Chatbots – Future or Frustration?

This year there has been much talk about the rise of chatbot use and how they will influence customer service in the future. However, AI learning is a process that by its very nature is going to take time. Is there a place for this slow process on your site or should you wait until the technology is ready for the challenges of dealing with human interactions before making it part of your B2B website?

 

Experience

That annoying little pop-up, usually in the bottom right corner of the landing page after scrolling past the fold, is not likely to be going anywhere soon. Chatbots have been touted as the future of customer service with AI-learning the solution to the complex issue of giving global traffic direct customer service access.

 

Chatbots are useful for answering questions that your FAQ page has covered. It is helpful for those people who are too busy to search your site for answers or those who want quick responses to basic questions.

 

However, the technology is not ready to take on the responsibility of your business just yet. Your traffic deserves more than a ‘sorry, our AI is still learning’ when a question is asked that the system cannot understand. Perhaps the worst use of this technology is government sites that continue to downsize to reduce costs while demanding that people rely on their sites to make payments, uncover information or otherwise fulfill legal obligations.

 

A system that is not responsive in a manner that leads your customer to solutions is not a system that works. Your traffic deserves better than a basic ‘cannot respond’ message when trying to access your site. This response does not foster good working relationships. Establishing loyalty requires your business to be responsive and engaged.

 

Solutions

Including a chatbot need not be the isolating customer experience that most sites offer. The reason chatbots are becoming a frustration for customers is because they are being too heavily relied upon.

 

Your customer wants to feel that they are special, even your B2B client. No longer are transactions a cold and distant arrangement, people expect an experience. Part of providing that experience is providing excellent customer service. That means being responsive.

 

Chatbots can be used for first contact and generating a ticketing system if the AI cannot respond. Setting up your technology to support your business means giving the technology time to evolve. At this time, chatbots are not sophisticated enough to replace your human customer service team. They should be used as a support system only. It is a great way to respond fast and create a ticketing system that lets customers know how long they might need to wait to hear from a customer service agent.

 

Conclusion

They are a bridge, not a team, and over reliance on this basic technology (in terms of development time) could isolate your potential customers. Your clients deserve an excellent customer service experience. You can provide this by combining new technologies with old methods – human interactions with empowered and knowledgeable customer service agents.

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