Meet Your Chatbot Maker: Interview with Aldo van Weezel from Easybots
In customer service, we’re all searching for speed, efficiency, and friendliness. Thanks to global digitalization, gone are the days of listening to loops of scratchy classical music on the phone or waiting days for an email response — chatbots are here to help 24/7– and chatbot makers create them for us.
Chile- based virtual assistant and software company easybots successfully uses chatbots to communicate with customers. Their chatbots work in cooperation with human agents through live chat — more specifically: with Userlike.
I spoke with easybots co-founder and CEO, Aldo van Weezel , about how they integrate chatbots into their live chat service to better assist customers.
Could you tell me a little about your chatbot?
Our chatbot is called Maria José, which is the name of my daughter. The bot has a funny and friendly personality. She’s trained to answer questions about easybots, but also to capture leads.
Maria José will ask different questions, like the customer’s name, email address, and company name, so human agents can get back to the customer if the bot is unable to help.
Why did you decide to become a chatbot maker and deploy your bots in live chat support?
In 2016, artificial intelligence became very popular and Facebook opened a messenger platform for bots. There were a lot of things happening around these topics and we wanted to be part of that.
Chatbots are the more visible part of artificial intelligence and I chose chat support because the old ways of providing support are not enough in today’s online world. People don’t want to talk to an agent over the phone anymore. They want to chat online like they do with their friends and I think that the future of customer service is in chat.
How do chatbots work with our live chat software?
We build chatbots to answer customers’ questions, but sometimes the chatbot doesn’t have the answer because the question is too complicated or it’s out of its scope of knowledge. The conversation is then routed to an agent and that’s where Userlike comes in. The chat platform bridges the connection between the agent and the customer.
Why did you decide to connect chatbots with Userlike?
Human support agents need a good interface to interact with the customers and I think that Userlike provides a very complete solution for that. For agents, it’s simple in the way they receive and answer questions.
When a customer is transferred from the bot to the human support agent, the context of the whole conversation with the chatbot is available to the agent so that she or he can seamlessly continue the conversation. Also, Userlike is always improving and has excellent customer service. I’d definitely recommend it as a customer communication platform to embed your chatbot in.
Generally, how do you think chatbots are helpful in providing online support?
I think that chatbots are helpful because if they are built with a good chunk of knowledge, they can answer a lot of things and can give you an answer right away. They’re great for providing support outside of normal support hours, so that anyone at any time and any time zone can get their questions answered.
Also, because the bot is able to handle simple, repetitive questions, this allows our service agents to work with more unique, interesting support questions. A bot is also much more capable in multitasking than a human service agent, so if support receives multiple inquiries at once, the bot can assist them all immediately and forward those who need more thorough help to the human agents.
How have people responded to chatting with a chatbot?
The customers are happy getting an answer quickly, anytime they want since the chatbot is always available. Customers also appreciate that the bot lets the customer know that they will be transferred to a service agent if the bot doesn’t understand the customer’s question or it becomes too complicated.
It’s a simple and quick process to transfer the customer over live chat, making it easy for the customers to get the fast responses they need without having to wait in line. They’re satisfied with that kind of service.
Why do you think people prefer customer service online rather than having to call or email someone?
When you call, you never know when you’ll get an answer — sometimes right away, sometimes hours later, or simply never at all. For example, when all service agents are unavailable which tends to happen because companies try to limit the number of agents answering the phone.
With both phone and email, too often, customers have to wait – sometimes an unbelievably long time. If you have a chatbot, it can answer immediately and it can do so for an infinite number of customers at the same time, all day long.
Where do you see the future of chatbots?
I think it’s a very young area that will continue to grow in complexity. As the bots become more advanced, they will be there to help us everywhere in support. Bots can be programmed with natural language processing, meaning that they can learn to respond better, to more complex questions, and with a less robotic tone.
Since the bots will be better able to understand what people mean and how they need help, they’ll be able to handle a larger part of support interactions, which in turn will make companies even better at providing customers with fast and efficient support.
All companies have a website and I think that all companies will have a chatbot to serve their customers.
How do you see the future of live chat?
I think it will be a positive, growing future. We are already seeing more and more chat windows on websites and I think that’s a sign that it’s easier to communicate that way. Businesses want to be able to personably communicate with their customers and help them as efficiently as possible, and live chat makes it possible for them to do so.