Chatbots can be an efficient way to interact with your customers. They can quickly provide answers for questions like “How can I update my user information?” Chatbots are ideally used for general, low-hanging-fruit questions that don’t require a person’s assistance. Chatbots are meant to put time back into customer agents’ hands to better help with more complex customer questions.


Businesses are challenged to use AI to create better bots in order to make the handoff from bots to human agents more seamless. Follow the 5 tips below and utilize chatbots effectively for your clients and your company.

1. Don’t Get Distracted by What’s Shiny and New

It’s easy to lose sight of the customer as exciting technologies emerge like:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)

  • Conversational AI

  • Machine learning (ML)

  • Natural language understanding (NLU)

As promising as these technologies are, building a solution begins with a roadmap of the customer journey. Contact center managers are responsible for defining the limitations of chatbots and choosing when they need to pass conversations over to a live agent.

2. Put Your Users First

Experts in bot development agree that efforts to create a satisfying experience must begin with the customer, which is why Mitel partnered with Google to power intelligent customer experiences. Pairing up with a tech giant is out of reach for most businesses. Talk to your agents to identify the questions customers ask. What are their most common issues? Then, analyze contact center interactions that customers have rated the highest.

3. Identify When and How Questions Will Be Escalated

Issues that are time-critical or require sensitive information should be handed off to a live agent immediately. When people are in a time crunch and need a problem solved right away, like missing a flight and needing to book another ticket, they don’t want to chat with a software program. That’s why AI developers are training bots to notice context, recognizing words that express emotion, urgency and frustration. In a bot-human interaction, it’s critical for designers to establish markers like these to notify bots when to hand off a call to a person.

4. Give People Control Over When to Switch to Live Agents

Ideally, this should be available at any point in the contact process. It’s generally a best practice for businesses to let customers know in the beginning that they’re interacting with a virtual agent and explain how the bot can assist. It’s also a good practice to provide a quick opt-out option, like a “chat with agent” button or pressing “0” on phone calls to let people reach an actual person when they need to. It’s crucial to capture and transfer the information the customer has already shared when handing off from a bot to an agent. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than to have to repeat their basic information when they get transferred over to a human.

5. Have Your Best Employees Train the Bots

No matter how sophisticated your software is, your chatbot performance depends on the information it’s given. When bots make mistakes (and it will happen), they need to be retrained. Be sure to track and identify where bots lose the customer, such as when the call ends or the customer requests a live agent.

Answer these questions:

  • Was the bot able to understand the customer?

  • Could it answer the specific question being asked?

  • If not, did it quickly transfer the customer to a live agent?


Use your strongest agents to help train your bots. Bots are smart enough now to learn from customer conversations with human agents. They can “listen” to conversations in real time and learn how human agents respond to what customers say over the phone or through chat.

“The more often a human agent helps train the AI by affirming or correcting the outcome, the more AI – and its algorithms – will learn and make confident decisions on its own,” said Mikhail Naumov, co-founder and chief strategy officer at DigitalGenius. With AI, bots are receptive to ongoing training from humans and can evolve themselves to work more effectively.

Will Bots Entirely Replace Humans?

There’s no need to worry yet. There are too many complex problems that require a human agent to solve for chatbots to completely take over customer service requests. Good news is, the near future promises much more sophisticated bots, thanks to NLU and conversational AI. The goal is to develop bots that can understand the concept behind a customer’s request, get as close to the resolution as they can, and then gather information on how to improve their future performance. This saves businesses time and money while bettering the customer experience.

Let CRI Make Bots Work for Your Business

At CRI, we understand that technology moves quickly and you need reliable, cost-effective communication solutions to help keep your business operating at peak capacity. As an exclusive Mitel Platinum Partner, we’ll work with you to customize technology solutions that fit your needs and budget. We’ll never suggest a solution that doesn’t match your business or the needs of your customers. But for many businesses, we believe that chatbots streamline a lot of customer issues and would like to see how we can incorporate them into your business. Call us and see how you can achieve a better customer experience with AI.