Are chatbots right for your customers?

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Chatbots are on the rise with more customers than ever interacting with brands and services online. Simulating human conversation and dealing with enquiries, these compute programs are designed and can be trained to provide quick solutions at any time of the day or night. 

But with so much emphasis and importance stressed on levels of customer service, is employing artificial intelligence the right option for your company or is it the way every modern business needs to go?

Here are the pros and cons of chatbots to help you decide. 

Pros

1.Speedier customer service

Chatbots can provide customer service capabilities around the clock. What is more, they don’t want holidays or sick pay and there is no waiting on a human to look up the answers. They are already programmed in and ready to respond. 

2.    Variety of uses

Chatbots can be used in more than one sector of your business such as advertising and customer orders. 

3.    Time and money saving

Reduction in staff roles/numbers can also be a benefit your purse. Chatbots could also reduce training time as you would no longer need a staff member or even a team to do the same job. 

4.    High Volume of Requests

If your business receives a high volume of questions or deals with countless users on a daily basis, chatbots allow you to keep up with enquiries as well as cope during busier times of the year depending on offers or new products you may be offering. 

5.    Analytics

Chatbots can record data, trends, and metrics so you can monitor interactions and adjust your processes and responses according to the results. Real-time information is at your fingertips. There is no need to wait for human reports which could take days if not weeks.

6.    Increased Customer Satisfaction

When customers receive accurate answers to their questions and a speedy service, they can be nothing other than happier, they are more likely to shop with you more, return again and recommend you to others. 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Cons

1.    Limited Responses for Customers

Although your customer service may be quicker and more efficient using chatbots, it is unlikely to be perfect. Simple chatbot programs may have limited responses for customers and therefore not all customers will get the answers they are searching for.

2.    Emotionless

Because of their very inhuman nature, chatbots cannot detect human emotions such as tone that can alter the very meaning of a message. If misinterpreted, the most accurate and most appropriate responses may not be offered.

3.    Complex Chatbots Could Cost More

Complex chatbots that provide detailed and accurate responses can cost more than simple ones. In some cases, they cost thousands of pounds more which defeats the object of having them to lower staff costs. 

4.    Loss of Service

Chatbot responses rely on a working internet connection; if your interface goes offline, you have no backup to deal directly with customers until you get it up and running. 

5.    Customer preference

Many users, particularly certain generations, prefer to talk to a real person. If there is no other option than to interact with artificial intelligence, some customers may become frustrated even though the chatbot provides accurate responses and information.

Summary

When you consider all the cost and time-saving benefits of chatbots, using artificial intelligence seems like a great option. However, as listed above, there are limitations and sometimes, people need a human experience. They need to know you empathise with their struggles and frustrations. Often, that empathy can transform an enquiry into a sale and more business for your company. 

One final option may therefore be a hybrid live chat, particularly if you like the idea of artificial intelligence but don’t want to lose that personal touch. 

A hybrid live-chat is a customer service experience relying on both chatbots and human interaction to help customers with their enquiries. Routine and often simpler questions can be delegated to chatbots, while more complex queries can be sent to a person – which might even be followed up with a good old-fashioned phone call depending on the nature of the enquiry.

Cover image by alluregraphicdesign from Pixabay 

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