Chat and messaging are ubiquitous, mobile-first is a given, and AI is improving all the time. Chatbots are uniquely placed to make the most of these three factors, and deliver helpful, engaging customer experiences.
We’re excited about chatbots, and wanted to make it easier for our customers to realise their benefits and experiment with the technology. We found that many were interested in exploring chatbots, but couldn’t get the business case over the line – it was too expensive to build a custom bot, no one knew how to design the conversation, or they weren’t sure how bots would fit with other digital channels.
A “bot as a service” to support customer service
We created FAQ Bot – a “bot as a service” – to solve a common problem. It answers the questions that are asked most often, and can be simply and easily resolved, but place a load on customer service staff. The chatbot is designed to take that FAQ load, leaving valuable people to work on the more complex problems customers face.
Easing the path to chatbot adoption with FAQ Bot
Conversation flows for the FAQ scenario are pre-designed, drawing on our experience as bot builders, so our customers get added value from the get-go.
Most organisations have an existing customer service knowledge base – eg website FAQs, call centre scripts – that can be easily adapted to the FAQ format using our FAQ Bot knowledge base manager.
And FAQ Bot already has plenty of built-in answers for common greetings, so a knowledge base can focus on the specific area of expertise. All of which helps our customers get up and running, fast.
All organisations are in the business of customer service in some way. Optimising that – by delivering a better customer experience, faster, and making savings by reducing call volumes – is something everyone is interested in.
Answering questions, instantly
FAQ Bot also provides a great service for its users, the people who have questions. Instead of finding the number to call, waiting on hold, writing an email or navigating their way around your website, they can just ask a question and get it answered (and it supports multiple languages, 24x7). No intermediaries, no downloads, no faff. Says Intercity Group’s Daniel Rode, who has implemented FAQ Bot on the Explorer Bus website:
"We have been very pleased with how FAQ Bot is working so far and the feedback from our customers has been very positive. Our goal was to provide effective 24/7 support to an international audience and FAQ Bot is proving to be an excellent solution.”
FAQ Bot provides direct user insights
For the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB), their FAQ Bot “James” is providing “multifaceted benefits” in addition to the most tangible benefit, efficient customer service. Chief Executive Martin Sawyers reports:
“James is a good bridge to a more in-depth understanding of practitioner and consumer information sharing requirements. He has identified the need … to rethink the way the website is structured and how our information is presented to you – and that is exactly what we will be doing over the next few months. Expect a more user-friendly and very different website experience.”
As PGDB discovered, analysis of chat data - direct feedback from customers, in their own words - can reveal user patterns and preferences, and help you spot opportunities to do things differently. The chat analytics and user-friendly dashboards built into FAQ Bot make this easy – no sifting through raw logs to spot patterns, the data is there, clearly presented and ready to analyse.
The more you chat, the more it knows
FAQ Bot has learning built in. If it can't figure out the right answer to a question, it presents a few possible questions back. The selection is then used as feedback to train the bot, so future users get the best answer.
After every question you can also provide like/dislike feedback. This data is stored and can be analysed to improve the questions.
Says Counties Power Chief Executive Judy Nicholl:
“The beauty of chatbots is that they learn and evolve over time and become increasingly useful as the public ask them more questions.”
Phil Goldie, Partner Director Microsoft New Zealand, adds:
“Bots are great practical examples of artificial intelligence at work, they are a first exciting step in the AI journey that any Kiwi business can take today.”
Make it yours
FAQ Bot is fully customisable. Our customers’ FAQ Bots have names (often with a story behind them) their own look and feel, a tone of voice or personality, and a choice of common greetings to suit their brand. PGDB’s chatbot James is named after the very first tradesman to register with the PGDB, over a century ago - but of course he has some very 2018 capabilities.
Powered by Azure
Because FAQ Bots are hosted on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, they come with speed, security, scalability and cost-effective hosting built in. Microsoft New Zealand’s Phil Goldie believes the bot future is bright:
“To see so many innovative New Zealand businesses, big and small, embracing bot technology is incredibly encouraging. On the Azure platform bots are now a reality for so many companies, building in weeks what once took months. Theta’s work on our own partner bot, PAT, is a clear example of the flexibility of the bot in modern business, enabling organisations to better search and share data every day.”
Chat to an FAQ Bot
The following sites are home to FAQ Bots – get chatting!