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Training Chatbots to Improve Customer Experience

Published on
July 26, 2022

Chatbots are now the first line of defense in answering customer questions

When it comes to taking care of your customers, one of the most important things is showing them respect as people and respect for their time. That means being prompt and helpful during your interactions—especially if you want them to come back. Society has set the expectation that a customer can ask a question any time, 24/7, and get a near-immediate response. With expectations like these, companies are looking to AI to aide in responding to customer questions in real time. This is particularly attractive as it can be costly to staff a call center 24/7. To lower costs while maintaining the customer experience, many companies are investing in AI technology and algorithms that can immediately answer and respond to customer questions and requests. AI powered chatbots can be a powerful tool if done right. To ensure your chatbot can deliver excellent customer service, you’ll need to use high quality training data so the chatbot will be able to answer any question that’s asked. A successful AI algorithm will contain data enabling the chatbots to provide immediate, highly detailed answers with a human touch.

Humanizing Chatbots to Improve Customer Experience

The notion that machines are taking away jobs from humans, isn’t applicable when it comes to chatbots. Chatbots are more the first line of defense in answering basic questions, freeing up time for human support on more complex scenarios. Where these chatbots really shine is repetitive basic questions. Questions are usually ones that are commonly asked by most customers and have the same answer. An example would be, “is breakfast included with a hotel room reservation?” They also provide ‘round-the-clock support, providing 24/7 responses to customer queries in a cost-effective way. As chatbots become more and more prevalent and take on more customer interactions, the goal is to make these chatbots as human-like as possible. To do that, chatbots must be trained on a high-quality dataset that consists of a diversity of customer personas and scenarios. The better the training data, the better the customer interactions and outcomes. Diverse quality data enables chatbots to communicate in the customers preferred language, which isn’t always possible when calling a business.

How Training Chatbots Improves Customer Experience

Bringing an AI-powered chatbot on board at your company can have several benefits for your customers as well as your company. Using a well-trained chatbot, can benefit your company by:

  • Relieving call center agents of answering repetitive, entry-level questions and problems.
  • Providing a consistent customer experience.
  • Lowering average ticket response time with automated responses.
  • Reducing wait time or “on hold” time for customers with basic questions.
  • Offering 24/7 availability, providing customers in all time zones with prompt service.
  • Reducing the cost of customer service with more efficient and cost-effective operations
  • Collecting data that can be used to better understand customers, pain points, and brand experience.
  • Communicating in multiple languages, to ensure proper relaying of information

Chatbots are slowly becoming commonplace on websites due to these benefits, and many customers now seek them out as their first point-of-contact for inquiries. Investing in a chatbot, will save a company money in the long term, and that money can go towards offering new products or services.

open laptop with images of a chat with a chatbot providing customer support

How to Train Chatbots to Improve Customer Experience

When you use the right data to train your AI-powered chatbots, you get a product that provides generous benefits to your company. If the wrong information is relayed to potential customers, you could lose that business forever. While high-quality training data has a high upfront cost, it will ensure that you have a well-trained, highly useful chatbot that provides numerous benefits and cost savings to your company.

More Quality Training Data

One of the most important things you can do for an AI-powered chatbot is to provide it with high-quality training data. To be high quality, your data should be well labeled and include a variety of data points. The best training data goes through a quality assurance process to check that each data point is properly labeled and annotated. Using high quality training data guarantees that your chatbot will provide a better customer experience.

Data for every scenario

It’s important to train your AI-powered chatbot on a dataset with a variety of viewpoints and plenty of diversity. The more problems and customer personalities you put in your training dataset, the better your chatbot will be able to function. This is needed to train the model to handle a wide variety of scenarios, both common and less frequent occasions. The more data you provide the better equipped the chatbot is to address a client’s needs.

Allow Your Chatbot to Learn

When training the initial AI model, make sure that it’s set up to continually learn from each customer interaction. When you train the initial model, it learns how to respond and what to look for in the question to provide the appropriate response. However, life changes, there are new problems and challenges customers face now that they did not before, and they use different words to obtain info. An adaptive chatbot will learn from these changes so it can keep providing high-quality customer service. One way to ensure high quality customer-chatbot interactions is to create an algorithm that’s able to learn from subsequent interactions. Each time your chatbot interacts with customers, it’s learning from the experience. This means that the chatbot is adapting over time to new customer problems and gets smarter and smarter. While a chatbot that can learn is a handy way for your chatbot to adapt and improve over time, it’s not foolproof. It’s critical that you also have a regular quality assurance check to make sure that your chatbots learning and adaptations are fit to your brand and providing your customers with the right customer experience.

Access to Stored Customer Data

Another way you can give your customers the best experience when using an AI-powered chatbot is to give the AI access to a database of customer data. Each of your customers is unique, with diverse perspectives and preferences. If you have a database of customer information, giving AI access to that data can allow the algorithm to provide customers with a better experience.

What Appen Can Do to Improve Your Training Data

Training a chatbot can seem like an impossible task, especially when you consider conversational nuance and local dialects. If you’re looking for high quality training data to build an AI-powered chatbot, Appen has what you need. At Appen, we specialize in sourcing, and annotating quality training data for chatbots and evaluating and testing those models that make them function. We offer pre-labelled datasets, source new proprietary data, or use data you provide in both audio and written formats for every type of chatbot in existence. We offer several services for chatbot training which include, text annotation which cover common typos, and regional expressions. Utterance collecting for removing unintelligible words from conversations both audio and audio to text, reducing dataset errors by 35%. Audio annotation, which when combined with audio timestamping results in a two-times faster annotation process. Last is audio transcription which we leverage Natural Language Processing (NLP). Through Pre-Labeling, Speed Labeling, and Smart Validators, we create some of the highest quality datasets on the market. With annotators able to work in hundreds of different languages, we can help your team to get the right data, quickly. Learn more about chatbots in our webinar, Dream Vacations Made Easier: How Airbnb Delivers on Hospitality with World-Class AI where our CTO, Wilson Pang, is joined by guest Airbnb to discuss the use of chatbots to optimize their user experience.

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