Powered by a number of machine learning (aka cognitive) services and comprised of building blocks such as engagement channels, channel devices, bot frameworks, and backend APIs, chatbots provide natural language conversational interfaces to customers beyond the traditional web and mobile interfaces. A number of customer service use cases can be enabled through chatbots to increase customer engagement and divert calls from high-cost channels, such as customer service. In the healthcare industry, for example, chatbots can be used to field health benefits inquiries and claims inquiries and to help customers find a doctor.
However, there are a number of key factors to consider when planning an investment in AI-based chatbots. Technology executives must think of chatbots as strategic investments that follow the “think strategically and act tactically” mindset. Strategic investment in chatbots requires an architecture strategy and implementation roadmap. Sharad Gupta shares a framework to ensure long-term strategic investment in chatbots.
The key factors that make up the decision-making framework for leaders include:
Sharad Gupta is the director of enterprise architecture at Blue Shield of California, where he is responsible for the strategic direction, technology strategy, technology selection, and architectures for business transformation and innovation initiatives. Sharad is also part of the adjunct faculty at the University of California, Davis, in the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program and teaches data design and machine learning. Sharad is also a founder of LittleTechMasters that is a nonprofit grassroots project focused on educating kids about technology in local communities. Sharad holds a BS in computer science from National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India, and an MBA with a focus on technology management and marketing from the University of California, Davis.
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