No Bot or Robots? 5 Pros & Cons of Using Chatbots
It’s time to wave goodbye – because the days of agent-only customer service are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, though; today’s consumers demand a seamless service experience across email, social media, webpage, and by phone, so it’s no wonder that customer care software like chatbots is becoming more and more popular.
But while the digitization of customer service is undeniable, whether or not chatbot is right for your business may still be up in the air.
Let’s break it down:
1. Time Saved is Time Well Used
Unlike agent-based customer care programs, chatbots can respond to most consumer queries within seconds – if not immediately. This lack of wait-time is an easy way to make your customers feel valued and clear up your service team’s plate so they can handle more complex issues.
2. 24/7 Service Guaranteed
No matter how hard we try and fight it, the average human needs a break now and then. A chatbot, however, can work 24/7, 365 days a year without lapse in the speed, quality, and availability of your customer service, meaning every question gets an answer.
Yes, even the one that comes in at 3 a.m. New Year’s Day.
3. Human Error, Be Gone
A properly managed customer service program runs like a well-oiled machine. But even the best programs can fall prey to misplaced tickets, lost emails, and other human errors. Adding a chatbot to your customer care team can temper the risk of potential blunders by keeping responses timely, friendly, and accurate via software pre-sets.
4. Curb Your Labor Costs
Building a service division that can keep up with the demands of today’s customers is costly, to say the least. And depending on the size and scale of your business, the all-in cost of finding, training, and managing a fully equipped customer service team might just be too high. Using a chatbot can help reduce the cost of labor by maintaining some – or all – of your online queries automatically.
5. Up Your Customer Interaction
According to American Express, up to a third of Americans say they would consider switching brands after just one bad service experience. Using a chatbot is one way your business can streamline the consumer experience so that every interaction meets your standards of quality.
What’s more, the uses of chatbots extend far beyond customer service alone, adding potential marketing or sales value to any digital interaction as well.
1. Limited Responses
While chatbots are great for answering simple consumer questions, pre-programmed responses can only do so much. If a customer throws a chatbot a curveball query – or, in some instances, even words their question in an odd way – they might not receive the right answer, leading to serious frustration.
2. Complex AI
Not all chatbots are created equal, and, as a result, some of the best chatbot software comes with a complicated backend. For businesses not well-versed in artificial intelligence or without the IT skills they need to support it, using a chatbot could create more headaches than it solves.
3. Expensive Software
Chatbots that use AI are not only confusing – they’re also expensive. While using automated service software can certainly save your business money in labor costs, what you gain could easily be lost in the upgrades, care, and base price of a top-of-the-line chatbot system.
4. “Can I Speak to a Real Person Please?”
Though many chatbots do a great job at mimicking human interaction, nothing can beat the real thing. In fact, 68% of consumers cite a friendly representative or agent as the key to having a positive service experience.
5. It’s Just Not for Everyone
At the end of the day, chatbots just aren’t practical for every business. If your business traffics in complex, case-based service, the standardized responses and rigid software of a chatbot just might not be for you.
Ready or Bot…
When it comes to keeping up with changes in customer care, using chatbots could be a great option – but they’re not the only name in the game. As you reconstruct your customer service program to reflect consumer demands, consider that personalized interaction and agent experience still has a part to play in your business.