The 16 Best AI Chatbots for Business in 2023 and Beyond [Review and Key Features]

Written by Dylan Max  on   Aug 17, 2022

Chatbots are used by 1.4 billion people today. Companies are launching their best AI chatbots to carry on 1:1 conversations with customers and employees. AI powered chatbots are also capable of automating various tasks, including sales and marketing, customer service, and administrative and operational tasks.

As the demand for chatbot software has skyrocketed, the marketplace of companies that provide chatbot technology has become harder to navigate as competition increases with many companies promising to do the same thing. However, not all AI chatbots are the same. To help companies of all sizes find the best of the best, we’ve rounded up the best 16 AI chatbots for specific business use cases. We’ll also cover the 5 best chatbot examples in the real world, but more on that later.

In this post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about AI chatbot solutions, including:

Before we jump into the 16 best AI chatbots, it’s important to differentiate between AI chatbots and rules-based bots. The first-generation bots that many companies adopted were very rigid and provided poor user experiences. Rules-based chatbots are limited to very basic scenarios.

What is an AI chatbot?

AI-powered chatbots provide a more human-like experience, are capable of carrying on natural conversation, and continuously improve over time. While basic chatbot technology moves the conversation forward via bot-prompted keywords or UX features like Facebook Messenger’s suggested responses, AI-powered chatbots use natural language processing and leverage semantics to understand the context of what a person is saying.

The most powerful AI chatbots have the most sophisticated artificial intelligence software built. So what does a powerful customer service chatbot look like? Here’s an example of what a powerful AI chatbot might look like if you could see it.

Though you won’t see a purple glowing orb literally tracking and shooting down tickets, smart backend software can solve hundreds of tickets or tasks per second. On the other hand, agents who work with low-quality AI chatbots (or none at all) might be stuck doing the manual work like this:

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best AI chatbots for 2023 and beyond.

Best AI Chatbots for 2023

RankAI ChatbotRating (Out of 5 Stars)
1.Netomi5
2.atSpoke4.8
3.WP-Chatbot4.7
4.Microsoft Bot Framework4.6
5.Zendesk Answer Bot4.6
6.x.ai4.5
7.CSML.dev4.5
8.Alexa for Business4.4
9.Drift4.4
10.Salesforce Einstein4.4
11.Dasha AI4.3
12.SurveySparrow4.25
13.LivePerson4.2
14.ManyChat4.15
15.Intercom4.1
16.Replika4.1

  1. Best AI Chatbot for Customer Service: Netomi
  2. What makes Netomi one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Netomi’s AI platform helps companies automatically resolve customer service tickets on email, chat, messaging and voice. It has the highest accuracy of any customer service chatbot due to its advanced Natural Language Understanding (NLU) engine. It can automatically resolve over 70% of customer queries without human intervention and focuses holistically on AI customer experience. Netomi is incredibly easy to adopt and has out-of-the-box integrations with all of the leading agent desk platforms. The company works with companies providing diverse products and services across a variety of industries, including WestJet, Brex, Zinus, Singtel, Circles Life, WB Games and HP.

    Key features

    • Natural Language Understanding for human-like conversation
    • Reinforcement learning and ongoing optimization
    • Sentiment analysis for contextual next best action
    • Back-end systems integrations (CRM, OMS, etc.) for meaningful and personalized resolutions
    • Human escalation via agent desk integration (Zendesk, Freshworks, Salesforce, Khoros, Zoho, Sprinklr, Shopify)
    • Knowledge-base integration
    • Omni-channel (email, chat, voice, social)
    • Analytics and real-time reporting
    • Multi-lingual
    • Dedicated customer success team

  3. Best AI Chatbot for IT, HR and Business Ops: atSpoke
  4. What makes atSpoke one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    atSpoke makes it easy for employees to get the knowledge they need. It’s an internal ticketing system that has built-in helpdesk AI. It allows internal teams (IT help desk, HR and other business operations teams) to enjoy 5x faster resolutions by immediately answering 40% of requests automatically. The AI responds to a range of employee questions by surfacing knowledge base content.  Employees can get updates directly within the channels they are using every day, including Slack, Google Drive, Confluence and Microsoft Teams.

    Key features 

    • Multi-channel (chat, email, and SMS customer service)
    • Alerts / Escalation
    • Automated Routing
    • Knowledge Base Management
    • Reporting/Analytics
    • Workflow Configuration

  5. Best AI Chatbot for WordPress: WP-Chatbot
  6. What makes WP-Chatbot one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    WP-Chatbot is the most popular chatbot in the WordPress ecosystem, giving tens of thousands of websites live chat and Web chat capabilities. WP-Chatbot integrates with a Facebook Business page and powers live and automated interactions on a WordPress site via a native Messenger chat widget. There’s an easy one-click installation process. It is one of the fastest ways to add live chat to a WordPress site. Users have a single inbox for all messages – whether taking place on Messenger or on webchat – which provides a really efficient way to manage cross-platform customer interactions.

    Key features:

    • One-click-install for WordPress
    • Customization
    • Custom greeting
    • Facebook page branding
    • Single inbox for all incoming messages
    • Integration with your Facebook Business Page
    • Compatible with all versions of WordPress

  7. Best Open Source AI Chatbot: Microsoft Bot Framework
  8. What makes Microsoft Bot Framework one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    The Microsoft Bot Framework is a comprehensive framework for building conversational AI experiences. The Bot Framework Composer is an open-source, visual authoring canvas for developers and multi-disciplinary teams to design and build conversational experiences with Language Understanding, QnA Maker and bot replies. The Microsoft Bot Framework allows users to use a comprehensive open-source SDK and tools to easily connect a bot to popular channels and devices.

    Key features:

    • AI and natural language
    • Open source SDK and tools to build, test, and connect bots to popular channels and devices
    • integrate with existing IT ecosystem
    • Omnichannel experience (website or apps, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, Cortana, and Facebook Messenger)
    • Speech capabilities

  9. Best Agent Desk AI Chatbot: Zendesk Answer Bot
  10. What makes Zendesk Answer Bot one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Zendesk Answer Bot works alongside your support team within Zendesk to answer incoming customer questions right away. The Answer Bot pulls relevant articles from your Zendesk Knowledge Base to provide customers with the information they need without delay. You can deploy additional technology on top of your Zendesk chatbot or you can let the Zendesk Answer Bot fly solo on your website chat, within mobile apps, or for internal teams on Slack.

    Key features:

    • Multilingual
    • Multi-channel (email, Web forms, chat, in-app)
    • Integrates with Zendesk Guide knowledge base
    • Integrates within Zendesk agent desk platform for seamless human hand-off
    • Deep learning

    Interested in learning more about Zendesk for customer service? Check out any of these helpful blog posts from our team:


    Looking for an AI platform that works beautifully with Zendesk? Let us show you how it works.


  11. Best AI Chatbot To Be Your Personal Assistant: x.ai
  12. What makes x.ai one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Are you looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce time doing administrative tasks? x.ai is the best personal assistant chatbot that can schedule meetings and follow up to confirm times with attendees. Once you have an account, it’s as simple as CC x.ai on an email. It connects to your calendar and will coordinate with guests to find a time that works.

