Business Development Manager at Korah Ltd
CTO of Korah Ltd
Chatbots free up resources for companies, but is that enough to enable business resilience and achieve objectives? First and second-generation technology is rigid and limited. Here’s how Korah Ltd.’s ccRobot uses machine learning to streamline customer support, integrate business processes, and generate real value.
In the digital world, customers increasingly expect round-the-clock, real-time support from the companies they interact with. Chatbots have been an integral part of that picture in their five years or so on the market, providing prompt responses to customer questions while freeing up customer support resources. However, first and second-generation chatbots suffer from important shortcomings that have led some firms to disable them altogether.
First and second-gen chatbots lack the sophistication needed to generate value
“Originally, chatbots were meant to reduce the volume of call interactions for customer care, but this didn’t generate good user experience,” says Ricardo Atlaco, Business Development Manager at Korah Ltd., a Markham-based IT solutions provider that works with the largest telecommunication company in Canada and different government agencies.
Keyword and rule-based first-generation chatbot typically simulated basic inquiries to a call center. They were capable of answering queries like: “What are your business hours?” or “What is your store’s address?” But their lack of sophistication and flexibility to answer more complicated queries, or to personalize the experience, sometimes did more harm than good for customer experience.
“Companies moved to solve this by adding personalization with second-generation bots,” says Atlaco. Real-time insights, context-sensitivity, and product recommendations entered the picture. These bots could interact with information in a customer profile (CRM) and make predictions, like recommending a type of wine they’re likely to buy based on past purchases. Here, the business case was to generate revenue and reduce churn.
Unleashing workforce productivity with Robotic Process Automation
“Companies need to understand that the circle won’t be complete until they move towards third-generation bots, which not only streamline customer support and enable front end engagement but integrate the company’s business processes to generate real value,” says Atlaco. By moving towards third-generation chatbots, companies can maintain active engagement with customers without increasing their budgets. This will be key for companies of all sizes to survive and thrive through digital transformation.
The key is robotic process automation (RPA), a sophisticated software robot that emulates human actions in a given system. ccRobot, an innovative chatbot from Korah Ltd., uses RPA to surpass many of the hurdles faced by first and second-gen chatbots.
Now, the chatbot can not only draw on the customer profile to predict their next purchase, but complete the fulfillment process by connecting ERP-CRM and the supply chain with the front-end. If a customer asks the system for red wine from Argentina, it can respond: “We don’t have red wine from Argentina, but we do have red wine from Italy that could be delivered today.” The system can also provide delivery alternatives and offer upgrades for buying two cases instead of one.
In other industries, healthcare providers can use ccRobot to gather detailed information and facilitate diagnosis, governments can use it to streamline support for citizens, etc.
Agility and flexibility are the pillars of next-generation chatbots
Another key feature of ccRobot is its agility—built on powerful machine learning technology, the chatbot learns from its interactions with clients and provides valuable business insights for the service provider. “Enhancing the ability for a company to learn and react quickly is a very important feature of the next generation of chatbots, as the pandemic has demonstrated,” says Stephen Poon, CTO of Korah Ltd. “Many companies face rapid changes on a daily basis. A system that can help you automate conversations while adapting to the problems your customer wants to solve is crucial for business resilience.”
“Let’s say the system has been trained to answer 100 questions. But over the course of a month or two, depending on the number of interactions, the system learns that 110 topics need to be addressed. That could be anything from new regulations to questions about a competitor,” says Poon. In the case of the pandemic, COVID-19 related queries would be an obvious example. “The company can react to that information quickly since the system will flag that there are new problems that require new solutions. An administrator can then easily assign the proper answers to the new topics.”
“Agility isn’t just a feature of the product. It’s in the DNA of the service we provide,” says Ricardo Atlaco, Business Development Manager at Korah Ltd. “We know that time is money for companies, so we pride ourselves on quick implementation and excellent service.”