Blog/Builder/Feature of the month: voice and chatbots for call deflection

Introduction to voice and chatbots

These days, technology provides many ways for offices and call centers to handle a surplus of incoming calls without resorting to putting callers on hold. Callers might be walked through a series of automated questions to best determine their needs, or they might be directed to a self-service online platform, or they might be given the means to schedule a call-back time at some point in the future. These strategies can be used separately or even combined. Perhaps automated questions answered over the phone inform what online platform to direct callers to. Perhaps the online platform directs users to schedule a call-back time if their needs are too unique to fulfill via an automated flow.

But, implementing these sorts of long, complicated user journeys from scratch can be time-consuming, and most pre-built solutions don’t allow the flexibility to build something that perfectly matches your customers’ needs. Building out the bare minimum is often better than nothing. However, the caller experience is certainly made worse by call deflection that isn’t tailored to the common needs of the user. While it is inevitable that creating flawless, bespoke experiences will always take more time than using something generic, there’s no fundamental law that dictates how palpable that time difference must be. 

At Airkit, we build tools to minimize this difference as much as possible, and one such experience is caller deflection.

Airkit Studio ties phone, text, and web functionality into a single application, making it easy to funnel phone calls into flows spanning any other channel. Relevant information gathered from an incoming call, such as the caller’s phone number and location, is automatically stored and associated with that caller’s user journey, allowing it to be used and accessed at any point later on. Want to text users a link to a self-service web app? You already know their phone number, and Airkit’s chatbots come equipped to easily send users a customized link. Want a user to schedule an appointment time to call back? You already know their timezone, and you can use it in tandem with our Scheduler Web Control, one of the many Web Controls available to use as building blocks to create custom UI.

No matter where you want to direct callers upon deflecting their calls, Airkit streamlines the process of mapping out the journey.

Customer look: OpenTable reroutes calls, improves CSAT with Airkit

Serving 60,000 restaurants and 31 million diners with speed and efficiency is no easy task, which is why the top-tier online restaurant-reservation service, OpenTable, partnered with Airkit to redirect calls to self-help and live chat experiences. 

Prior to Airkit, OpenTable was offering chat support to restaurants on their help site and in their app, but the majority of customers were still accustomed to using phone support. OpenTable relied heavily on Talkdesk to field and manage those phone calls, so when their contact center partner recommended bringing in Airkit, the integration was an easy one. 

Now, when a customer calls OpenTable today, their experience looks like this: 

  1. That customer contacts the support center via phone. 
  2. They are given the option to live chat instead of speaking with an agent. 
  3. When the customer opts in to live chat, Airkit sends a text message with a link to launch the experience. That text powers a live chat with OpenTable’s support team or allows the customer to peruse the support site’s self-help options. 

This new customer journey took just weeks to construct, and upon going live, OpenTable saw an immediate impact. Some of the results included: 

  • A high customer satisfaction (CSAT) score. 
  • Redirection of 10% of support calls. 
  • 25% of restaurants using live chats supported by Airkit. 

If you’d like to learn more about this call deflection to chat journey, read the full OpenTable story here

Try it for yourself: build a call deflection app!

Airkit makes it easy to try your hand at using Voice Bots to create your own call deflection app. Here’s how to get started:

  1. If you don’t already have access to Airkit, sign up for our free trial here. (For more on getting started, check out our Quickstart Guide.)
  2. Follow the tutorial Building a Call Deflection App

If you run into any questions – or just want to brainstorm how to best implement your ideas – feel free to join our Community of Builders or to sign up for Office Hours and take those questions and comments directly to our Developer Advocate team.

Happy building!

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