    Key features: 

    • Meeting Scheduler
    • Meeting Tracker
    • Auto-Responder
    • Google Calendar Integration
    • Outlook.com Calendar Integration
    • Office 365 Calendar Integration
    • User Access Control
    • Analytics & Reporting

  13. Best AI Chatbot for Developers: CSML.dev
  14. What makes CSML one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    CSML is the first open-source programming language and chatbot engine dedicated to developing powerful and interoperable chatbots. CSML helps developers build and deploy chatbots easily with its expressive syntax and its capacity to connect to any third party API. Used by thousands of chatbot developers, CSML Studio is the simplest way to get started with CSML, with everything included to start building chatbots directly inside your browser. A free playground is also available to let developers experiment with the language without signing up.

    Key features: 

    • Super easy syntax and conversation-oriented components
    • Short and long-term memory slots
    • Integrates out of the box with over 70 other apps (CRM, ticketing, databases, livechat, and more)
    • Chatbot activity analytics
    • Ready-to-use chatbot templates library

  15. Best AI Chatbot for Voice: Alexa for Business
  16. What makes Alexa for Business one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Do you want to interact with the 83.1 million people who own a smart speaker? Amazon, which has captured 70% of this market, has the best AI chatbot software for voice assistants. With Alexa for Business, IT teams can create custom skills that can answer customer questions. The creation of custom skills is a trend that has exploded: Amazon grew from 130 skills to over 100,000 skills as of September 2019 in just over three years. Creating custom skills on Alexa allows your customers to ask questions, order or re-order products or services, or engage with other content spontaneously by simply speaking out loud. With Alexa for Business, teams can integrate with Salesforce, ServiceNow, or any other custom apps and services.

    Key features: 

    • Self-service APIs to help you create, manage, test and publish custom skills
    • Request APIs receive intents and directives from Alexa in your application logic
    • Respond to customers using text-to-speech, images, and streamed audio and video
    • Transactions and closed-loop commerce
    • SDKs for Node.js, Python and Java

  17. Best AI Chatbot for Sales: Drift
  18. What makes Drift one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Drift B2B chatbots are implemented on websites to qualify leads without forms. Drift chatbots ask qualification questions and create leads in your CRM (Salesforce, HubSpot and Marketo). Once a lead is qualified, the chatbot can automatically book meetings for sales teams by connecting to calendars to pull availability. Drift also allows companies to identify the highest-valued and intelligently send personalized welcome messages to VIPs. If other questions arise during the conversation, Drift can integrate with some of the best knowledge base tools like Zendesk, Help Scout, HelpDocs and others to surface relevant information.  

    Key features:

    • A chat widget for mobile and desktop
    • Routing that directs leads and conversations to the correct person, group or team
    • SDKs for JavaScript Web, Android mobile, and iOS mobile and web
    • an API for building apps, customizing the chat widget or integrating with your platform
    • Out-of-the-box integrations, including: Slack, Office 365 Calendar, Salesforce and Market

  19. Best AI Chatbot for Salesforce Fanatics: Salesforce Einstein
  20. What makes Salesforce Einstein one of the best chatbots of 2023?

    Salesforce Einstein is an AI chatbot designed by one of the most successful companies ever to come out of Silicon Valley. Salesforce is first and foremost a CRM company, in fact, its stock symbol is CRM.

    Much of Salesforce’s success comes from the abundant software integrations that are either made by Salesforce themselves or by third-party companies. For example, Netomi has created a really powerful Salesforce chatbot, which integrates seamlessly into Salesforce’s platform. To have Einstein Bot at your fingertips, you need to buy into the overall Salesforce system and then pay $50/month as an add-on to Salesforce Service Cloud (which we also recognized as one of the 11 best help desk software options of the year).

    Key features:

    • Powerful Conversational AI
    • Capable of triage and routing to human agents when necessary
    • Seamless integration with other SalesForce products
    • Requires Salesforce Service Cloud

  21. Best AI Chatbot for Call Centers: Dasha AI
  22. What makes Dasha AI one of the best chatbots of 2023?

    Dasha is a conversational AI as a service platform. It provides developers with tools to create human-like, deeply conversational AI applications. The apps can be used for call center agent replacement, text chat or to add conversational voice interfaces to mobile apps or IOT devices. Dasha was named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Conversational AI 2020.

    No knowledge of AI or ML is required to build with Dasha, any developer with basic JavaScript knowledge will feel right at home.

    Key features:

    • Human-indistinguishable speech synthesis
    • Unlimited conversational depth
    • You own the Intellectual Property to all Dasha apps you build
    • The SDK integrates into your existing infrastructure seamlessly
    • Voice over GRPC means that you can add live AI conversations to your websites or mobile apps
    • Robust digressions and intents, stacked named entities
    • Ultra-high conversational concurrency
    • The SDK integrates into your existing infrastructure seamlessly

  23. Best AI Chatbot for User or Market Research: SurveySparrow
  24. What makes SurveySparrow one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    SurveySparrow is a software platform for conversational surveys and forms. The platform bundles customer satisfaction surveys (i.e., Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) or Customer Effort Score (CES) and Employee Experience surveys  (i.e., Recruitment & Pre-hire, Employee 360 Assessment, Employee Check-in and Employee Exit Interviews) tools. The conversational UI deploys surveys in a chat-like experience. This approach increases survey completion rates by 40%. SurveySparrow comes with a range of out-of-the-box question types and templates. Surveys are embedded on websites or other software tools through integrations with Zapier, Slack, Intercom and Mailchimp.

    Key features: 

    • Customized conversational surveys
    • Subaccounts and multiple users
    • Multi-language surveys
    • Smart surveys using conditional logic branching
    • White label surveys
    • Visual workflows
    • Omni-channel (email, social media, web links, embedded options, scannable QR code and email)
    • Reports and analytics

  25. Best AI Chatbot for the Conversational Cloud: LivePerson
  26. What makes LivePerson one of the best chatbots of 2023?

    LivePerson offers AI-powered conversations which connect brands to consumers through multiple messaging channels. LivePerson works with companies providing diverse products and services across a variety of industries, including The Home Depot, IBM, and Vodafone. According to LivePerson’s website, its conversational AI software mostly addresses marketing and sales, followed by customer care to a lesser extent.

    Key features:

    • Integrates with most channels aside from email
    • Ability to pull time-based reports
    • Intuitive interface
    • Real-time analytics dashboard
    • Enterprise-focused pricing

  27. Best Build-Your-Own AI Chatbot for Messenger: ManyChat
  28. What makes ManyChat one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Next year, 2.4B people will use Facebook Messenger. ManyChat is a great option if you’re looking for a quick way to launch a simple chatbot to sell products, book appointments, send order updates or share coupons on Facebook Messenger. It has industry-specific templates, or you can build your own with a drag-and-drop interface, which allows you to launch a bot within minutes without coding. You can easily connect to eCommerce tools, including Shopify, PayPal, Stripe, ActiveCampaign, Google Sheets, and 1,500+ additional apps through Zapier and Integromat. 

    Key features:

    • Basic reporting and analytics
    • Drag-and-drop interface to build bot
    • Integrations with Shopify, Google Sheets, MailChimp, HubSpot, ConvertKit, and Zapier
    • No coding required
    • Easy set up in minutes

    How are our customers building chatbots to rethink customer service?
    Learn how Nespresso, Tommy Hilfiger, and Westjet have turned support into a difference maker.


