Live Chat Agent
About Conversational AI

Live Chat Agent: Bringing a Human Touch to Conversational AI

According to a report by Gartner, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without human agents by 2020. Given how widespread the use of Conversational AI by enterprises has become in recent years, this is indeed a very achievable goal. AI-powered chatbots and voice bots are now gradually ceasing to be a novelty and are simply becoming a fact of life.

Of course, as with almost any discussion regarding Artificial Intelligence today, the inevitable question is – what role does a human play?

Are humans, particularly human customer service staff, made redundant when companies adopt Conversational AI solutions?

Well, yes and no.

Certainly, there are some tasks, particularly routine and repetitive tasks, that can be completely automated and will require no human intervention.

But even if you deploy a Conversational AI solution with an automation level of 90%, that still means that 10% of the time, your bot is unable to satisfactorily complete a task.

Then there are the tasks which are simply too complex for a bot to handle completely on its own.

Essentially, this means that there are cases where human intervention cannot be avoided. Indeed, in some cases, it is desirable.

At Haptik, we realized a long time ago that to help our enterprise partners better serve their customers, we needed to equip them not only with state-of-the-art Conversational AI solutions, but also with a platform that allowed their human agents to intervene over live chat when necessary.

That platform is our Live Chat Agent tool.

Before we delve into the Live Chat Agent tool and how it works, let us first understand why humans can play such an important role on a Conversation AI platform:

Why human agents are important

Agent using Haptik's Live Chat Agent tool

They ensure uninterrupted customer service: As we’ve already discussed, in cases where a bot cannot satisfactorily resolve a customer issue, a human agent can take over the conversation and give the issue the detailed attention necessary for effective resolution. This helps businesses avoid giving users the negative experience of facing a bot break. Indeed, prompt action by a human agent can give a customer a positive impression of the brand.

They can better decipher the end users’ needs: Sometimes, a bot might not be able to pinpoint exactly what the user’s query or issue is, especially if the user’s conversation is vague or unclear. In such a situation, a human agent would have a better understanding of what the customer wants, and thus satisfactorily resolve their issues faster.

They can connect to users on a personal level: No matter how well-designed a Conversational AI solution might be, in terms of functionality and bot personality, sometimes a customer simply will prefer to have a human agent help them with their problems. An agent can connect to the user on a personal level in a way that a bot cannot. This is particularly useful in situations where the customer is aggrieved or agitated – the human agent is better placed to gauge the sentiment of the user, offer him/her reassurance, and provide a timely resolution to the issue.

So it is evident that there are a number of reasons why human intervention might sometimes be desirable. And when it comes to effectively facilitating that intervention, Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool is one of the best solutions in the market.

Haptik’s Live Chat Agent: A Brief History

Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool in 2014
Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool in 2014

Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool dates back to the earliest days of the company, when it was used to connect live chat agents with customers on our personal assistant app.

In 2017, Haptik started to work on automating the response to routine, repetitive queries, which was the genesis of our Conversational AI. It is at this point that the Live Chat Agent tool was modified to serve its current twofold purpose – enabling human agents to monitor a bot’s conversations with users; and allowing the agent to intervene and take over the conversation from the bot if necessary.

Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool in 2019
Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool in 2019

The Live Chat Agent tool’s functionalities have significantly expanded and evolved over the last half-decade. Initially, the tool only included basic chat, and the ability to send Smart Actions (images, attachments, saved addresses, locations etc.).

Over time, the dashboard was upgraded with specialized features and functionalities to enhance its utility for the agents using it, as well as to add value for our enterprise partners. Some of these features include:

  • Seamless chat assignments and transfers (from bot to agent, as well as between agents)
  • Auto-suggest and canned responses
  • Integration of custom tools
  • Easy access to agent performance reports

How the tool works

This is a quick overview of how Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool works. For a more in-depth understanding, read our comprehensive tech documentation here.

There are two categories of people who work with the Live Chat Agent tool. Agents are people trained to handle user queries directly. Team Leaders lead and manage groups of agents and make sure that conversations are properly attended to.

A business can be either Completely Bot Assisted, Completely Human Assisted or Bot + Human Assisted. It is in the latter two configurations that human agents play a role through the tool.

The tool comprises of three major sections:

Tabs on the Haptik Live Chat Agent tool

MyChat: Agents can use this tab to take over conversations and interact with users.

Businesses: Agents can view the list of businesses they have access to, the total live chats and delayed chats for each business, as well as other detailed information regarding the status of chats.

Teams: Team Leaders can use this tab to create and manage a team of agents, assign chats to agents, and assess their performance.

