In recent years, chatbots have become an increasingly popular technology for businesses to utilize. Chatbots are software programs that can have conversations with humans using artificial intelligence. One type of chatbot that has seen significant growth is the agent assist chatbot. Agent assist chatbots are transforming customer service and support by providing rapid, 24/7 assistance to customers.

What are Agent Assist Chatbots?

Agent assist chatbots are chatbots that are designed specifically to act as virtual agents. They assist human agents by handling simple, repetitive tasks so that human agents can focus on solving more complex issues.

Agent assist chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning. This allows them to understand questions, requests, and concerns expressed in human language by customers.

The chatbot is able to analyze the customer's input and respond appropriately, often solving issues instantly without needing human intervention. Agent assist chatbots can be integrated into websites, messaging apps, or customer service software to provide conversational self-service options. They serve as the first line of support before connecting customers to human agents when needed.

Benefits of Agent Assist Chatbots

There are many benefits that come with implementing agent assist chatbots:

1. Instant Resolution of Simple Requests

Agent assist chatbots excel at handling simple, repetitive inquiries and requests. This includes things like checking an account balance, updating contact information, providing shipping status, resetting a password, and more. The chatbot is able to instantly resolve many routine issues that previously would have been handled by customer service agents. This significantly reduces customer effort.

2. 24/7 Availability

One of the major perks of chatbots is that they can be available to customers 24/7. Human agents are limited in their availability, often only covering business hours. However, an agent assist chatbot can provide assistance at any time of day or night. This creates better customer experiences as customers don't have to wait for the next available agent.

3. Reduced Customer Service Costs

By automating a large volume of routine inquiries, agent assist bots allow customer service teams to reduce costs. According to Gartner, organizations can reduce labor costs by up to 30% by implementing AI chatbots. With fewer basic requests coming through to human agents, staffing needs are reduced. The chatbot handles high-volume, low-complexity conversations so agents can be utilized more strategically.

4. Increased Agent Efficiency

For customer service teams, agent assist bots lead to greater efficiency by letting agents focus their time and effort on the more complex, high-value issues. Simple inquiries no longer clutter up the workflow. Agents can dedicate themselves to tasks that the AI chatbot cannot handle, which are often the more strategic, relationship-building interactions. This allows them to resolve customer issues faster.

5. Better Data for Training and Improvement

Agent assist chatbots also gather useful data that can then be used to improve the performance of both the chatbot and human agents over time. The conversational logs provide valuable insights into frequently asked questions, challenges customers face, and more. Understanding these patterns allows both the chatbot knowledge base and agent training materials to be optimized.

Key Capabilities of Agent Assist Chatbots

For agent assist chatbots to be effective, they need to have certain key capabilities:

  • Natural language processing - This allows the chatbot to comprehend free-form sentences from users rather than just pre-programmed commands. The more advanced the NLP, the better the chatbot's understanding.
  • Contextual awareness - The chatbot needs to be able to understand the context of the conversation and what the user is asking about. This may require accessing account information, order history, and prior messages.
  • Integration with business systems - Seamlessly integrating with CRM, ecommerce, and other back-end systems allows the chatbot to pull necessary information to resolve customer inquiries accurately.
  • Secure data access - Due to the sensitive account information chatbots may need to access, having robust data security is crucial. The chatbot should only pull the minimum data needed.
  • Conversational experience - While technical capabilities are key, the personality and conversational flow of the chatbot also impacts the customer experience. More natural conversations lead to better perceptions.
  • Clear hand-off to agents - When an inquiry exceeds the chatbot's capabilities, it needs to smoothly transfer the customer to an available human agent while sharing conversation context.
  • Ongoing improvements - Using logs of past conversations and results, developers must continually expand the chatbot's knowledge base and improve its logic through machine learning.

Top Use Cases for Agent Assist Chatbots

Agent assist chatbots have many valuable applications within customer service. Here are some of the top use cases:

  • Customer service: The most popular use of agent assist chatbots is in customer service departments. Chatbots handle routine questions and simple issues, while routing complex problems to human reps.
  • Technical support: Tech support chatbots can diagnose issues, walk users through solutions, and pull device data to fix common problems before needing to get a human agent involved.
  • Order status: Chatbots enable customers to instantly check the status of orders without waiting for support. They can provide shipping updates, expected delivery date, tracking info, and more.
  • Account assistance: Banks, insurance companies, and other businesses use chatbots to help users manage their accounts. This includes checking balances, reviewing transaction history, updating personal info, and resetting passwords.
  • Appointment scheduling: Medical offices, salons, automotive shops and more are turning to chatbots to allow customers to easily book, reschedule or cancel appointments.
  • Lead qualification: Chatbots can help sales teams by responding to incoming sales inquiries, asking qualifying questions, providing pricing quotes, and routing promising leads to reps.

Key Considerations When Implementing Agent Assist Chatbots

While the benefits are substantial, businesses should keep the following considerations in mind when launching an agent assist chatbot:

  • Integration with other channels - The chatbot should complement your existing customer service channels like phone, email, live chat etc. This provides customers with options.
  • Hybrid bot-agent model - Gradually implement the chatbot to handle higher volumes of basic inquiries over time while maintaining sufficient human agents. Find the right balance.
  • Set appropriate expectations - Make sure customers understand when they are conversing with a bot vs human to set expectations for tone, response times, and capabilities.
  • Ongoing maintenance - Chatbots require regular tweaks and improvements to expand capabilities and optimize performance. Dedicate tech resources.
  • Allow agent feedback - Let agents suggest improvements to the chatbot based on the types of questions being escalated to human reps. Agents have insights.
  • Review conversation logs - Analyzing chatbot conversation logs reveals opportunities to enhance the AI's knowledge base so it can handle a greater percentage of inquiries.
  • Focus on customer effort - Set key metrics like case deflection rate and CSAT to optimize the overall customer experience rather than isolated bot interactions.

The Future of Agent Assist Chatbots

While chatbots are already widely used in customer service, the technology is still evolving. In coming years, we can expect agent assist chatbots to become even more sophisticated. With enhanced natural language capabilities, broader knowledge bases, and tighter integration into business systems, chatbots will be able to resolve customer issues faster and more accurately.

Additionally, innovations like providing chatbots with access to agent desktop software will enable bots to mirror even more of the problem-solving abilities of human agents. Bots and humans will be increasingly able to work side-by-side to provide customers with quick, personalized service.


Agent assist chatbots provide immense value to customer service organizations looking to enhance operations and reduce costs. By automating a large volume of routine customer inquiries, they allow human agents to focus on complex issues and relationship building. While careful planning is required, the investments made in agent assist chatbots pay dividends through improved efficiency, scalability, and customer experiences. The technology will only grow more robust, making agent assist chatbots an essential long-term investment for customer service teams.