As a growing business, you need a strong customer care service that is available round the clock to answer basic questions via Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or your website’s live chat.

You have two options.

1. Employ a customer care service agent

2. Use AI – Artificial Intelligence

If you are going for the first option, do you have enough funds to hire customer care agents who will be available round the clock? Perhaps, you are just a startup who also double as your own customer care agent.

Chances are that responding to customer’s basic questions will always take a large chunk of time that you are supposed to invest in other areas of your business. Hiring agents that will fill this gap round the clock will eat deep into your pocket or you may not even afford it.

The solution is AI. 

These days, it is becoming increasingly common and even big organisations are beginning to make use of AI, in the form of bots to meet certain customer needs. These bots are personified and given names.

They can help you perform a transaction, they can help give you more information about certain business and they are trained with these three basic things: • Intent • Entities • Dialog.

• Intent gives the bot clues of the kind of information or service a customer is seeking. For example, in defining greeting intents, a bot will automatically figure out when a customer is greeting and the bot responds accordingly.

• Entities are knowledge repositories (you may call it knowledge bank) from where the bot gets information like time, location and so on.

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• Dialogue is how the bot is managed to engage in interactions.

Just as you train your new customer care recruits, bots are trained too. But they don’t replace humans and it is safe to always make customers know that they are chatting with robots so that they don’t over-expect a perfect emotional – conversations.

The good part of it is, they complement humans and fill the gaps that humans can’t possibly meet. I’d find it stressful if I have to reply to customers every day for simple basic questions like:

“Do you open on weekends?”

“What time do your office in Abuja open?”

“Do you have a branch is Ikeja?”

“My payment failed but I was debited, what do I do?”

Bots however do not get tired. Just like an ebook that can serve millions of people at the same time, bots is everywhere at the same time. It can be conversing with a customer in Russia and be interacting with another customer in Nigeria.

This way, questions that are very likely to come often will be handled intelligently by bots while tougher and more complex issues can be handled by humans. Let’s see what I mean in this conversation between GeoBot of brandPRO and a customer.

Customer: (Opens messenger or live chat)

GeoBot: Hi, I am GeoBot. Welcome to brandPRO customer care, I am here to help you. Anything for us?

Customer: I need a website for my business.

GeoBot: We have various websites packages. You may need to check this (provides a hyperlinked text) to know which of the packages meets your need.

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Customer: I already went through it. I want a website for my store.

GeoBot: That’s great! Our premium package will work great for your store. We are currently running a promo, so you’d get 20% off when you sign up with us.

Customer: Will the website have a custom email?

GeoBot: Yes, all our websites comes with custom emails.

Customer: How fast do you deliver?

GeoBot: We deliver in five working days but depending on the complexity of your website and contents, it may take as much as 7-14 days. We will always let you know ahead of time.

Customer: I need the website to be working within 24hours time.

GeoBot: Maybe, you should talk with a human agent. Kindly open a ticket here (leaves a hyperlinked text) or end this chat. A human agent will be in touch with you shortly.

Customer: Thanks a lot for your time.

GeoBot: Have a great day! It was nice interacting with you. If you need anything else, I am always here.


As you can see through the above conversation, both human and bots are needed. While bots deals with specific goals, humans takes up from the limits of bots.

The customer will eventually get a follow up email from human agents and the customers conversation with GeoBot can be used to improve GeoBot even further.

Now you see?

You can have a customer care agent who works for you round the clock while making it easier for you to focus on improving your business.

To get started with this, you can hire a developer to help you set it up or you can as well take a course to learn how to do it yourself. You may find these courses available on Udemy, Youtube and so on.

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By Onyedikachukwu Nnadozie

George is a brand strategist at Funtrick Technology, an author and a public speaker. He takes time to write on George's Diary. He also writes his opinions on politics and similar subject on Gist Afrique.

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