  29. Best AI Chatbot for Marketers: Intercom
  30. What makes Intercom one of the best chatbots of 2023?

    Intercom exploded onto the market in 2011, making it one of the first chatbots on the market. Intercom is traditionally known as an easy to use rules-based bot for business (with minimal AI). However, it has only been until recently that Intercom has released an AI chatbot. With that said, there are some strong cases to pick Intercom as a top performing software in the space including an extensive list of software integrations.

    Key features:

    • Intercom’s Business Messenger offers engaging customer support
    • Powerful integration set with over 250 out-of-the-box apps
    • Uses both business and customer data to personalize experiences
    • Seamless experience between desktop and mobile
    • Machine learning models can help answer up to 33% of inquiries automatically
    • No free tier with expensive higher tiers compared to other options

  31. Best AI Companion and Friend Chatbot: Replika
  32. What makes Replika one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    While this is not a business use case, it still warrants placement on this list for its coolness. Replika is an AI chatbot designed to become a “friend” who offers “no judgment, drama, or social anxiety.” It claims that users can “form an actual emotional connection, share a laugh or get real with an AI that’s so good it almost seems human.” Users can choose their 3D avatar and customize it, help it learn about the world, and develop its personality. You can decide if you want it to be a friend, virtual significant other or mentor.

    Key features:

    • Learns to imitate users
    • Messaging and voice recognition
    • iOS and Android apps
    • Customizable avatar

AI Chatbot Frequently Asked Questions

 

How Do AI Chatbots Work?

AI chatbots use Natural Language Processing (NLP) engines and machine learning to interpret user inputs. This involves extracting user entities and determining user intents. These NLP methods are used widely in the technology industry, including for machine translation, sentiment analysis, and user behavior analytics (UBA) in cybersecurity.

What is a Chatbot Platform?

A chatbot platform allows businesses to host multiple AI chatbots all in one place. Chatbot platforms are crucial when companies want to deploy chatbots across multiple communication channels like messenger, SMS, email, and directly on the website. Having all your chatbots organized in one place ensures maximum efficiency and learning opportunities as the AI inevitably gets more sophisticated.

Is Siri a Chatbot?

Siri is considered a basic chatbot. Even though Siri sounds smart at times, Sirilacks the natural language processing and human-like conversational ability of more advanced AI chatbots.

How Can Chatbots Help Save Me Money?

Chatbots can help save you money by automating routine tasks that humans would otherwise complete. Imagine that you owned a business where five different types of questions made up for over 50% of the total questions by volume. Without a chatbot, a customer service agent would have to answer each question one by one. On the other hand, a chatbot could answer an unlimited amount of the same customer service question type in an instant. This allows businesses to save their support agents’ time while maintaining a quality customer experience.

What Makes an AI Chatbot Powerful?

What separates a bad chatbot from the best chatbots is a bot’s ability to leverage four different categories of artificial intelligence. The best AI chatbots are extremely sophisticated in these 4 AI attributes:

  • Intent recognition—intent recognition involves a semantic understanding of text-based and AI chatbots that leverage general syntactical and semantic knowledge which they learn from a large corpus of language data and business-specific training samples. Knowledge learned by AI chatbots from large data sources helps for the expansion and transfer of vocabulary which helps to improve interpretations with fewer business-specific training samples.
  • Extraction of entities—information that relates to a specific object or concept. For example, dates, places, times, descriptions, names, items, or numbers. These bits of data are the building blocks from which inputs are interpreted and defined.
  • Dialogue management—Based on intent and entities, AI Chatbots use the next best action to trigger various actions required to capture appropriate details from users and business systems for meaningful resolution. AI chatbots learn user preferences in their long and short-term memory to take contextually relevant smart actions.
  • Expansion and transfer of vocabulary—algorithms can capture and refine vocabulary, including synonyms to improve interpretations. These refinements are tied to subsets of users to generate more natural responses and be passed to new bots.

The strongest chatbot platforms (listed earlier) allow for easy scalability and low manual effort. Now you know what makes the best AI chatbots so powerful.

The 5 Best AI Chatbot Examples in Real Life

As chatbots get smarter, the adoption rate by big brands and industry leaders grows exponentially. Now that we’ve taken a look at which companies make the best AI chatbot technology and how to define what makes one chatbot better than another, let’s explore real-life examples of companies that put those chatbots to work. Below are five of the most successful chatbot implementations and their results:

1. Best AI Chatbot Overall: WestJet’s Chatbot

Company Background

WestJet, the only 3-peat winner of TripAdvisor’s Best Airline in Canada, has incorporated a chatbot to help serve its millions of monthly website visitors. With its chatbot “Juliet,” users can book travel plans, ask questions and get resolutions to common customer service questions.

Chatbot Results

When WestJet’s bot first got started, it could automatically resolve about 30% of all customer service tickets. In less than two years, that number has jumped to over 87%. Not only is this the highest rate of automated ticket resolution ever recorded – making WestJet’s Juliet the most powerful chatbot in the world –  it also speaks to the sophistication of how true artificial intelligence can learn and get better over time. As a result, the WestJet customer service agents are able to work side-by-side with the AI bot and handle over 5X the normal load of customer support.

Interested in learning more about WestJet’s chatbot, Juliet, check out one of these resources below.

2. Best AI Chatbot for Telecom: Charter Spectrum’s Chatbot

Company Background

Charter Spectrum, a top cable and phone service provider in the U.S. has incorporated a chatbot into its customer service operations. Before launching its bot, Charter’s customer support agents were answering around 200k live chats per month, a large portion of these for common use cases including forgotten passwords or usernames.

Chatbot Results

After bringing the “Ask Spectrum” chatbot into its customer support team, Charter Spectrum was able to handle 83% of chat tickets without human intervention. This significantly lightened their customer service load and resulted in a 300% increase in ROI.


To download a copy of our Telecom Customer Service Benchmark report, visit here.


3. Best AI Chatbot for Ecommerce: Covergirl’s Chatbot

Company Background

Covergirl, a popular makeup brand, has taken a different approach. They are leveraging chatbots to engage with teens by providing product information and disseminating coupons. The Covergirl bot was designed to help the brand address the role that social media influencers play in young customer’s lives. Customers can interact with the bot to get product information and coupons for items.

Chatbot Results

As a result of their ecommerce chabot, Covergirl has seen social media engagement increase by a factor of 14. They have also experienced 91% positive sentiment ratings and a 51% click-through on coupons.


To download a copy of our retail Customer Service Benchmark report, visit here.


4. Best AI Chatbot for Travel: Amtrak’s Chatbot

Company Background

Amtrak, a nationwide rail provider in the United States, launched a travel chatbot to provide support to its 375k daily website visitors. With the Amtrak chatbot, users can book travel, ask common questions, and seek assistance modeled on the company’s best customer service representatives.

Chatbot Results

Currently, Amtrak’s bot is responding to around 5 million requests per year. This has led to a 25% increase in bookings and a 30% increase in revenue. Overall this has meant an 800% increase in ROI.


To learn how AI is completely transforming the travel experience, download this eBook.


5. Best AI Chatbot for Customer Experience: Johnson and Johnson’s Chatbot

Company Background

Johnson and Johnson owns a pregnancy and childcare resource called The BabyCentre UK. The company introduced a bot on Facebook Messenger to provide information and content to new or expecting moms. The bot uses targeting and personalization to deliver relevant information and to answer popular queries from users.

