AI-Human Hybrid Chatbot – The Right Customer Service Solution at The Right Time

TechSee explores whether implementing a hybrid chatbot can assist companies in integrating AI technology.

With all the AI hype in 2017, the customer service industry expected smart chatbots to truly transform the customer experience. However, while AI has not yet become the answer to all of our customer service challenges, the technology is moving forward at a rapid pace, and is en route to achieving the level of impact previously predicted. 

Major investments and much research are focusing on AI and its enabling methodologies, such as:

  • Machine Learning 
  • Deep Learning and its applications 
  • NLP 
  • Computer Vision, and 
  • Speech Recognition. 

AI Chatbots: Benefits vs. Challenges

Although progress has been made in processing and identifying the incoming data, the challenge still lies in contextualizing this data. This is a fundamental requirement for human-like conversational skills. Today’s AI-based customer service smart chatbots still require human intervention to help provide that context, enabling a better understanding of the bigger picture.

Disappointment aside, smart machines still provide significant short-term benefits, including for example:

  • speed 
  • accuracy 
  • ability to scale 
  • and lowered cost. 

How Can a Hybrid Chatbot Improve the CX?

By combining humans and bots in customer management and service, each of their strengths can complement the other. The hybrid chatbot will enable greater accuracy and deliver more value within the customer experience. With today’s customer service domain powered mostly by humans, there is a huge opportunity for hybrid chatbot solutions to improve customer experience and reduce costs at the same time.

Hybrid Chatbot – A Timely, Winning Solution

The path to the future of efficient AI in customer service is collaborative. Today, humans and AI chatbots can collaborate to maximize interactions with customers. Collaboration can be applied in two primary ways: to augment human intelligence and to enhance human capacity.

Human intelligence augmentation

AI enhances human-based customer care by delivering relevant data, insight, or suggestions to the human agent who is interacting with the customer. For example, an AI chatbot can quickly analyze very large amounts of customer data, more than the human agents can possibly analyze or understand on their own. The hybrid chatbot can consequently highlight only the most relevant details based on the context of the inquiry, enabling the human agent to respond immediately without the need to access multiple data repositories. 

A hybrid chatbot example is when computer vision is used to power a visual customer experience. AI-powered virtual technicians can visually identify device models more accurately and faster than humans, thereby helping the human agent hasten the path to resolution. 

In addition, as chatbot AI learns from every agent interaction, it leverages this mass storage of knowledge to suggest the right answers to human customer service agents. For example, it can suggest the most favorable chat responses based on past history.  

Human capacity enhancement

AI scales human capabilities through hybrid interactive platforms where humans collaborate with and supervise bots. For example, customer service chatbots handle initial customer inquiries, as the majority of these requests are simple and easily understood. As soon as the bot cannot confidently handle the inquiry, the chat is immediately passed to a human agent via an automated customer service process flow, allowing the agents to continue the conversation where the bot left off. By utilizing a hybrid chatbot solution, the customer benefits from a natural and conversational experience. 

In more advanced solutions, the conversation can switch back and forth between human agent and chatbot, with the customer none the wiser. This tag-team effort also enables the organization to handle a higher volume of interactions that would be possible with a human workforce alone. 

In addition, a hybrid chatbot solution can assist organizations in prioritizing customers based on their value, or potential value. This ensures that call centers optimize agent availability, wait times and opportunities for proactive service delivery to VIP customers.

Value Driven by Hybrid Chatbot Solutions

How can implementing a hybrid chatbot solution help enterprises benefit from the evolving AI technology?

Scale service capabilities to meet rising customer care demands

In today’s digital age and customer-centric marketplace, customer-driven demand for support and care continues to rise.  Employing a hybrid chatbot model mitigates this demand by capturing some of the initial promise of automation. 

Hybrid chatbot solutions scale customer service functionalities by overcoming human limitations in areas such as: 

  • accuracy 
  • speed 
  • and data analysis (intelligence and capacity). 

This enables faster and more targeted service while relying on human strengths – context and emotional intelligence. Utilizing a hybrid chatbot model enables a higher volume of interaction without increasing human manpower. The smart chatbots thereby reduce the average cost per interaction, and often improve customer satisfaction.

Reduce risk of negative CX

Implementing a hybrid chatbot solution within customer support operations mitigates the risk of disappointed or frustrated customers. In the past, interacting with an early AI-only powered agent, would have likely resulted in a mediocre experience at best.

Actively explore automation

The use of a hybrid chatbot allows the business to carefully and responsibly experiment with automation. Smart chatbots enable them to methodically identify use cases and processes where full automation would be possible and valuable. This early identification process is a critical initial step towards full AI adoption, as it hastens decision-making, clarifies ROI to senior management, and creates clear priorities when planning for an AI-based future.

Build the infrastructure

Hybrid chatbot solutions familiarize the operational side of the business with the challenges of AI early in the process. This knowledge helps the business prepare for an AI chatbot future, for instance by ensuring: 

  • correct data infrastructure will be built 
  • necessary hardware and software will be deployed 
  • correct operational procedures will be implemented 
  • and appropriate HR roles will be identified to drive the AI revolution. 

It also starts the ball rolling on capturing the data necessary for the systematic training of the chatbot AI platform.

The Hybrid Chatbot Future Holds Great Promise

AI is without a doubt poised to transform the business landscape over the next decade. Today’s organizations must find the sweet spot necessary for deploying AI technologies, even with its current limitations, to prepare for the AI chatbot based customer service operations in the near future. Implementing a human-AI customer service hybrid chatbot solution enables a gradual integration of AI into customer service operations. This addresses the delicate balance of introducing innovation while enhancing service levels, and allows companies to benefit from AI chatbot’s current capabilities while the chatbot AI revolution evolves.

Hagai Shaham, Director of Strategic Accounts
Hagai joined TechSee in its beginnings in 2016 and has profound knowledge of its solutions and the audience it caters to. He is currently serving as TechSee's Director of Strategic Accounts to ensure clients realize the full value from their solutions and partnerships.

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