Customer Service

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Live Agent Chat: A Necessity or a Thing of the Past?

Mark Asquith

November 23, 2018

Chatbots continue to evolve and become more capable of resolving customer support issues. They're successfully reducing costs for companies and improving service quality for customers.

Live Agent Chat: A Necessity or a Thing of the Past?

Chatbots are also working better with humans than ever before. In fact, many companies are finding that live support agents and chatbots work together perfectly to improve customer service.

The shifting role of a virtual chat agent

The role of virtual chat agents isn't going away. It is, however, changing. For companies that use chatbots, virtual chat agents focus on higher-value and more complex cases.

These conversations are generally more valuable to the company and have a greater reward. This means that companies can focus on hiring, training, and motivating skilled employees.

Chatbots reduce the issue of quantity, while virtual support agents ensure that the quality is consistent. Bots can solve repetitive or common queries, even if it means pulling data from the company's systems such as order status.

Bots assisted customer service

A good bot is an assistant for your virtual support agent. They start the conversation and can seamlessly handle a transition to a live agent when necessary. When a virtual support agent is required, the handoff doesn't only happen once. Rather, the customer interaction goes something like this:

  • Bot begins the conversation and records key intake details
  • Bot passes customer and key information to the relevant human virtual chat agent
  • Virtual chat agent solves the more complex inquiry
  • Bot follows up with the customer after the case is closed to check if the customer is satisfied with the service

In this way, your virtual support agent is able to use his or her time efficiently. The repetitive work that is often synonymous with a customer service role is reduced, thus increasing employee satisfaction.

Integrating a chatbot into your customer support model

If integrated properly, chatbots help improve customer satisfaction and reduce the workload of live chat agents. If integrated poorly, a chatbot can lead you to a PR disaster, like Microsoft’s Tay.

Thankfully, chatbot frameworks like Hubtype are here to help. We help our clients build bespoke, custom bots that provide real value. And, we're experts in managing the handover from chatbot to live chat agent.

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