Chatbot Results

As a result of the bot, BabyCentre saw an 84% engagement rate and a 53% click-through rate. This represented a 1,428% increase over email communications despite using the same personalization methods.

Conclusion

The Best AI Chatbots can unlock incredible efficiency, but you need to select the right AI partner. The breadth of AI chatbots available today is incredible. The best business-specific AI chatbots are focused on a core use case – whether it’s customer service, surveys, administrative tasks or sales. With 53% of organizations expecting to use chatbots within 18 months, it’s crucial that teams adopt the right technology that prioritizes the end-user experience, exceeds goals, is easy to adopt and works seamlessly with other business systems. Therefore, as an increasing number of companies claim to have sophisticated AI platforms, not all AI chatbots are created equal.

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator today.

Want your AI chatbot solution to be considered for this list? Email info@netomi.com and tell us why! 

The 12 Most Important Customer Service Expectations

Written by Dylan Max  on   Jul 14, 2022

It’s no secret that customers today have high expectations when it comes to customer service. In order to keep up with the competition, businesses need to meet (or exceed) these expectations. Every business has customers, no matter what field or industry, and it’s vitally important to be aware of what they expect.

What are Customer Expectations?

Simply put, customer expectations are the standards that customers have for a product or service. These standards can be based on many factors, such as previous experiences, what they’ve heard from others, or even societal norms. And when customers don’t feel that their expectations have been met, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to customer expectations:

– They’re constantly changing: What customers expect today may be different tomorrow, so it’s important to stay on top of trends and changes.

– They vary by customer: Not all customers have the same expectations, so it’s important to tailor the experience to each individual.

– They should be met or exceeded: Meeting customer expectations is the bare minimum — businesses should aim to exceed them whenever possible.

The 12 Most Important Customer Service Expectations

While customer expectations can differ depending on the company or industry, there are some common themes that businesses should be aware of. Here are 12 of the most important customer service expectations:

1. Honesty and Transparency

Customers today expect honesty and transparency from businesses. They want to know that they can trust the company, and they want to be able to easily find information about the product or service. For example, if a customer is buying a product online, they should be able to easily find shipping costs, return policies, and other important information. Companies should not try to hide this information or be vague about it.

2. Friendliness and Courteousness

It seems like it should go without saying, but sometimes it’s easy to forget about basic decency. Friendliness and courteousness are two of the most important customer service expectations. Customers want to feel like they’re valued, and they want to be treated with respect.

3. Being Understood

Customers want to feel like they’re being understood, and they want businesses to take the time to listen to their concerns. This includes everything from active listening to providing support in their language of choice. Customers want to feel like they’re being understood, and they want businesses to take the time to listen to their concerns. This includes everything from active listening to providing support in their language of choice. Active listening is a customer service technique that involves giving your full attention to the customer, paraphrasing what they’ve said, and checking for understanding. This can help to make sure that the customer feels heard and that their issues are being addressed.

4. Innovation

Innovation is one of the most important customer service expectations in today’s climate. With new technologies and platforms constantly emerging, customers expect businesses to be on the cutting-edge. They want companies to be constantly improving and adapting to change. Innovation also means being able to meet customer needs in new and unique ways, like using chatbots or artificial intelligence. Innovation should never be made at the expense of smooth function–after all, the latest and greatest technology is hardly great if it hampers your customer service agents from giving customers the best possible experience.

5. Proactivity

Customers today expect businesses to be proactive, and they want companies to anticipate their needs. This includes everything from proactively addressing problems to offering personalized recommendations. A proactive approach means identifying potential issues and taking steps to prevent them before they happen. It also involves awareness of customer needs and offering solutions or recommendations before the customer even knows they need them.

6. Speed and Efficiency

Customers today want speed and efficiency when it comes to customer service. They don’t want to wait on hold for hours, and they expect problems to be resolved quickly and efficiently. Quick reaction time from customer service is essential in today’s climate.

7. Multi-Channel Service

In order to meet customer expectations, businesses need to provide multi-channel service. This means that customers should be able to reach out through a variety of channels, such as phone, email, chat, or social media. And they should be able to receive a consistent experience no matter which channel they use. In addition to this consistent access, they also want continuity–a conversation that begins on one channel should continue on another.

8. Privacy and Security

With all of the recent data breaches in the news, it’s no surprise that privacy and security are top customer service expectations. Customers want to know that their personal information is safe, and they want businesses to take steps to protect their data. This includes everything from ensuring that data is encrypted to offering secure payment options.

9. Personalization

Customers today expect a personalized experience, and they want businesses to take the time to get to know them. This includes everything from using their name to providing tailored recommendations. Not only this,  but customers also want the feeling that they’re more than just a number. They want to be treated as individuals, and they want their customer service experiences to reflect that. 

10. Empathy

In addition to being understood, customers also want businesses to show empathy. This means that businesses need to be able to put themselves in their customers’ shoes and understand their needs. This is more than just a sympathetic ear or a kind word–it’s about being able to truly understand what the customer is going through. The Human connection is an important one and should be a cornerstone of any customer service approach. 

11. Constant Availability

With the rise of online shopping, customers now expect businesses to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that businesses need to have customer service representatives available around-the-clock to answer questions and resolve problems.

12. Customer Self-Service

Finally, customers today expect to be able to serve themselves. This means that businesses need to provide easy-to-use self-service options, such as FAQ pages, online chatbots, and step-by-step guides.In addition, businesses need to make sure that these self-service options are easily accessible and easy to use by their customers. Efficient and convenient self service is not only great for customers, but it’s also cost-effective for businesses. 

How to leverage AI in the quest for customer service excellence

There is power to be realized in partnerships and the strategic combination of forces, and companies using chatbots for customer service can further enhance the CX, taking it to new heights. While platforms can streamline the agent experience and can decrease resolution times, multichannel conversational AI platforms like Netomi are now acting as the first line of defense when it comes to customer support. Netomi’s virtual agents sit alongside human agents to supplement and enhance the capacity of support teams, ensuring the seamless resolution of customer queries.

No matter which platform you choose to implement in your customer service operations, the Netomi AI helps you by taking the best course of action with every incoming support ticket:

  • The AI can automatically resolve common, highly repeatable tickets without having to loop in a human agent (‘auto-pilot’ mode)
  • For more complex tickets, the AI can gather information from the customer or back-end systems, and even draft a response for review, before handing off to a human agent (‘co-pilot’ mode) 
  • For the most complex tickets that require a human hand, the AI can summarize and route tickets to the most appropriate agent for the task 

By leveraging the out-of-the-box Netomi virtual agent integration, companies enhance both the agent and customer experience, while also reducing costs. Other chatbots don’t sit natively within the agent desk, but with Netomi, virtual and human agents work alongside each other, creating an efficient and ultra-powerful customer service team.

The 10 Best Banking Chatbots (And How Your Financial Institution Can Use Them, Too)

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Jun 24, 2022

Banks and credit unions are deploying AI-powered chatbots to modernize the ai customer experience and remove friction from everyday banking. Chatbot statistics can help prove that these banking chatbot solutions, or AI virtual assistants, are game changers for the financial industry. Tasks that used to be completed by talking to a human in a branch or on the phone now take place in a conversational interface with virtual assistants for automated support, in real-time. These banking chatbots allow financial institutions to talk to millions of customers at once and proactively alert customers to potential issues or upcoming payments. 

