A new world of customer service via Chatbots
In today's fast-paced world, businesses need to keep up with their customers' expectations for quick and efficient communication. One solution that has become increasingly popular is the use of Chatbots for customer service. Chatbots are automated messaging programs allowing customers to interact with businesses through a messaging app or the company's website. In this article, we will touch on the benefits and frustrations of using Chatbots for customer service.
1. 24/7 Availability
A significant benefit of using Chatbots for customer service is their 24/7 availability. Unlike companies employing live customer service representatives, Chatbots can operate around the clock, providing customers with some level of assistance at any time. A frustration, however, is the Chatbot is not structured by AI to always answer your specific question; many times simply gives a menu of choices it believes will answer your question. When your question cannot be answered only then will you be directed to speak with a Customer Service Representative.
2. Semi-Personalized Service
Chatbots cannot provide a personalized level of service to customers. Instead, by utilizing customer data and artificial intelligence, Chatbots can semi-tailor responses to the individual needs of each customer. This does not guarantee by any stretch that a company’s most important asset, their customer, is having their needs specifically addressed.
A benefit of using Chatbots for customer service is their cost-effectiveness. Chatbots can handle a large volume of inquiries at once, which can reduce the need for businesses to hire additional customer service representatives. This may result in significant cost savings for businesses but at the expense of people being employed by the company with the ability to provide specific answers to queries, something Chatbots often are unable to do leaving customers frustrated.
4. Increased Efficiency
Chatbots can also increase the efficiency of a business's customer service operations. Since they can handle a large volume of inquiries at once, Chatbots can reduce the wait times for customers and streamline the overall customer service experience. This statement is of course based on a Chatbot successfully handling a customer query. When they cannot, Chatbots have wasted a customer’s time resulting in ill will.
5. Data Collection
Finally, Chatbots can also be used to collect valuable customer data. By asking customers specific questions, businesses can collect data on customer preferences, needs, and pain points. This data can then be used to improve the overall customer experience and inform business decisions. However, what goodwill is lost toward the customer who does not want to become a data packet?
The use of Chatbots likely provides a different response generationally. A Gen Z person may embrace this technology, Millennials may be a 50/50 mix of liking or not liking the feature and Boomers will often not be impressed with this technology substituting for a live customer service representative. Companies employing Chatbots are not driven by customer satisfaction as much as they say they are. These companies are driven primarily by the bottom line. That is their charter. Live customer service often falls to the wayside in pursuit of profit. Chatbots are here to stay. Progressive companies on the other hand realize the value of live customer service representatives as a means of primary communication and will continue to employ them to the satisfaction of their customer base.