Hybrid chat: a feature dive

Today’s chatbots fall into two broad categories: those that face customers, and those that face employees. Each type of bot is designed to assist its subset of service users specifically and exclusively.

As useful as this is, it narrows the utility of conversational AI for one set audience. But with the scope of conversational AI so vast, this restriction need not be the case.

Enter WhosOn hybrid chat functionality.


What is hybrid chat?

Hybrid chat is a chat session handled by both your chatbot and your human agent. In a hybrid chat, your bot works to assist every layer of a conversation, helping agents and customers alike. In other words, bots and agents join forces and support each other during chat sessions.

Your chatbot answers FAQ and engages with the customer. Your agents, meanwhile, maintain control over chats. They can oversee and intervene in bot conversations, tag-teaming into chats that need human attention.  

And as the conversation unfolds, the chatbot monitors for key phrases or strings in real-time. It then retrieves relevant data for the agent to use in the chat. (Pulling up ticket information from a reference number, for example.)

The chatbot then ‘whispers’ this information to the agent as they help the customer. So, agents get real-time assistance from the bot.

With hybrid chat, your chatbot helps everyone, customers and agents inclusive.


Why is it useful?

Hybrid chat is a great way to boost efficiency, streamline chats and create smooth, speedy customer experiences.

With hybrid chat, your agents need only intervene when a chat needs human flexibility. So, during busy times, agents can focus on complex issues while the bot handles greetings and simple queries.

One of the biggest benefits of hybrid chat comes from the fact that, with it, every agent gets a live helper when chatting to customers. Rather than wasting time on grunt work — performing manual admin like database checks or CRM searches — the bot does it. Meanwhile, your team can get on with the important bit: helping customers.

So, your human team can focus on helping customers and providing the human touch. The customer isn’t kept waiting while the agent looks for needed information — the bot has already delivered it. Customers get speedy help with a smoother experience.


The set-up

With WhosOn, you set up and tailor your chatbot to your business. First, this means teaching the bot how to respond to customers by using real conversation data. You outline the conversational flows for the bot to use.

For hybrid chat – i.e. agent-facing support – you also need to specify the keywords and custom strings that the bot should look for. (These tell it what data to retrieve for an agent.)

For example, you might teach the bot to recognise telephone numbers. When a number is detected in a chat session, the bot can then trigger into action to search your CRM for a match. And it could then pull relevant information into the chat session — such as the expiry date of the contract that the telephone number is tied to.

For this to work, hybrid chat also relies on integration. Through an API, you integrate your chatbot with the third-party tools and internal programs you use. This allows the chatbot to communicate with your other programs and pull the needed information into chat sessions.


How does it work?

Once set up, your chatbot uses the conversational flows to greet customers, collect useful information, and answer FAQ.

The bot can use its integrations to pull information into an unassisted chat session – even without a human takeover. For example, a customer could submit a ticket number, and the bot could query your help desk to update the customer on its status. No agent needed.

At any point, however, your agents can intervene and take over bot conversations.

When this happens, the chatbot sits in the background and monitors the chat for your pre-defined key phrases or strings. Through integration with your CRM and databases, the chatbot can then retrieve relevant data for the agent to use in the chat. It delivers this data via whisper message, directly into the chat thread. (But for your agent’s eyes only.)


Hybrid chat: blending bot and human

Hybrid chat is the blending of your human and AI agents to provide a streamlined support experience. Customers get slick support, and agents get real-time assistance.

So, could your chat agents enjoy the real-time assistance of hybrid chat? Get in touch today to request a demo.


Useful links

WhosOn hybrid chat

Chatbot FAQ

The falsity of the chatbot vs live chat debate