As people continue to avoid branches in favor of digital banking, expect even more banks to launch virtual assistants. 

What Are The Top Use Cases For Chatbots In Banking?

Chatbot vendors in the banking industry can help make everyday banking tasks easier. An AI chatbot makes it easy for customers to:  

  • Retrieve account balance and information such as account and routing numbers
  • Get historical spending analysis and budgeting recommendations
  • Receive bill pay alerts and payment notifications
  • Receive fraud, repeat charges and suspicious activity notifications
  • Transfer money, buy stocks and mutual funds
  • Report upcoming travel
  • Report lost or stolen cards
  • Activate new cards
  • Check rewards and points balances

Learn how conversational AI is rewriting the rules for banking and fintech in this eBook.


Which banks have chatbots? A roundup of the 10 best-of-the-best banking chatbot solutions

Here are some of the most well-known banking chatbots. 

  1. Ally Assist from Ally Bank
  2. One of the first banks to launch a chatbot, Ally Bank rolled out Ally Assist in 2015 in an effort to provide users with seamless personalized customer service to manage their account. Accessible within the Ally Bank iPhone app, Ally Assist performs bill payment, transfers and account information requests. The bank also launched an Ally Skill on Amazon’s Alexa giving people perform simple banking tasks via voice commands. 

  3. Amy from HSBC
  4. HSBC’s Virtual Assistant Chatbot Amy is available on the bank’s website on various product pages. Amy understands English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese and helps customers get instant answers to common questions on the bank’s products and services. 

  5. Ceba from Commonwealth Bank (Australia)
  6. Ceba is a virtual banking assistant that answers a range of day-to-day banking questions. Ceba is available on the bank’s app and Website. Ceba is one of the only banking chatbots to have human escalation and directs customers to other channels based on their specific need.

  7. Citi Bot SG from Citi
  8. Citi Bank’s Citi Bot SG is a chatbot that enables customers to ask about basic account information through Facebook Messenger. Customers can get answers to questions around account balance, transactions, rewards and payment information for credit cards, checking and savings accounts. 

  9. Clari from TD
  10. Available within the TD banking app, Clari answers common banking questions. Clari can find information on spending, bank accounts and more. Banking customers can ask about opening an investing account, account balance, historic spending and categories, and sending money. 

  11. Eno from Capital One
  12. Available on the bank’s website, mobile app and SMS, Capital One’s digital assistant Eno uses sophisticated natural language processing to understand 2,200 different ways someone might ask for their balance. Eno also proactively reaches out if a bill is higher than normal, if it suspects fraud, or if it detects a particularly high tip. Another unique feature is monitoring free-trials to remind customers before they end. 

  13. Erica from Bank of America
  14. Available within the BofA app, the virtual financial assistant Erica is designed to help customers more easily manage their money. Within the interactive interface, Erica provides reward and account balances, spending summaries, refund confirmations and credit scores. She can also identify duplicate charges and send bill reminders. 

    The AI-powered chatbot’s capabilities don’t stop there: Erica helps support BofA subsidiary Merrill clients through insights on portfolio performance, trading, investment balances, quotes and holdings. 

    In 2020, Erica helped more than 5 million customers complete over 75 million requests. Since launching in 2020, Erica has helped 15 million customers with over 175 million requests. Every day, Erica engages in approximately 400,000 interactions. 

  15. Eva from HDFC
  16. Eva helps customers with everyday banking needs: checking on a loan status, facilitating payments and getting instant answers to FAQs. Eva can also help customers apply for various loans.

  17. HARO and DORI from Hang Seng Bank
  18. With the ability to communicate in Chinese and English, and also understand Cantonese as well as the mixing of English and Chinese, the two bots from Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong get retail customers instant answers to a variety of needs. HARO and DORI use a combination of natural language processing and machine learning to have human-like conversations, helping banking customers get answers in real-time.

    HARO stands for ‘Helpful; Attentive; Responsive; Omni” and interacts with customers on the bank’s website, mobile app and WhatsApp and answers questions related to mortgage, personal loan, credit card, medical insurance and travel insurance services.

    Available on Facebook Messenger, DORI (‘Dining; Offers; Rewards; Interactive’) helps customers discover shopping and dining offers.

  19. NOMI from Royal Bank of Canada

NOMI is a banking chatbot that hails from the Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest bank. NOMI is a chatbot that sends alerts, reminders, and tailored insights based on a person’s banking habits. Available in the RBC mobile app, it provides tools to help people manage day-to-day spending, including  a calculated budget recommendation based on unique spending habits. 

The use of virtual assistants by financial institutions to help banking customers save money, manage their bank accounts and XYZ is on the rise. Customers increasingly expect effortless and proactive customer support and banking bots are delivering the experience that customers expect.  

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator.

Can we help you discover the possibilities with conversational banking? Get in touch today.

Click any of the links below to get more of our insights on FinTech customer service solutions.

The 7 Best Ecommerce Chatbot Solutions and What Makes Ecommerce Bots Succeed

Written by Dylan Max  on   May 28, 2021

From product recommendations to one-on-one personal shopping and customer support to order management, the use cases for ecommerce chatbot solutions are endless. This is why the eCommerce industry was one of the first industries to embrace chatbots and conversational AI virtual assistants. 

And the need for eCommerce chatbots has never been higher than it is today. Online shopping is one of the most popular activities in the world, and the industry is more competitive than ever. There’s a healthy new pipeline of digital-first retailers built on the idea of customer-obsession and seamless end-to-end experiences. At the same time, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have accelerated digital innovation in the wake of COVID-19 looking to remove friction while also replicating highly-personalized, one-on-one interactions with customers at scale. In fact, McKinsey reported that in just eight weeks, five years of consumer and business digital adoption occurred during COVID-19. 

All of this comes at a time when people are less loyal. Shockingly only 9% of consumers are brand loyal today. eCommerce companies are competing as much on customer experience as price: 61% have switched brands due to poor customer service and more than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase or transaction because of bad service.  Prioritizing customer service, though, can pay off: 78% of customers say the quality of service is fundamental to earning their repeat business and US consumers say they’re willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service. 

In this post, we’re diving into the best use cases for an eCommerce chatbot, our favorite eCommerce chatbots of all time and strategies for a successful eCommerce CX automation strategy. 

What are the top use cases for eCommerce chatbots? 

eCommerce companies using chatbots for customer service can streamline the entire customer journey. Here are our favorite use cases: 

1. Immediate responses to common customer service FAQs

Customer service chatbots are one of the most common use cases for AI across industries, but they are especially prevalent in the eCommerce space:  From product care and return policies to warranty information and troubleshooting, eCommerce chatbots can provide immediate answers to common questions. This can save a person from scrolling through pages of an online knowledge base or reaching out on a channel that requires more heavy lifting. 

2. Personal shopping and product discovery

AI-powered chatbots can understand shopper preferences to curate highly personal product recommendations. Chatbots are also used frequently during the holiday shopping season, helping shoppers find the perfect gift for everyone on their list based on price range, interests and other attributes. 

3. Conversational commerce

eCommerce chatbots can provide a seamless add to cart and checkout experience, all within a natural conversational interface across live chat, Facebook and social media pages, messaging apps and SMS. 

