Gartner defines chatbots as “A domain-specific conversational interface that uses an app, messaging platform, social network or chat solution for its conversations.”
When we hear the word chatbot, we think of its use on a website to solve support-related issues. In some cases, you might also see them used to encourage purchases or book a demo.
However, only a few know that we can also use these conversational interfaces to streamline internal processes. That's basically what an enterprise chatbot does.
This article will discuss the basics of an enterprise chatbot, how it uses conversational AI, benefits, and use cases to help you understand how it really works.
What are Enterprise Chatbots?
An enterprise chatbot is an AI-powered, automated tool that operates 24/7 and can be accessed by employees via a messenger. Enterprise chatbots aim to eliminate inefficiency and streamline daily tasks inside any business while serving employees and customers.
Using automation capabilities allows employees to complete tasks on their own. It can reduce costs associated with human resources while increasing productivity across various departments and teams within an organization. They serve a larger audience and tend to be more complex than their consumer counterparts.
Multiple features set it apart from a standard chatbot, and some of them include:
- Intelligent handling of user requests: These chatbots can handle multiple requests simultaneously and resolve issues faster than normal chatbots. It's because the bot has been trained on the company's data—increasing the accuracy and timeliness of the output.
- Integrations with enterprise applications: They integrate seamlessly with third-party software that your business relies on. They can be used by any department, from customer service up through sales—enabling information flow, improving efficiency and quality of customer service.
- Ability to handle multiple use cases: Enterprises have varying needs at any given point. These chatbots can serve multiple needs, removing the need for multiple bots to address common internal and external issues.
- Multilingual chatbots: Chatbots allow you to converse with your customers in their preferred language. This feature is essential as enterprises tend to serve a global audience speaking multiple languages. It ensures that language doesn’t act as a barrier, no matter where they’re located.
- Continuous monitoring of user input: The bot continuously learns from past conversations and customer feedback to enhance customer experience. Moreover, it can be integrated with chatbot analytics tools to monitor the flows' efficacy and improve them with time.
- Seamless live agent handoff workflows: Enterprise chatbots can handle complicated cases, but sometimes people want a live agent. They can transfer the conversation—including history and other useful information—to a real agent when complex issues arise or if someone wants to talk with somebody human.
How does conversational AI work?
Conversational AI is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that uses machine learning to learn from data and perform tasks like predicting customer behavior or responding to questions.
It's important to note that this term does not refer exclusively to chatbots; in fact, there are many applications where conversational AI is being used, like virtual agents, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), etc.,
As chatbots for enterprise need to understand the complexities of their audience's problems, it makes use of technologies like:
- Natural language processing (NLP): NLP is a branch of computational linguistics that deals with the interactions between computers and humans. In NLP, computers are programmed to understand and generate human language. It's done using text or speech recognition allowing the bot to understand the context and intent of the query.
- Natural language understanding (NLU): NLU is a branch of AI that processes and interprets human language so that computers can understand it. This allows humans and computers to communicate using natural language instead of code.
- Response generation: Chatbots must be able to parse the user's input and extract the relevant information to generate responses. They do this using NLP and NLU, and the chatbot can then use them to develop an appropriate response.
Essentially, it facilitates the process of understanding, processing, and responding to human language accurately. It uses deep learning algorithms that classify intent and understand context. Moreover, the bot can use that data to improve the chatbot with time, which is why enterprise chatbots use such complex technology.
The main benefit of this approach is that it has a high response accuracy and scalability—both of which are a must-have in any enterprise as they deal with a large number of tickets from a sizable workforce.
Benefits of using enterprise chatbots
Increases organizational efficiency
You can use them to automate repetitive work tasks, provide up-to-date business information and data, and gather information through direct interaction with users.
Examples: for post-purchase support, answering questions about customer orders or company policies; for human resources (HR), such as responding to questions about vacation days or employee benefits; and for sales inquiries, such as helping customers find the right products.
Increase customer/employee engagement
Enterprise chatbots provide an interactive medium for companies to communicate with customers and employees. They tend to be more complex than consumer chatbots due to their multi-layered approach to solving problems for multiple parties.
According to the State of the Connected Customer Report, 83% of customers expect to engage with a brand immediately after landing on its website. This is where a chatbot can help fill this gap.
Reduce time to resolve support tickets
Chatbots for enterprises are incredibly useful for large companies with many customers, as it would be nearly impossible for the company to answer every question manually.
You can train the chatbot to answer the most common questions from customers, so when a customer submits a support ticket, the chatbot can respond immediately with an answer. It frees human employees to work on higher-priority issues and handle new requests.
