Chatbots can be useful in improving response times and reducing the need for customer service outsourcing. But are they ready to take over live support? The short answer is no, and in this post, we’ll examine why.
The Benefits of Deploying Chatbots
There are several reasons that companies can look into deploying chatbots, namely:
- 24/7 availability,
- quick response times,
- the ability to handle a large volume of inquiries simultaneously,
- the reduced cost of developing custom bots,
- improved natural language processing abilities,
- handling repetitive queries,
- dealing with call directions,
- and reducing the strain on internal teams.
Despite these benefits, chatbots can still not emulate humans exactly, especially when it comes to complex queries. Many customers can tell when they’re dealing with bots instead of humans.
Why Chatbots Aren’t Ready to Replace Human Consultants
Today, bots are much more capable than they were initially, but they’re still a work in progress. With artificial intelligence improving at a frenetic pace, there may come a time when we won’t be able to distinguish between a bot and a person. However, we’re nowhere near that point yet.
Here is why chatbots aren’t ready to take over the world yet.
Complexity of Inquiries
While chatbots are adept at handling simple and common customer queries, they may need help with complex or unique issues that require human judgment and problem-solving skills. Live customer support agents are better equipped to handle such situations and provide personalized assistance.
For this reason, companies need to provide customers with the option to deal with a human being upfront. While this seems counterintuitive, it’s better for customer satisfaction.
If a customer has a problematic query that the bot can’t answer, they will feel frustrated because the chatbot can’t help them. Their dissatisfaction is likely to increase if they then have to go through to a human consultant and explain the details again.
Lack of Emotional Intelligence
Chatbots can’t understand and respond to human emotions effectively. They may not be able to empathize with customers or provide the same level of emotional support as a human agent can. Specific customer interactions may require compassion and understanding, which is better delivered by human representatives.
Chatbots heavily rely on pre-programmed responses and may face challenges in understanding nuanced language, regional dialects, or slang. They can misinterpret customer queries and provide inaccurate or irrelevant answers. Live customer support agents, on the other hand, can adapt to various language styles and better comprehend customer needs.
Chatbots rely on technology, and technical glitches or system failures can occur, leading to disrupted or ineffective customer interactions. Human customer support agents can adapt and find alternative solutions to such issues, ensuring a smoother customer experience.
Building and Maintenance Costs
While chatbots can be cost-effective in the long run, developing, implementing, and maintaining them requires a significant upfront investment. With the systems becoming more mainstream, the costs of developing them are becoming more affordable.
Additionally, as customer needs evolve, chatbots need continuous updates and improvements, which can incur additional costs.
Creative Solutions to Challenges
You can empower a human consultant to reverse charges, offer discounts, and take other measures to remedy a complaint. A chatbot doesn’t have the capacity to work outside of its programming. It can’t, therefore, apply any outside solutions.
In conclusion, while chatbots can handle routine inquiries and provide basic support, they can’t replace live customer support outsourcing entirely. A combination of chatbots and human agents can provide an optimal customer experience, with chatbots handling initial interactions and simple queries, and human agents stepping in for more complex issues or when personalized assistance is required.