4. Return prevention

It’s estimated that over 30% of all online purchases are returned. If a shopper is conducting behavior that indicates a return is likely, eCommerce chatbots can preemptively intervene to prevent a return from ever happening. For example, if a person has checked the size guide and added two of the same item in the cart in different sizes, a chatbot can intervene to help the person find the right size. This not only eliminates a customer from having to go through the hassle of returning an item, but also saves the retailer significant costs related to returns. 

5. Order management

Making small changes to an order or tracking the status of a delivery are mundane tasks that should not require a human agent. Not only is it costly to have humans perform these simple tasks, but often results in wait times and longer resolution times, and increased customer frustration. 


Discover the key questions to ask when scheduling a chatbot demo.


The 7 Best eCommerce Chatbot Solutions of All Time 

From upstarts to some of the most established brands,eCommerce companies have launched chatbots to alleviate friction at various parts of the customer experience. Here are our favorite eCommerce chatbots of all time. 

1. Hewlett-Packard

Why does Hewlett-Packard have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

The Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) leverages Netomi’s AI chatbots to eliminate a major pain point in the customer experience: running low on ink. Real-time signals from HP printers alert Netomi’s AI when a person is at risk of running dry and preemptively intervenes, sending a customer a personalized cart with compatible cartridges and providing a seamless reorder experience.  Previously, helping a customer find the right ink cartridge was one of the most costly and time consuming tickets for HP, taking on average, between 7-8 minutes. Leveraging chatbots, HP now does this proactively and instantly. 

2. Sephora

Why does Sephora have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

Well regarded for its innovation, Sephora is often recognized for new and innovative CX programs and was one of the first retailers to adopt AI-powered ecommerce chatbot solutions. One of the beauty company’s chatbots enabled customers to book a makeover with a Sephora Beauty Specialist, which had an 11% bump in conversions compared to other channels.  Another conversational AI experience from Sephora was Color Match, which allowed customers to find the best makeup shade for their skin tone and even recommend shades based on other objects like flowers or clothes. One of Sephora’s bots on kik had incredible engagement: an average 10 messages per user per day.   

3. Tommy Hilfiger

Why does Tommy Hilfiger have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

The TMY.GRL ecommerce chatbot, from the iconic Tommy Hilfger fashion house, was one of the first conversational AI experiences on Facebook Messenger. During New York Fashion Week, fans could instantly shop the same styles seen by models walking the runway, which used to not be available for weeks or months. The Messenger bot also provided a look at the behind the scenes at the fashion show getting shoppers up close and personal with models like Gigi Hadid. 

4. Harry Rosen

Why does Harry Rosen have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

Meet Haily, the innovative chatbot from Harry Rosen, a Canadian retail chain of 17 luxury men’s clothing stores. Haily scales the same high-touch, in-store experience that its customers love online. Haily helps shoppers find the status of their order, request and track returns, and track and redeem loyalty points. Haily is also a personal shopper, offering personalized product advice and answering questions related to fit, style or suitability. 

5. Zinus

Why does Zinus have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

Zinus, one of the fastest-growing mattress brands, introduced its chatbot Zuri to remove friction from the customer journey. Zuri provides instant support for the most common customer questions like: Where is my order? Can i modify my recent order? How do I apply for a warranty? Chats are seamlessly handed off to an agent within the same window if needed, providing an experience as satisfying as a Zinus mattress itself.  

6. ebay

Why does ebay have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

There are currently over 1.6 billion live listings on eBay, making it one of the biggest global marketplaces. You can literally find almost anything you’re searching for, but sometimes scrolling through pages of listings can seem daunting. That’s why eBay launched ShopBot. The virtual agent messenger bot helps shoppers find the best deals and products. Users text or snap pictures of items they are looking for (i.e. I want red Nike shoes) and the bot will ask questions to better understand what a person is looking for (sizing, budget, etc.)  in order to narrow down the options. 

7. Casper

Why does Casper have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

A few years ago, the mattress company launched a bot to engage with customers and keep them entertained when they couldn’t sleep. Named insomnobot3000, the bot is “extra chatty between 11 PM and 5 AM” and is a companion for night owls. According to Casper VP Lindsay Kaplan, “It’s kind of obsessed with pizza and is really on the fence about if it’s too late to eat or it should just wait to eat waffles in the morning.” While insomnobot3000 is not addressing a key part of the customer journey, it’s a creative example of an ecommerce chatbot. 

What are the pillars for a successful eCommerce CX automation strategy?

While there have been many successful eCommerce chatbots, some have failed to deliver. In order to implement a successful AI chatbot, eCommerce companies need to follow a few key strategies: 

  • Leverage Natural Language Understanding (NLU)
    NLU is a key component of any conversational AI. In the eCommerce context, it is used to allow customers to engage in natural and unnatural language. Chatbots that rely simply on keyword matching lead to frustrating user experiences as the bot gets confused easily. 
  • Identify common pain point
    The customer journey is filled with pain points that can be fixed withinwith in the customer journey (i.e. a person running out of ink) and repetitive tasks that can be easily automated. Start with a few key use cases and expand over time. 
  • Deploy deep reinforcement learning
    The accuracy of your chatbot on day 1, 30 and 60 should not be the same. The smartest chatbots learn and improve over time with every interaction. You’ll tweak the algorithms to ensure the bot is classifying a person’s intent correctly and also uncover new use case opportunities to automate. 
  • Give the chatbot an on-brand personality
    Keep the experience fun and engaging, but don’t clutter the interaction with unnecessary back-and-forth chatter. Get to the point quickly. Ask the necessary questions only. And keep everything on-brand. [Learn more about conversational UX design]. 
  • Launch on the channels where your customers are
    Chatbots don’t just have to live on live chat widgets on a website. Interact with your customers at scale on social media pages, messaging apps, SMS, voice platforms and even email. 

Leveraging a live chat software on a website and on social media helps eCommerce companies scale 1:1 interactions with customers, 24/7. Customers today expect effortless, convenient and highly personal shopping experiences and when they reach out for customer support, they demand instant resolutions. As the competition within the eCommerce industry continues to heat up, the companies that prioritize the customer experience will be the ones that drive sales and capture long-term customer loyalty. 

Learn more about the opportunities for eCommerce and retail chatbots with netomi’s chatbot platform.

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator today.

What’s The Difference Between Conversational Chatbot Solutions, Rules Based Chatbots, and Traditional AI?

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Apr 23, 2020

The History of Chatbots

As you may already know, chatbots are software that use natural language processing (NLP) to engage in conversations with users. But that doesn’t mean that all types of chatbots are created equal. Below, we are going to demystify three common terms for chatbot that you may be hearing across the industry: conversational chatbots, rules-based chatbots, and AI. 

You can include these bots in mobile applications, messaging apps, websites, email, and even voice platforms like Alexa. Online retailers are integrating their chatbots with Shopify to increase revenue. 

Along with countless benefits, many companies use chatbots for customer service as a way to provide immediate resolutions to common issues.

Conversational chatbot solutions and artificial intelligence have never been more popular than they are today. In fact, data from Google Trends shows that interest in chatbot solutions has increased ten-fold over the last 5 years.

Interest in chatbots over time, from January 1, 2004 through October 2020, according to Google Trends

During this explosion of interest, “chatbot” has evolved into an umbrella term that may inaccurately describe what a chatbot can and cannot do. Chatbots and conversational AI technology are often used interchangeably. In reality, the capabilities between chatbot technology and artificial intelligence are very different. We’ll explore more about what separates some chatbots from others below.

