In this challenging post-pandemic era, seismic shifts in customer behaviour have forced businesses to transform the journeys and experiences they offer. Customers demand greater digital maturity than ever from the companies they interface with, and effective virtual chatbot support is now critical to achieving high levels of engagement and retention.
Doing this successfully and at scale calls for rapid design sprints. This approach offers the two-fold benefit of enabling organisations to gauge user interest in solutions ahead of time, and to de-risk products before they are put into action. This has the benefit of reducing the cost of changing products at later stages in the product lifecycle by as much as ten times, while prototypes enable fast and cost-effective testing.
In this article, we will explore this game changing methodology from several perspectives, including the key stages involved, and some of the exceptional results it has achieved so far. At BCG Platinion, we believe that rapid validation is the answer to developing better virtual customer support, which in turn will equip your organisation to unlock growth and scalability.
Exploring the methodology
The real-time decision-making that is required to deliver an effective chatbot system calls for a combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Not only does this data-led strategy improve the quality and precision of real-time decisions, but crucially, it also helps to guide product market fit.
Doing this also boosts the confidence of the c-suite to engage in further MVP and product development investments, while also providing the necessary agility to validate at scale. We have seen this method deployed to great effect in high-profile cases by the likes of Netflix, Airbnb, and Google.
In addition to workings of the methodology itself, mindset also has a vital part to play in the development and overall success of virtual customer support.
An experimentation mindset must be fostered and applied in the iterative product development process, and it should be made up of three major facets.
The first element is design thinking, which needs to be creative, divergent, and above all, customer centric.
An agile philosophy is the next component, which should be kept collaborative, continuous and lean to achieve the best results.
Finally, a hypotheses-driven scientific method is required to drive progress, and it must be both rigorous and experimental. Combining these qualities ensures that you will achieve an evolutionary approach to testing and validation.
”The real-time decision-making that is required to deliver an effective chatbot system calls for a combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods.”"
Realising revolutionary results
In just a five-week period, a BCG Platinion team deployed this methodology to help an organisation to unlock between £3 million and £5 million, reduce service calls and effort by 40%, and achieve an average adoption rate of 57%.
Some key deliverables included a validated end-to-end experience prototype, business case validation, and the enablement of a specialist chatbot tool.
During the process, the team leveraged an array of specialist tools to simulate a real chatbot experience. This involved two rounds of validation sprint sessions to measure factors like adoption, potential barriers, and channel preference.
We ensured to utilise both quantitative and qualitative insights to effectively inform our rapid progress. The result was a fully validated chatbot experience, built on key strategic learnings to de-risk adoption in the future.
As it becomes increasingly difficult to stay competitive while delighting valuable customers, organisations must innovate and work to personalize the experiences they offer. Virtual customer support is essential, but it will only be effective when it is delivered in a balanced and efficient way. Untested, cumbersome solutions will further reduce engagement and retention, so getting it right through rapid, intelligent validation is the key to success. Get in touch with our expert team to find out more!
About the Authors
Ricardo is an award winning design leader with a passion for creating innovative products and services that will have a positive impact in the world. He’s got a great track record of innovation – inspiring the creation of a new department within Google, and designing high-profile digital products across industries, such as Health, Insurance, Consumer, Private Equity and many more.
Jamie is an Engineering Director from London with extensive experience managing software development teams in both startup and enterprise companies. With industry experience across consumer, energy and insurance sectors he brings a human centered approach to product delivery, innovation and platform design with a passion for sustainable engineering practices and AI assisted solutions.
Renato is a Design Principal who specializes in Design Systems and Product Design. He has a track record of creating best-in-class products for industry leaders in the Automotive, Tech, Financial, Healthcare and Public Sectors.
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