Chatbots and Interactive Text Response (ITR)—Made For Delivering Customer Self-Service

Many customers now prefer SMS or Twitter customer service over voice – with channels like Facebook Messenger and other over-the-top (OTT) messaging providers rising in popularity. Customer service chatbots translate the value propositions of the well-known IVR to the modern digital self-service channels that consumers love.

Using the digital self-service capabilities that are a part of Aspect's CX Automated Agent solution, customers can now change appointment times without requiring a call center agent – or pay bills instantly upon a text notification without resorting to tedious web portals that require passwords. The result is cost savings, increased revenue, and more satisfied, loyal consumers. A major win-win for you and your customers.



Conversational Inquiries and Natural Language Understanding

Older solutions such as traditional text banking had your customers remember cryptic commands such as “BAL” to retrieve account balance, or “LAST” to get the last 5 transactions.

Natural language understanding (NLU) lets you offer your customers a way to use “plain English” (and many other languages) when conversing with an automated assistant, dramatically lowering the hurdle to using these systems. Deploying NLU for your digital self-service results in less “Invalid command, please text HELP for help” and more customer satisfaction as well as cost savings through increased automation.

Aspect Proactive Mobile Diagram

Use Disposable Apps to Make Texting Secure and Media-Rich

After almost 10 years of mobile apps, people are experiencing “app fatigue.” They don’t want to download yet another app for a rare need, such as paying an insurance bill or reporting an electricity outage.

Disposable apps are “just-in-time” mobile web apps that do not need to be downloaded, work on any smartphone (iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry), and complement messaging interfaces with rich media capabilities. They also let customers enter data securely via HTTPS, which is especially important for collections or healthcare-related use cases that require PCI-DSS or HIPAA compliance.

Clear Business Benefits of Digital Self-Service

About 13% of the earth’s population uses Facebook Messenger every month. 60 billion messages daily on Messenger and WhatsApp, according to Facebook. It’s time for customer service solutions to go beyond single-purpose apps.

Benefits of embracing digital channels for customer self-service:

  • Cost savings through increased automation and self-service.
  • Increased revenues, e.g. by making bill pay more convenient to use.
  • CX improvements through 24/7/365 customer service on channels everyone loves.
  • Higher first contact resolution (FCR) rates and lower average handling times (AHT) in the contact center.
  • Fast answers to simple questions—in seconds instead of hours or days.


What is Digital Self-Service and How it is Used for Customer Service?

Digital self-service involves the use of a text-based communications channel—like SMS, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, or web chat—to provide customer service. It can and should integrate with the contact center to offer “human backup” where needed, but many customer inquiries can be resolved without human intervention.

Self-service Interactive Text Response (ITR) dialogues can be initiated by a customer inquiry, or by an outbound notification from a company. They may be simple and directed, or may involve the use of natural language understanding (NLU). NLU facilitates open-ended, more natural automated conversations. Some companies refer to their NLU-powered dialogues as “chatbots” that can help customers find information or even place orders.