Chatbots vs. AI. What exactly is the difference?

It’s important to understand why modern artificial intelligence chatbots (also known as Conversational AI or AI agents) differ greatly from first-generation (rule-based) chatbots. The first chatbots adopted by companies were based on stringent rules and rigid decision trees that often led to frustrating user experiences. On the other hand, modern chatbots are more forgiving when it comes to following strict rules, enabling users to engage naturally in conversation.

More companies are looking to virtual assistants and conversational interfaces to provide anytime, anywhere customer support. So, it’s important to have a clear understanding of different technologies. That’s because the scope of a conversational agent initiative and the end-user experience is vastly different. Rules-based chatbots are limited to very basic scenarios. On the other hand, AI-powered virtual assistants are capable of engaging in natural language understanding, participating in 1:1 conversations due to machine learning, deep learning, and conversational experience.

Companies must ensure that they are adopting the right technology for their business and their customers. This is because the customer experience plays a critical role in consumer buying decisions and loyalty. Here is an example between modern conversational AI and basic bot technology:

If a person asks a question that a chatbot has not explicitly been trained to handle, it is easily confused. Conversational virtual assistants enable users to engage in natural, human-like conversation.

What Are Rules-Based Chatbots?

Rules-based chatbots can automate customer service in very specific scenarios. For example, looking up an order status or browsing through a product catalog. Basic chatbot technology moves the conversation forward via bot-prompted keywords or UX features like Facebook Messenger’s suggested responses. (As compared to typing in a question in free-form, using slang and engaging naturally in a conversation). 

Basic chatbot platforms have limited, if any, natural language processing. Typically, the bot will ask a user a question and display a few responses in which a person can select from or it will identify a specific keyword in a user’s question. Based on a person’s input, the conversation moves forward on a specific path. With pattern-based bots, what a user says must explicitly match with how a bot was pre-trained in order for it to understand and move the conversation forward.

In regards to this, variations of a question must be pre-trained for a chatbot to accurately understand what a person is trying to say. For instance, a virtual assistant is trained to understand “Where’s my order?” If a customer asks the same question slightly differently, “Is my package arriving today?”, the bot will not accurately understand the intent of the question is “order status.”

That is, unless it has been explicitly trained to do so within the labeling and learning provided in its training data.

Rules-Based Bots And The User Experience 

Chatbots lack semantics and advanced Natural Language Processing to understand the context of a message.

The user experience with rules-based bots is often alinear. If a person says something that is not preempted, a chatbot will get confused. The virtual assistant will most likely repeat the same question until it understands a response. For example, a chatbot designed to help people order a pizza will not know how to respond to a customer asking for nutritional facts as they are selecting toppings. 

How to Train Rules-Based Bots

Chatbot training is a manual process and requires programming every flow and utterance of a question. A human workforce also identifies and implements ongoing improvements. 

If you’re deploying a rules-based bot, make sure that you select a very specific use case. Fandango, for instance, has a bot that asks people for their zip code and pulls up movies playing locally. In another example, The Wall Street Journal lets users type in a stock symbol to get live stock quotes. These use cases are very specific and well defined and work well for bots. 

Be upfront with your customers on a chatbot’s capabilities. You’ll need to provide an alternative method of getting support for other matters (i.e. I’m the Order Tracking bot. To find your order, type in your confirmation number below. If you need something else, please call ….). 

Conversational Chatbots

Conversational chatbot solutions are AI-powered virtual agents that provide a more human-like experience. In opposition to rules-based chatbots, they are capable of:

  • carrying on a natural conversation
  • understanding the meanings of words
  • understanding misspellings
  • continuously improving over time

Because of these important differentiating features, conversational chatbots provide a greater user experience through the use of natural language processing and leverage semantics to understand the context of what a person is saying.


Discover the key questions to ask when scheduling a chatbot demo.


Conversational AI Examples

Here’s a quick example scenario of how conversational AI works: “I got the side table delivered yesterday but it looks like it might have been broken while in route. There’s a crack in the front. Can you help me? I would like my money back.”  An AI-powered virtual agent would be able to decipher that a person is looking to return an item and receive a refund.  An AI thinks like a human, not a robot, and is able to maintain a conversational flow.

AI-based chatbots that are conversational use machine learning technologies to understand, contextualize, and predict to accurately respond to user inputs. They enable companies to provide hyper-relevant personalized engagement, not generalized support. This can be done by training algorithms used in these chatbots with historical data from real user responses and can be optimized with ongoing user feedback (reinforcement learning). Like humans, AI virtual agents are able to decide the next best action based on a variety of things including contextual-factors, customer profiles, sentiment, or business policies. Furthermore, it can alter how it responds based on real-time sentiment analysis. For instance, an AI Agent treats a person who checks the status of their (on-time) flight differently based on how they react. A virtual agent would presume that a person who responds with “Oh no!!”  that they are likely to miss their flight. 

Two Different Types of Conversational Chatbots: Generative vs Retrieval

Continuing, there are two subclasses of learning-based chatbots: generative chatbots and retrieval chatbots. Generative chatbots can dynamically create responses in real-time, and retrieval chatbots select from a pool of responses based on the person’s message to the bot.

AI-based chatbots leverage semantics to understand the context of what a person is saying. Therefore, these bots can engage more naturally in conversation, and respond to more inputs without being explicitly trained on every single way a person might phrase their question, like the flight example above. Traditionally, these bots may not have been as accurate as pattern-based methods and used to take a long time to train. However, there are a few companies, like Netomi, that have built robust NLP engines that accurately understand user inputs up to 95% of the time, which means scaling and training are now exponentially easier and the end-user experience is much better than pattern-based bots.

Conversational chatbot solutions powered by AI also support multi-turn dialogue. This is the ability to switch between various user questions within a single conversation. This is what sets apart a human-like AI versus building chatbots. An AI-powered virtual agent responds without getting confused if a person pivots the conversation. For instance, a person can ask about the price of checking a bag in the midst of checking flight status. In conclusion, AI can also understand more short-form and slang than chatbots. 

How to Train Conversational Chatbot Solutions

AI training is a combination of supervised and unsupervised learning. AI can learn from historic data. With customer service, this includes customer support email, chat and messaging logs, to identify and group together similar questions and scenarios. Training is on auto-pilot. An AI learns how a situation has been handled and teaches itself to act in the same way. 

AI also uses deep reinforcement learning to improve over-time based on real-life interactions. AI-powered virtual agents are able to determine patterns based on how end users are responding in various circumstances. This is based on things like customer segmentation and contextual factors. For instance, if meal-delivery customers have issues with changing their subscription day, an AI would learn to proactively offer this information. 

The richness of the technology has Gartner predicting that by 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI1. The best AI chatbots tend to be the most self-sufficient when it comes to adapting. When you hear about terrible chatbot fails, those are likely stemming from less-sophisticated bots and/or an improper way to set them up – basically launching a bot without enough training.

