot more than 300,000 words.

Which Channels Do We Need to Focus?

Companies need to define the channels they would like to support. They should find the popular channels in their country. In Turkey, the most popular channels are Webchat, Appchat and Whatsapp. Siri and Google Assistant are new platforms. Sor’un emphasized the importance of starting the most frequently used channels first. Later, the companies should use this experience while adapting to the new channels.

Adapting the Customer to Conversational Business Channels

The customers may not adapt to the conversational business when you launched this new feature. However, companies need customers to adapt to this new channel since it costs less. Plus, the service is faster. So how to make customers adapt to this new channel?

Sor’un gave an example solution to this problem. Companies can suggest webchat for faster service when the customers call the call center.

How to Manage the Call Center?

Global Bilgi (local call center company) and Aksigorta (local insurance company) suggessted that companies need to divide the team as chat channel and voice channel. The critical advantage of chat channel is the same person can answer 5-6 people at the same time. However at the voice channel, the agent can only answer to one person at the same time.

If the company does not recieve much traffic at the customer support service, then the same person can manage both chat and voice channel.

Choosing the Right Business Partner

Otokoç (local car rental company) suggested that the sectoral knowledge of the business is a plus. Mapfre (an insurance company) told that they experienced a project failure before on adapting conversational business. However, with the right business partner, they started using chatbot technology within two months.

Bot vs Human?

These days, bot vs. human discussion is hype. What if the bots/robots start to do all the jobs that human do? Especially, while adapting to chatbot technologies, this concern exists for employees. Employees may resist to this new technology.

I have a personal opinion in this discussion. Throughout the history, new technologies and machines have been discovered and used. However, if we still continue to work 40 hours/week, that means the humans are still needed. Some job categories have been dissapeared, but new job categories have been emerged. Personally, I do not have much concern on bot vs. human discussion.

Besides my opinion, let’s discuss about the managers’ opinion in the companies which have adapted to conversational business.

Global Bilgi, Otokoç and Mapfre have the same approach for this discussion. People are always needed. Assigning right tasks to people is important. More value-added and complex jobs supposed to be handled by people. Bots should take over the low value-added and basic operations.

Conclusion

Using the right approaches while adapting to conversational business is valuable to succeed. Right business partner choice will increase your chance to succeed.

I would like to thank to Sor’un and Userspots for this great event.

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