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The Importance of NLP for Customer Support Using Chatbots

Expert.ai Team - 30 September 2016

What about the importante of NLP in the business field? Companies that want to improve customer experience and engagement in today’s ever connected world are increasingly relying on NLP technology. One of the most common applications of this technology is the chatbot. In this post, we look at the importance of NLP in meeting the expectations of today’s customers and fulfilling the enterprise need for business intelligence.

NLP – Natural Language Processing for customer service is a win for customers and companies

Communicating with customers today requires intuitive solutions that, from the customer’s perspective provides a positive and effective customer experience, ideally by reducing costs (from the company’s perspective). Artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies provide a way for systems to understand the customer in their own language and from any device.

As messaging platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp become more popular, companies are increasingly looking to similar approaches to communicate directly with customers. Chatbots are applications that interact with users, usually over text, via websites or integrated into other platforms to ensure that customers get answers to their questions or find what they’re looking for, in real time.  Chatbots provide a conversational experience between the customer and the company without all of the extra steps of actually ringing up the customer service department.

From the customer’s point of view, the importance of NLP for a chatbot application is in making the customer feel understood in real time. Much like a human assistant, a chatbot uses natural language processing to dialogue with customers: it can ask questions and understand answers, identifying all the relevant information in the conversation in order to automate and effectively empower the customer assistance process.

At the same time, we cannot underestimate the importance of NLP for business intelligence.

From the company’s point of view, NLP provides an understanding of what customers “say”, whether through dialogue with a chatbot, in posts on social media or in their comments about a product or service in forums, articles, blog posts, etc. This offers a great opportunity for capturing strategic information such as preferences, opinions, buying habits, as well as feelings or sentiment.

Applied for natural language processing, technologies like semantics or AI/cognitive computing ensure a complete comprehension of the meaning of words in the context in which they appear, considering also abbreviations, acronyms, slang, etc. Extracting this information from customer communications, but also documents, articles and all types of unstructured content allows the company to transform it into actionable intelligence, identifying trends, intercepting weak signals and even detecting operational risks.

Chatbot benefits

NLP powered chatbots offer great promise for customer savings, and even greater advantages when it comes to costs. Here is a snapshot of other benefits:

  • Immediate assistance: Chatbots never sleep and never put you on hold! They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for real time interaction.
  • More efficient service: Chatbots can find the precise answer customers need in any connected knowledge base.
  • Human-like engagement: Like a human assistant, the chatbot offers a personalized, one-to-one experience, in a conversational style..
  • Cost and time savings: Chatbots can handle many questions without human intervention, and allows operators to focus on more complex activities.