Virtual assistants & chatbots

Serving customers 24/7 without skyrocketing staff costs

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Today there are four different ways for humans to interacting with a computer:

  1. the traditional user interface (with screen, keyboard, mouse)
  2. the tablet and smartphone (with screen and touch)
  3. via voice (think Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant)
  4. via chat

The latter two are also called Conversational User Interfaces (CUI) because as a human being you are talking to a virtual assistant. It is predicted that voice and chat will become a lot more important than the first two interfaces in a few years.

So it's time to think about how these can make a difference for your customers in the future. The challenge is to train these virtual assistants. in other words: to be able to translate the knowledge that is present at your people / company into an artificial intelligence model.

There are many tools for this. The most important thing is that you have a lot of data that the machine can use to train itself. You can also supplement this with decision trees that actually simulate the way in which your people ask customers questions and advise.

Example 1:

A law firm can make a virtual assistant available through its website to speak to potential clients 24/7 and answer simple legal questions immediately with references to specific texts and advice. By means of question and answer, those customers can be filtered out who need your service and are also willing to pay for your expert lawyers. The bot can automatically connect these interesting customers with the lawyer, after which it can proceed to a paying advice.

This gives you a fairly automated way to an influx of leads and the really interesting customers come to you.

The doors of the office are open 24/7 and you save a lot of time (and money) on conversations that do not lead to business.

you avoid that your existing customers turn to competitors for simple advice. You keep your finger on the pulse with which issues your customers are struggling with and you can approach them personally if appropriate.

Without spending time and money, the customer can come to an idea of ​​whether steps need to be taken and what these could be.

Example 2:

You have an online webshop and noticed that many of your customers still call your customer service. They are construction workers who want to order something quickly from their car between two sites or want advice on the purchase of material. Today you have an army of employees who answer all of these phones personally. Within a few years, it will be possible to offer the same service 24/7 by telephone via virtual assistant. The advantage is that this assistant has the knowledge of all your current employees together.

In the overview above you will find a number of popular tools that allow you to build virtual assistant.

These tools range from simple point & click no-code solutions that allow you to create a chatbot in a few hours / days without any technical knowledge. To powerful platforms for developers.


Do you want to make a difference with digital, but you no longer see the forest through the trees? I'm happy to help!

Olivier van
Olivier Mangelschots

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