- On August 8, 2019
It’s no secret that AI is becoming heavily integrated into our daily lives. From your own personal voice assistant in your pocket to the inevitable future of self-driving cars, AI is going to be integrated into almost every aspect of our lives.
Have you opened your emails today? Scrolled through LinkedIn? Used Google, Spotify or Mobile Banking? If you’ve done any of the above, then you’ve used AI. The technology is everywhere – so how can it be used in the channel?
One technology being improved by AI is Chatbots (or “Virtual Assistants”, if you want to get fancy with it).
Chatbots have been used for years to provide better online customer service at much lower costs. The problem is that most people would much prefer interacting with a human, and the functionality of chatbots in the past has been sketchy at best. They were limited to dealing with very simple queries and generally did not understand unique problems – merely providing basic answers to basic questions.
When it comes to the Channel, vendor-partner communication is absolutely key. In many channels, communication is the sole cause of frustration and miscommunication, which is amplified towards further chaos when the vendor has multiple partners. This inevitably leads to lower sales and missed opportunities across the board.
The problem is that in these scenarios, channel managers are often busy and are unable to provide regular updates or answers to questions partners may have. This is where the bots come in…
Utilising AI in your Chatbots
By combining the traditional chatbot model with ever-learning AI, we have an always-on solution that can respond instantly. Consider adding answers for the following questions to your chatbot:
- How do we generate sales leads?
- What is the latest sales strategy?
- Who can quote customer pricing?
- How can I look up orders?
Sure, all these partner questions can be answered by a channel manager. But partners would likely have to wait days or even weeks for a reply – by then your question may be irrelevant, and opportunities have been missed.
Speed and availability are definitely the two main benefits of using chatbots. AI Chatbots, however, are capable of detecting keywords in partner questions and asking for the relevant information to best help the partner.
For example, if a partner is asking about specific orders, the chatbot can detect the word ‘order’ and ask the partner for an order number, query the system, and provide the partner with an instant progress update.