Key Trends in Chatbot Technology 

There are a few emerging trends that are propelling the sharp rise in the adoption of conversational chatbots. Take a look at these key chatbot trends:

  • Personalization – personalization involves chatbots tailoring the interaction based on customer profile and behavior. For example, an AI bot could provide a hyper-relevant cross-sell recommendation by learning that a customer prefers certain brands or types of products. By incorporating customer experience personalization, chatbots respond on an individual level, providing more meaningful interactions.
  • Voice recognition – voice recognition enables faster, hands-free interactions for users, making AI bots even more convenient. Examples of voice recognition can be found in the array of personal assistants, including Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa. Companies, including WestJet, are also launching skills on voice platforms to provide yet even more choice with how customers receive support.
  • Machine learning operations (MLOps) MLOps is a strategy used to automate and operationalize machine learning workflows. This strategy plays a role in chatbots by improving the speed and ease with which bots can be trained and improved. With such automation, bots are ready for market faster and can be more frequent, and easily updated.
  • Memory and context – many brands store customer information in customer relationship management systems (CRMs). When integrated into chatbots, CRMs can provide valuable information that enables chatbots to continue previous conversations with customers or look up specific details about the user. While this is often limited to profile details for privacy, chatbot engineers are working on ways to make queries more secure to enable broader interactions.

Exploring a new CRM solution? Learn more about two of the industry leaders in our Intercom vs. Zendesk review.


What To Keep In Mind As The Differences Between Chatbots vs. Conversational Chatbots With AI

Conversational chatbot and AI adoption is skyrocketing. In fact, according to Accenture, 60% of surveyed executives plan to implement conversational bots for after-sales, customer service, and social media. Accenture isn’t the only organization projecting big movement within the chatbot space – just take a look at these very telling chatbot statistics. At first glance, chatbot technology and AI-powered conversational interfaces appear very similar. When you go below the surface, though, the technology could not be more different. The initial training, the ongoing improvement, and the end-customer experience are not even close to being in the same league. 

Interested in learning more about artificial intelligence and chatbot technology? We’d love to discuss how our powerful AI chatbot platform provides the frustration-free experience your customers expect. Don’t use a robotic, limited chatbot solution that plummets your CSAT. Let’s chat. 

References

Getting Started with Netomi on Zendesk

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Apr 6, 2020

Bringing AI and customer service into your workforce has never been easier, and implementing chatbots can help your business to save up to 30% on your customer service costs, according to Gartner.

With our out-of-the-box, Zendesk chatbot native integration, you can quickly launch a sophisticated and highly accurate chatbot that works alongside your human agents

When you choose to work with Netomi, you don’t have to worry about code and nothing changes for your customer service team. Based on the end user experience that you want to provide and the level of customization you want to have for each use case, you can choose between two options: 

  • AI premium service: This is our best-in-class solution that comes with a dedicated customer success team that provides white-glove support every step of the way. We’ll create a really engaging, natural chat experience. You will have complete customization on the conversational design and the ability to integrate with multiple back-end systems. 
  • Zendesk Knowledge Base service: A self-serve option that links to your knowledge base and will be up and running immediately. 

Whichever option you choose, launching Netomi’s AI on Zendesk chat is quick and simple.

Zendesk Chatbot: Netomi’s Premium Service   

When you select our conversational customization option, you’ll create a highly-tailored experience that is expertly designed for the chat interface. The below six steps are completed in as little as two weeks. 

Step 1: Gather historical data 

Historical data is the best place to start when you’re launching a new conversational AI experience for customer service. Pull historical customer service tickets from your Zendesk account. You’ll send an export to your dedicated Netomi customer success team for analysis. 

Step 2: Analyze data to identify use cases 

It’s critical that each ticket is managed properly. By leveraging historical tickets, you’re taking the guesswork out of which tickets to delegate to a chatbot tool, and which should be always routed to a human agent. 

High-risk, critical or rare issues should always be routed to a human agent. Inquiries that are highly-repeatable, pose low-to-medium business risk and require low-to-medium exception management are the ideal customer service tickets to automate

During our clustering process, we’ll identify the right use cases. Essentially, our algorithms will group together historical tickets that have the same intent, making it really easy to determine which use cases account for a high volume of tickets and uncover trends in how human agents have responded in the past. During this step, you’ll select the tickets you will delegate to your AI.

AI can work for almost any industry from eLearning to eCommerce. For instance, a subscription company will likely see that order modifications, skipping a delivery, or address updates, account for a lot of tickets and therefore would make great candidates for AI. Edge cases, such as specific questions regarding a recipe or preparation, would likely account for fewer tickets and therefore would yield a lower benefit when automated. 

This clustering process also helps jumpstart utterance training, giving your AI the ability to understand how people ask things in real-life, not simply the wording on your online wiki or FAQ page. This extensive utterance training helps your AI more accurately classify your customers intent from launch, ensuring a positive customer experience

Step 3: Conversational design 

Once the use cases that will be delegated to AI have been selected, the conversational design process begins where you bring your virtual agent to life. This consists of a few key things: 

  • Bot Personality: Within Netomi’s AI Studio, you’ll bring your bot to life through the tone of your bot responses, making sure it aligns with your brand.
  • Tailoring Use Case Journeys: Create and tailor your responses for each use case within AI Studio. Don’t forget to add emojis and other conversational U/X features like buttons, suggested responses and more. 
  • Conversational Elements: You will also create responses for conversational copy (greetings, common questions), create menus and bridges back to core functionality. 

Step 4: Connect your Netomi bot with your Zendesk Chat 

It’s really easy to integrate a bot with your Zendesk chat account. You’ll simply need to create a dedicated Netomi API client for your particular Zendesk subdomain which will have the ability to access Zendesk, just like any human agent would. 

To link Zendesk to a bot on AI studio, your dedicated customer success team at Netomi will create a simple social configuration on our end. 

Step 5: Connect to your knowledge base

Do you want your bot to provide recommended, relevant articles to use cases that you haven’t trained? You can integrate with your Zendesk help center by linking to your Zendesk knowledge base in AI Studio. This way, even if your AI isn’t providing a full resolution within the chat interface, it can offer the potential for customer self service and subsequently deflect tickets from other channels. 

Step 6: Launch, measure and optimize  

All that’s left now is to embed the Zendesk chat Web widget on your website and we’ll activate your bot. You’ll want to watch performance and review how the AI is interacting with your customers to identify opportunities to enhance the training, add additional use cases or adjust the conversational flow and responses. 

You should start seeing increases in customer satisfaction and agent productivity within days. Check for all the most critical customer service KPIs within the Netomi AI Studio. 

Zendesk Chatbot: Netomi’s Knowledge Base Service

Do you want to get up and running immediately? Our quick and easy Knowledge Base integration is for you. Just enter the URL of your knowledge base into AI Studio and you’re up and running. When your customers ask your bot a question, they will be sent relevant articles to supercharge self-service. 

Step 1: Train the AI by integrating with your knowledge base 

Are you looking to launch immediately and have a robust knowledge base on your website? You can train our AI by simply providing a link to your Knowledge Base. Our AI will immediately get to work analyzing your information so that it can serve up the most relevant ones when users ask a question.

Step 2: Create conversational and human handoff copy

Within Netomi’s AI Studio, you will have the ability to customize how your bot responds to  customers with greetings, hand-offs to human agents and other conversational elements.

Step 3: Launch 

Press “Go Live” and you’re all set!

Step 4: Measure  

See trending topics, customer engagement and other key customer service metrics within AI studio. 

It’s never been easier to launch a next-generation AI on Zendesk. Following these simple steps, you’ll get up and running quickly. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started

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