• Ben Rogers

Why adding Business Rules to a Chatbot is a good thing...and you should go even further

This is the first in a series of blogs titled: "Why automating your policies as business rules is more important than ever". It's something we believe in strongly here at Alexan Innovation and we will be sharing our thoughts through the first few months of 2019 (Happy New Year by the way!).

Let's talk about Chatbots. A great addition to the User Experience, or an annoying gimmick? Well, it depends on the bot. Thinking about how "real conversations" work between two people, conversations usually meander between "topics".

It takes interpretation and intelligence to determine what the person wants to talk about, i.e. deciding on the topic, and then the conversation becomes a back-and-forth focused on that topic. Then, the topic either runs its course or the conversation shifts to a new topic, and repeat.

In the world of a customer service helpline, discussing this topic may require a series of steps (such as a script or troubleshooting guide) that guide the conversation. In other words, once the intelligence has been used to determine the topic, the conversation shifts to a fixed journey.

For example, a customer says "I would like to add a child on to my policy". Where the AI language understanding comes in is to hone in on the "intent" - what the user is intending to do/say - which is adding a child. Adding a child has a fixed series of steps to go through, and these steps are dictated by a set of operational and (potentially) legal rules and policies. The more flexible, cost effective and adaptable solution to handle these fixed journeys is a Business Rules Service that interacts with the Chatbot.

One thing that's true about Chatbots: they are ultimately limited by what they can integrate with and connect to. There comes a point were static question/answers no longer help users. Think of a powerful computer...without an internet connection. The trouble is that policy isn't in a format that is easy to access. It's tucked away in PDF documents or in a seemingly endless web of plain text paragraphs, sections and sub-sections (imagine if there was a company that specializes in turning that into executable Business Rules...?)

What's more is that these rules and policies must be followed whatever the channel: Chatbot, in person, a phone call, a case management system, and so on. The same policy, the same rules - especially in a "no wrong door" world.

Wouldn't it make the most sense to make these rules accessible to all of these channels, instead of just building them in to a Chatbot flow? Or a call center script? Or case management screens? Of course it would. The answer is a centralized Business Rules Service built on modern standards that can be leveraged across the enterprise.

This is just a brief look at one use case. We are here to help you unlock the massive potential of automating your policy and Business Rules.

We have a suite of products and services based on years of research and experience to do so. Contact us to request a free consultation and demo!

In future posts, we'll be exploring more use cases and reasons why automating your policies as business rules is more important than ever!

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