Wondering whether your company could benefit from using a chatbot on your website or social media? If you take a close look at articles online, you will find plenty in favor of chatbots as a customer service tool. On the other hand, you will also encounter those who say customers find chatbots irritating and they drive potential customers away. So will a chatbot increase customer satisfaction at your business–or hurt it?
AI is Here to Stay
Whether you are pro or con chatbot, it’s inescapably true that AI, aka artificial intelligence, the tool that powers many chatbots, is proliferating across the web, in the apps you use, and on your mobile phone. AI is infiltrating all of our lives, even though many of us don’t realize it yet. In fact, a recent study by Deloitte showed that 66% of consumers use AI without being aware of it.
This increase in AI has led to the development of more sophisticated, complex chatbots. Some are so good that people don’t realize they have been chatting with a bot. However, the biggest use of chatbots for business is to answer frequently asked questions, or to give quick answers so customers don’t have to wait.
Figuring Out What Customers Want
According to Sprout Social, Facebook recently released data that shows most customers would rather text message a business than call. Also, most people are more likely to shop at a business they can reach digitally through messaging. These customers want quick answers, the kind that chatbots are often good at giving. For example, they will message to find out your hours, whether you deliver, or the price range of a product. These are all questions you can easily program a chatbot to answer. Handing this type of task over to chatbots will free your employees to do more important work. Your customers can even ask a chatbot how to reach a real person at your business to answer their more complex questions.
Getting their basic questions answered immediately by a chatbot can definitely improve your customers’ satisfaction. With a chatbot, they can ask those questions any time of the day or night, and even on holidays.
Chatbots Downsides and How to Overcome Them
However, there can be downsides to using chatbots. As a Forbes contributor noted, some analysts feel “chatbots are killing customer service.” The main complaint in that article is that chatbots cannot usually answer complex questions and this leaves customers feeling frustrated. Others have noted that people are sometimes put off if they think a chatbot is actually a person and then they find out otherwise during the conversation.
Both of these issues are easy to fix. You can program your chatbot to notify people at the beginning of the conversation that they are talking to a bot. You can also program it so customers can request to speak to a person instead. Furthermore, even though AI is developing at breakneck speed, it’s still a good idea to rely on your human customer service reps to handle all complex, involved queries. Save your chatbot for simple questions people love getting immediate answers to.
People love instant gratification and a chatbot can be there to provide it for your frequently asked questions. Used wisely, a chatbot can definitely increase your customer satisfaction levels.
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