When a user starts a conversation, it is with a particular Business. The user can communicate with the Business using one of many device platforms (Haptik SDK’s, Messenger etc.). The Business in turn can respond either with a bot or with a human agent using the Live Chat Agent tool.

Take a look at the flow of conversations on our platform:

Flow of chat states

A conversation can be transferred from a bot to a human agent in the following ways:

  1. If the bot doesn’t understand the user’s message, the chat is queued, and assigned to an agent.
  2. If a particular Business is using an integration function, then the chat is transferred to a team on the basis of that function.
  3. A Team Leader can use his/her discretion to reassign a chat to any specific agent.
Chat assignment on Live Chat Agent tool
Team Leaders can manually assign chats to agents or teams

We currently allow an agent to simultaneously take up to 3 chats, though it is possible for this number to be set anywhere between 1-5.

The chat agents have a number of tools at their disposal to enhance their ability to resolve customer issues. These include-

  • Canned responses (pre-formatted messages that can be used to quickly respond to common queries)
  • Smart actions (send images, attachments, saved addresses, locations, e-mails, links etc.)
  • Toolbar actions (report bugs, send feedback, flag inappropriate chats, access user’s profile etc.)

In addition, businesses also have the ability to integrate their own custom tools with the Live Chat Agent dashboard. These tools can then be used by their agents during their interactions with customers.

Agent manually closing conversation on Live Chat Agent tool
Agents can manually close a conversation

Last, but not the least, let us take a look at how conversations end. Conversations can either end automatically (when the agent logs or if there are no messages exchanged for a duration of 8 minutes), or can be manually marked as complete (or put on hold) by the agent.

Why Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool stands out

Benefits of Live Chat Agent tool

Needless to say, our Live Chat Agent tool can truly be an indispensable asset to any enterprise seeking to revolutionize the way it engages and serves customers. If everything we’ve discussed so far about our tool’s features and functioning doesn’t have you convinced yet, then here are some factors that certainly will:

✔️ Feature-rich platform:  Our Live Chat Agent tool is a complete package offering a wider range of features than any comparable product – canned responses, chat assignment, agent performance measurement, custom tool integration and more.

✔️ Bot+Human approach is the perfect failsafe: As we discussed right at the start, even a bot with high levels of automation can fail to resolve a user’s query or problem. In such cases, to ensure the uninterrupted and efficient rendering of customer service, it is great to be able to fall back on live chat agents – who can seamlessly take over the conversation using the tool.

✔️ Monitor agent performance: Using the tool, a business can monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of their human agents in real-time. In fact, the tool has been specifically modified over time to help with this purpose, by facilitating the easy download of agent performance reports from the dashboard itself.

✔️ Built for agent convenience and utility: The Live Chat Agent tool was originally built for use by Haptik’s own chat agents. As a result, Haptik has a keen understanding of the features and functionalities required to maximize agent convenience and ease-of-use. The tool has modified based on the feedback of our chat agents over the years, who’s inputs have helped shape it into one of the best platforms in the market.

✔️ Seamless real-time chat assignment: Haptik has a patent pending for our unique bot to agent routing and chat assignment capabilities. Our tool ensures that conversations are seamlessly transferred in real-time from bots to humans, as well as from agent to agent. The ease-of-transfer, as well as swift access to agent profiles, allows for team leaders to assign conversations to agents based on their skills and experience. This ability to make custom chat assignments further enhances the quality of customer service provided over chat.

✔️ Customization: Businesses can easily integrate their custom tools with the Live Chat Agent, to enhance the utility of the dashboard to suit their specific and unique purposes.

✔️ Omni-channel support: Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool can be used to connect with customers across a wide range of mediums and platforms, including SMS, WhatsApp, iOS, Android, Web etc.

To sum up…

While automation is undoubtedly a goal that every enterprise should strive towards, the human element remains crucial and cannot be dispensed with altogether. Conversational AI, when it is sufficiently advanced, can help customers with a wide range of tasks and respond to large volumes of customer queries – but to make your customer service 100% foolproof, it is always better to have a human agent on standby. Moreover, there are simply some kinds of customer interactions that humans are best equipped to handle.

So the Bot + Human hybrid approach is certainly the way to go if you’re looking to fully optimize your interactions with customers – in terms of scale and quality. And Haptik’s Live Chat Agent tool is definitely your best option when it comes to effectively implementing that approach.

At Haptik, it is our mission to facilitate the paradigm shift of interactions from clicks to conversations. And our Live Chat Agent is undoubtedly the ace-in-the-hole that will help us drive the Conversational AI revolution in the years to come!

Are you interested in developing a Conversational AI solution for your business?

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