Techopedia.com defines a chatbot as “an artificial intelligence (AI) program that simulates interactive human conversation by using key pre-calculated user phrases and auditory or text-based signals” (Techopedia). Designed to supplement the need of a real person.
Chatbots are one of the many options of the omnichannel for providing customer support. When used effectively, with other forms of support, can create a seamless customer journey. A chatbot is not the perfect solution and should not be the only solution for customer support. People’s perspective of a chatbot can vary widely. Embracing new technology can be useful but too much reliance could hinder your customer support.
Before implementing new technologies in your company, understand all the strengths and weaknesses of the capabilities to ensure the implementation meets your goals and objectives. One of the greatest opportunities for chatbots is knowing when to transition from chatbot to human interaction and provide the representative a history of the chatbot interaction.
The chatbot offers many advantages for businesses and consumers by creating a new self-service option for customer support. An investment in chatbot technology may provide businesses a lower transaction cost with no negative impact to the consumer.
Chatbots are most useful when they can provide value to the consumer without the need for human interaction, allowing the representatives to spend their time on more complex issues and inquiries. As the technology improves so does the probability that the results are going to be accurate and address the consumers inquiry. Providing quick, reliable responses to simple and routine questions. When an escalation is required, the total handle time may decrease as the representative does not need to repeat the self-service options attempted by the chatbot session.
The other advantage of the chatbot is the ability to handle a high volume of inquires more efficiently. This allows the representatives to spend more time with the consumers that needs human interaction. When done right, integration of chatbots provides a seamless customer experience.
While the chatbot does offer many advantages, it still has its limitations. Computers rely on programming and algorithms to respond to customer inquiries. As the complexity increases the accuracy of results may decrease. Chatbots must satisfy these algorithms to fulfill the request and offer a solution. If the request cannot be satisfied by the programming, then the desired results may not be achieved.
Chatbots are still computers and the need to speak to a person will never go away. When chatbots do not have a resolution, this may reverse the intent of the chat by increasing frustration and can lead to a less than desired customer experience.