The Bot Human Handoff-How can we make the handoff from a bot to a human more seamless?

The Bot Human Handoff needs to be a smooth transition to ensure that the User Experience does not suffer. A parallel can be drawn from our calls to Customer Service Centers. Most of us have been frustrated when we have given our information to an automated virtual voice agent, only to repeat it all over again to a human agent. At other times, we get stuck in a loop, and attempts to hit the zero button for the Operator lead nowhere. So, how do we ensure a seamless handoff from a bot to a human? Here are some ideas followed by a Case Study:

1. Acknowledge to the User that the bot has run out of options and cannot help 
2. Ask the User if they want to escalate to a human agent
3. If the User responds yes, handoff to a human agent
4. Capture the entire conversation between the bot and the human, and pass it onto the human

Case Study

We recently implemented a Pilot chatbots project for a customer in the area of IT Help Desk/IT Service Management (ITSM). The Use Cases were automation of tasks like password resets as well as self-service/search of the Knowledge database. One of the Use Cases was to handoff to the bot seamlessly in situations when the bot could not help.

The ITSM system in this case was ServiceNow, and the scenario was the user searching the Knowledge Base for an article. We deployed the Chatbots in such a way that when the bot could not find an article, it asked the User if they wanted to “Create an Incident”. If the user replied yes, the bot suggested the Description of the Incident based on the nature of the query. When the user accepted the suggestion, the bot automatically created the incident in ServiceNow. Most importantly, the entire conversation between the user and the bot, was captured in the Notes section of the Incident created in ServiceNow. The bot also categorized the type of incident so that it could be routed to the appropriate human agent. The human agent received a notification that a new incident had been assigned to her so that she could follow up.

This created an optimized User Experience where the context of the interaction between the human and the bot was captured so that the handoff was seamless. I would love to get feedback about what we have done, and am looking forward to learning from how others have tackled this issue. Pl. do share your ideas, and feel free to write to me directly.