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Customers should own their experience. Not Companies!

Human beings are inherently attuned to the idea of freedom. Freedom to interact, freedom to explore, and freedom to choose. But what about the freedom to own customer experience? Customers are but humans, right? Chatbots offer customers the freedom to interact, inquire, and explore as and when it is required by the customer. This evolution of customer journey without boundaries enables customers to own their experience.

 “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” – Steve Jobs

Let’s take a hint from Steve Jobs and talk about customer experience a little bit more before we discuss the technology part. According to a recent report by Gartner, “By 2023, organizations at advanced stages of digital transformation will find that poor customer experience is their biggest barrier to further success.”

Not understanding the point-of-view of the customer, unable to effectively handling complaints, and having no recollection of a customer’s preferences, all account for a poor experience as an outcome. There is a need to bridge the gap between freedom and outcomes and technology acts as that bridge.

SAP’s intelligent technologies like SAP Conversational AI and Qualtrics use the experience data (XData) along with the customer, employee, product, or operational data (OData) to understand, engage and deliver an overall winning customer experience.

xdata-odata-sap

Chatbots built with the SAP Conversational AI platform offer seamless connection through the consumption of APIs for solutions like SAP S/4HANA, SAP Customer Experience or Qualtrics, SAP’s experience management solution. Qualtrics offers possibilities to better understand customer needs and preferences, improve customer interactions, and well analyze experience gaps thereby supporting the ‘Experience Economy’ era.

I know, you might be wondering, ‘But how?’. Let’s look at a simple use-case.

A Customer’s Journey: Chatbot-Customer Interaction

The scenario unfolds where a customer is browsing for some power tools. She notices the ‘chat icon’ and suddenly recalls not having received her order from almost a month ago. She wonders if the chatbot is going to help her find out the status of her order instead of her having to call the support line.

Customer Persona

Let’s start with the end-user/customer persona.

‘Ann’ works at a garage and happens to frequently shop for tools at the ‘ABC Automotive Site’. She is easily impressed with good customer service and prompt help; however, a late order delivery is one of her pet peeves. Usually, she has to call the customer service and has to wait for a support representative to address her concerns or answer any questions she might be having. She happens to shop specific brands and is on a frequent lookout for coupons and seasonal promotions.

Ann

Automotive Store Profile

The ‘ABC’ automotive store is an SAP Commerce Cloud store built using the B2B accelerator (template). The store offers automotive parts as well as related electronics. Recently, the store announced to its customers the possibility of chatting on the site with a virtual assistant/chatbot. The chatbot can pull details on customer orders, suggest products, track order statuses as well as record survey responses. The introduction of a chatbot is going to immensely help customers like ‘Ann’ who are desperately waiting for a support representative in a phone call. The chatbot does offer a fallback where it connects to a real person in case there is a need.

ABC-automotive-store

ABC Automotive Store

Welcome to ‘Hero’, the chatbot built with SAP Conversational AI

Hero is our nifty chatbot, trained to handle greetings of different types, survey question webhooks, creation of a service ticket, and so on. We will cover how to build this chatbot step-by-step in our next blog.

hero-chatbot-sap-conversational-ai

Customer Interaction Flow

Upon opening the chatbot window, ‘Ann’ is greeted by ‘Hero’ and the interaction flow unfolds.

hero-store

The chatbot asks for Ann’s email id and presents a list of recent orders to choose from. Once she selects the correct order number, she is presented with some order details like product information as well as order date and current processing status. Upon finding the status of the order to be still in processing, the chatbot suggests that a ticket should be created, in order for a service agent to investigate where the holdup is. Ann would agree to this. The chatbot presents Ann with a ticket number for her reference.

conversation-chatbot

At this point, the customer inquiry is handled and there is a good opportunity for the chatbot to present a short survey. Upon getting Ann’s consent, the survey from Qualtrics is presented in the chat window, one question at a time. The survey responses are recorded, and the chat concludes.

chatbot

Refreshing the survey data on the Qualtrics side, we can see the recorded responses. Some OData (promotion for example) is received from SAP Commerce Cloud site as embedded data. This data is invaluable as it can provide insights into the popular products and brands, and for example, evaluating how promotions actually help drive sales. The ease-of-use question (Q1 in the survey) and customer’s comments, could be used to evaluate the collective customer experience as well as trigger ‘actions’, if necessary.

Last but not the least, a service ticket is created in the SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C), SAP’s cloud-based CRM, and an SAP CX solution. The service ticket could be referenced using the number provided by the chatbot.

You can watch a video recording of the complete scenario here:

‘Ann’ is impressed with how quickly she was able to get the status of her order as well as getting a ticket created. She was happy to give feedback on her experience with the chatbot. ‘Ann’ could experience the freedom to interact and engage with the chatbot. The outcome of this engagement was not only a positive experience for ‘Ann’ for this occurrence but a winning customer experience for all customers in subsequent interactions with the chatbot.

Conclusion

Through this blog, we show how SAP Conversational AI can provide outstanding customer experience through its easy integration with Qualtrics and SAP Customer Experience, including SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Cloud for Customer.
Chatbots have the potential to become the main conversation channel for customers, who would have the freedom to use the chatbots to get information from SAP Customer Experience and share feedback sent directly to Qualtrics.
To thrive in an era of ‘Experience Economy’, ‘Intelligent Enterprises’ must focus on customer freedom and the use of intelligent technologies to transform poor experience and yield winning outcomes.

What’s Next: In the next blog, a follow-along tutorial in a ‘zero-to-hero’ approach would be presented with the complete architectural discussion as well as the development details. Stay tuned! 

For more information about SAP Conversational AI:

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