New Platform Boosts Intelligence in Bot Interactions

Jacada has released V. 10.0 of its Jacada Interact platform, which supports its new Autonomous Customer Experience Suite.

The CX Suite, which debuted last week, lets enterprises design and automate assisted-service or self-service business flows, and then use them in multiple channels to standardize and optimize customer service interactions.

The Autonomous CX Suite supports five Jacada solutions:

  • Agent Guidance — interactive and intuitive guidance so agents always know what, when, and how to respond to customer inquiries;
  • Desktop Automation — robotic process automation that can take cues from the agent, application event, or other business logic to automate tasks;
  • Customer Intelligent Assistant Bots — virtual customer assistants that answer customers’ questions and complete transactions;
  • Agent Intelligent Assistant Bots — customer service bots that provide guidance, answer questions, and automate processes so agents are free to focus on human interaction needs; and
  • Visual IVR — a visual customer assistant and digital support platform that guides inbound customer Web-based and phone requests into a menu-driven Web-based support experience.

The Autonomous CX Suite “appears very advanced and should find significant interest in organizations that need to interact directly with customers with shared work,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

“This is part of an overarching AI effort to automate as much as possible, and most of the initial focus is on customer interaction,” he told CRM Buyer, “which has been automated for years, but with tools that are often more annoying than helpful.”

The Utility of Reusability

“Customer service is the perfect place for reusable components, as they can be replicated across channels and for both agent-assisted service and self-service,” said Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus Research.

However, this approach is not problem-free. Back in the 1990s, when business executives were allowed to create applications, chaos resulted because they didn’t have a proper development methodology — including iterative testing and quality control — and had not documented the process of creation.

That made it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain and upgrade those applications when those executives left the company.

“I’d want to know what kind of low-code environment is supported, or how much skill is needed to modify and reuse processes,” Wettemann told CRM Buyer.

“In a customer service environment, where a new event or issue can require rapid response for a lot of customers, the ability to spin up or modify an agent or customer service workflow is really important,” she emphasized.

Weighing Pros and Cons

“The process appears relatively easy and intuitive,” Enderle noted.

On the other hand, “to use it properly, employees will both need to be trained and have strong empathetic skills, or they will likely damage customer satisfaction scores over time,” he cautioned.

“If there are no bugs and there is true machine learning behind the bot experience that can build upon every customer interaction, “I’d give this a 7 on a scale of 1-10,” said Fernando Ramos, director of strategic accounts at Nucleus Research.

Jacada’s approach could mean faster service for the consumer and time savings for the business, he told CRM Buyer.

However, the loss of human interaction resulting from the use of automated scripted responses would affect the customer experience.

That likelihood is borne out by a recent survey of 3,000 U.S. and UK consumers who had used a chatbot for customer service. Among its findings:

  • 59 percent did not like having to repeat information and context to a human agent if the chatbots escalated the issue;
  • 53 percent found chatbots to be not effective or only somewhat effective; and
  • 32 percent were annoyed because chatbots got stuck and didn’t now what to do next.

In addition to programming rules and policies for scripts and processes, businesses must “incorporate true machine learning to personalize, problem solve, and prescribe future solutions to foreseeable problem areas with the user,” Nucleus’ Ramos said. “The bottom line is truly enhancing the UX and building customer loyalty, and enhancing the brand behind the bot.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.

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