5 Ways to Automate Your Virtual Chat Deployments

5 min read Michael Carroll on Jun 14, 2023
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There's always someone shouting into the void that face-to-face contact is the only valid real world interaction humans can have. Despite this, one thing remains clear: Most of us prefer and even expect virtual experiences with companies. 

Even before the pandemic, the digital world was an attractive differentiator for businesses looking to improve customer experiences. After the pandemic? It's weird for a brand to have no digital footprint, and virtual experiences are now the starting point for crafting long-term customer engagement strategies.

And when it comes to the continued growth of virtual environments, the statistics don't lie:

  • According to this market study from Grand View Research, we can expect the global virtual events market size to grow at a rate of 21.4% from 2022 to 2030.

  • McKinsey noted a significant jump in consumers adopting telehealth, from 11% in 2019 to 46% in 2020. Although remote healthcare initiatives has stabilized at around 13-17%, the metrics reflect a larger number than initially anticipated for post-pandemic operations.

  • According to a Salesforce report, 69% of consumers are open to having artificial intelligence (AI) improve their immersive experiences.

  • In a recent survey, Zendesk found that 67% of respondents preferred self-service to speaking with a company representative when troubleshooting or finding answers to questions.

New technologies like virtual chat systems are helping companies build better experiences, whether in digital health, live events, IoT, eCommerce, blockchain, or a host of other use cases. As companies adapt operations to the virtual stage, virtual chat automation will revolutionize what's possible. Let's take a peek behind the curtain.

Why automate virtual chat deployments

Human labor is expensive, error-prone...and absolutely vital to company strategy. Humans create, iterate, problem-solve, and demonstrate decision-making like no machine can, but companies must prioritize where and when to deploy those skills. Automation allows machines to do some heavy lifting when it comes to everyday requests and straightforward queries. This blend of machine and real life human strengths has three benefits in particular: 

  • Efficiency and scalability: Automating virtual chat deployments offers numerous benefits, including enhanced efficiency and scalability. By utilizing automated systems, businesses can handle multiple conversations simultaneously, reducing response times and ensuring consistent support across a large user base.

  • Improved user experience: Automated virtual chat systems simulate human-like conversations and provide real-time, accurate responses to user queries. This personalized approach enhances the user experience and fosters a sense of engagement, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Cost savings and resource optimization: Automating virtual chat deployments using a provider can lead to significant cost savings by reducing the need for human operators to handle data collection and routine interactions. It allows businesses to optimize resources, reallocating human talent to more complex and specialized tasks, thereby maximizing productivity and efficiency.

How to automate virtual chat deployments

So how do you get from point A ("We want to automate our virtual chat deployments") to point Z ("We have a model that demonstrably improves customer experience") most effectively? Consider these.

Don't reinvent the wheel: Chatbot technology

Instead of wasting time building your own language model, leverage what immersive technology is already on the market. 

Chatbot technology is a popular approach to automating virtual chat deployments. These intelligent systems use natural language processing and AI machine learning algorithms to understand and respond to user queries the way a human would. And existing chat bot models are already trained to handle a wide range of interactions, from providing customer support to facilitating transactions.

Make integrations easier: API-driven automation

Leveraging application programming interfaces (APIs) enables businesses to automate virtual chat deployments by integrating chat systems with existing platforms and tools. 

APIs facilitate the exchange of data between virtual chat systems and external systems, such as customer databases, product catalogs, or customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Thanks to this data exchange, virtual chat systems can access relevant information in real time, which allows chatbots to provide accurate and up-to-date responses to user queries. 

These technological advances also allow businesses to extend the end-to-end functionality of virtual chat systems by integrating additional services or features. For example, by integrating a language translation API, a virtual chat system can support multilingual conversations, enhancing its capabilities and user reach.

Create a universal view: Deployment orchestration tools

You can't monitor what you can't see, so removing silos from virtual deployments makes scaling easier. 

Deployment orchestration tools simplify the process of managing and automating virtual chat deployments. These tools provide a centralized platform for managing chat system configurations, updates, and deployments. They enable businesses to efficiently scale their virtual chat capabilities and ensure smooth operations.

Deliver what customers actually want: CI/CD practices

Continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) practices can be applied to automate virtual chat deployments. Businesses can ensure faster and more reliable updates to their virtual chat systems by automating the testing, integration, and deployment processes. This approach enables rapid iterations and allows customer service to expand to proactive, not simply reactive, actions. 

For example: 

  • Reactive: A user encounters technical difficulties while using a software application. They reach out to the software company's support team for assistance. The chatbot responds by providing step-by-step instructions or troubleshooting guides to help the user resolve the issue.

  • Proactive: A remote work/telecommunications company identifies a potential service outage in a particular area due to network maintenance. Instead of waiting for customer complaints to pour in, the company proactively sends automated notifications to affected customers, informing them about upcoming maintenance and potential service interruption. The company also provides alternative solutions or compensations in advance to mitigate any inconvenience caused.

Lay the foundation: Event-driven automation

Event-driven automation allows virtual chat deployments to respond to specific triggers or events, such as user actions or system alerts. By automating actions based on these events, businesses improve:

  • Responsiveness: Ensures immediate and relevant responses to user actions and events, creating a seamless chat experience in real time.

  • Personalization: Allows virtual chat systems to deliver personalized social interactions tailored to individual users, enhancing engagement and satisfaction by capturing and analyzing user data in real time.

  • Contextual understanding: Provides valuable context for virtual chat systems to interpret user intent accurately and deliver more targeted responses, both of which are essential to engagement and personalization.

  • Proactive engagement: Enables virtual chat systems to initiate proactive engagement on mobile devices based on triggers or events, such as abandoned carts, driving conversions and improving customer satisfaction.

  • Workflow automation: Integrates virtual chat systems with other tools and platforms, streamlining processes within an organization's workflow.

  • Scalability: Allows virtual chat systems to handle high volumes of chat interactions concurrently, ensuring efficient and responsive support around the clock, even during peak periods.

Embracing the future of digital immersion

Virtual chat deployments open up the world of customer experiences. Automation takes those experiences from the first tottering steps to fully mature engagements that increase customer loyalty and build a brand reputation that stands out. Consumers expect attention and fast resolutions; automating these virtual chat deployments ensures they receive both.

PubNub enables businesses to deliver and operate customized, real-time interactivity for a variety of use cases. Contact us to find out how we can help you realize your real-time vision or set up a free trial to see what our platform can offer you.