Reduces associated operating costs
It’s estimated that conversational AI bots can reduce customer service costs by 30%—which is a huge margin for enterprises.
Even though chatbots are available 24x7, the operating costs are lower than human agents, and the time spent resolving these issues is equally low. Both these aspects make a significant difference to the budget planning process.
Moreover, as chatbots can handle these requests themselves, companies don’t need to hire as many additional customer service agents to handle requests during peak times.
Analyze customer insights in real-time
Enterprise chatbots work best when they are integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) tools. This integration enables them to collect valuable insights about customer behavior and preferences over time.
Based on these insights, the chatbot can suggest leads or provide the products the customer wants. They can achieve this by segmenting customer behavior data and providing insights on engaged users.
Launch a successful omnichannel strategy
Omnichannel experiences are known to increase customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value. Enterprises can achieve this by deploying chatbots across multiple platforms like social media channels, websites, etc. This approach helps them achieve two things: they can collect valuable data about customer needs and issues and be available to them 24x7.
Use cases for enterprise chatbots
Customers today expect to be able to access company information through different platforms, from email to social media and everything in between—including instant messaging. A recent CX report indicated that 60% of respondents consider speed to be a marker of a good customer experience.
Chatbots can be used for customer service applications because they can handle multiple requests and users and leverage the company’s internal customer data to respond quickly with accurate responses.
It can deliver better and more consistent customer service without increasing headcounts, lowering resolution rates or incurring additional labor costs.
Virtual agent applications use a combination of human agents and chatbots to answer customer inquiries, and the nature of their business depends on the speed with which they can respond.
They act as mini virtual assistants offering information on common topics like the weather, traffic, etc. On the other hand, they also help employees book appointments, travel and accommodation, or set up reminders for important tasks like subscription renewals, critical meetings, etc.
No employee wants to make a call to the IT department every single time an issue comes up. This is where enterprise chatbots help fill the gap.
Chatbots for enterprise IT support have been getting a lot of attention lately thanks to their ability to handle simple tasks like resetting passwords or providing information about IT services, as well as more complex requests like troubleshooting a buggy printer or internal comms issue.
The advantage is that if required, the issue can be escalated to a live human agent—making it an accessible option. Many internal company messaging apps like Slack have add-ons that can be leveraged by IT teams to support their organizations.
Enterprise chatbots are tools for implementing enterprise information archiving, retrieval, and governance. They facilitate ChatOps-driven approval processes without requiring approval apps to be developed or deployed.
For example, a change in a back-end record will trigger an event, which can cause a message to be delivered to an enterprise messaging or workflow environment. It can request an employee to respond to options like "approve," "deny," or "defer" in the app. You can configure the enterprise chatbot (e.g., a Slack bot) to receive these messages and determine if the change is approved or denied based on defined business rules.
In terms of warehouse management, enterprise bots can help automate everyday processes that require a lot of manual work, like tracking inventory levels and alerting workers when they are out of stock or when a shipment containing out-of-stock items has arrived at the loading dock.
This is especially useful for companies with huge inventories that have to keep track of thousands of line items and constantly monitor each item's availability to ensure that stores are not running out of stock.
Enterprise chatbots FAQs:
- How do enterprise chatbots work?
Enterprise chatbots are automated chatbots that help companies automate tasks, answer questions, and improve customer service. The way they work is simple: chatbots are programmed with the answers to the questions most frequently asked by customers or employees. The bot will then use those answers to respond to users who ask questions about their organization's products or services.
- What's the difference between a chatbot and an enterprise AI chatbot?
Companies mainly use enterprise chatbots to engage with customers, employees, and other stakeholders through various channels. These include text messages, mobile apps, and even email. They also have access to the company's data to learn and improve response flows constantly. Moreover, they can be integrated with existing tools like CRMs or HR software—creating an integrated workflow.
- What chatbot metrics should I track?
The chatbot metrics you should track will depend on the goals of your chatbot, such as engagement, conversion, and retention. Learn more about these chatbot metrics in our recent article: Chatbot Analytics: 13 Metrics That Every Business Should Track.
Future of enterprise chatbots
As the use of enterprise chatbots is on the rise, it will become more necessary for organizations to step up their game to remain competitive especially with the trend towards more location distributed teams.
They equip enterprises with a more sophisticated technology to interact with their employees internally and customers externally. It ultimately helps them facilitate faster, more efficient customer interactions while delivering the information they need. Plus, they can operate 24x7—enabling higher service satisfaction.
It's also important to note that enterprise chatbots are relatively new in the market, and companies continuously find creative ways to leverage them for higher profitability.