Posted on 08/14/2018 via BSH Home Appliances Group
Sandra Hösler & Sabine Dietz – Project Leads plus Belen Garcia Arnau and Sonia Berthe:

Chatbots used in Customer Service: BoBo goes Facebook Messenger

Chatbots used in Messaging Apps: As a consumer-centric Hardware+ company, BSH has acknowledged that user behavior is changing. Our consumers buy differently, and they communicate differently as well – and they expect businesses to adapt to their changing needs. Delivering Best in Class Customer Service is a key component of BSH’s global Social Media Strategy. This makes customer satisfaction one of our top priorities. And this is where BoBo – our Bosch Bot – comes in.

What is a chatbot and how can it add value for BSH customers?
Basically, a chatbot is a virtual assistant that communicates with customers either via text messages or via voice (think of Siri or Alexa). Opposed to what people often think, most chatbots out there don’t incorporate any form of artificial intelligence yet. That means, they only know what they have been taught, and are not able to learn and improve by themselves.

Their biggest advantage is that they can carry out routine tasks and answer common requests – 24/7 and in real time. For the customer, this means that they get assistance immediately, instead of depending on service hours. This can come in quite handy, for example in case they need support over the weekend. Reaction speed is the key contributor to customer satisfaction. Also, by handling common and simple consumer requests, the chatbot is able to free up resources of our human customer service agents, leaving them with more time to handle more complicated inquiries.

Is the chatbot already in use or still in testing?
The chatbot is live in France and Spain, and has been implemented for the Bosch brand for now. That’s why the bot’s internal nickname is BoBo – short for Bosch Bot. We worked closely together with the local teams to make sure to collect short-, mid- and longterm requirements, and that everyone knows how to use our chatbots platform. The collaboration went really well – thanks again, guys!

What can your customer service chatbot do?
At the moment, the customer service chatbot can handle three use cases via the Facebook Messenger:

  • It can help the customer locate the rating plate on their appliance, so they can provide their e-number. The e-number is required for almost every product related inquiry, so customer service agents lose a lot of time with helping the customer to find it. The bot delivers a gif that shows the different possible locations of the rating plate on a specific. Once the customer has typed in the e-number, the bot can hand the conversation over to a human agent.
  • Based on the e-number collected as described above, the chatbot can send the link to a specific p=. online manual. In order to do this, the chatbot has been linked with BSH’s backend systems.
  • The bot can also provide a bunch of selfhelp tips, for issues and questions such as “What’s the best way to clean my washing machine” or “What does error code E22 mean?” Currently, we have about 230 selfhelp tips implemented in the chatbot, and we’re aiming to hit 1000 by the end of the year.

On top of that, the chatbot is capable of a bit of friendly small talk and can collect direct customer feedback at the end of a conversation.

Why did you choose FB messenger for this project?
Over the last years, messengers have gained more and more importance on a global level. Especially for audiences under 25, social media and messaging apps play a far greater role than phone and email. For BSH, delivering best in class customer service also means to meet the customers on their preferred channels, including messaging apps. A pilot that we carried out last year showed that introducing messaging apps as additional customer service channels leads to an overall increase of incoming messages. So we better get ready now to be prepared for a time when messaging apps conquer everything ;-) – and that time is approaching fast.

On top of Facebook Messenger, we’re hoping to roll out our chatbot on WhatsApp as well, now that the Enterprise solution is officially available.