Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged from the shadows.
Businesses are now using AI chatbots in customer-facing solutions, such as customer service and sales.
Bot users will save $8 billion yearly by 2022 in operational costs.
But chatbot technology has drawbacks which are hindering its adoption. If you’re contemplating a bot for your business, you should know both perspectives.
Let’s first start by understanding why chatbots are gaining popularity.
The benefits of using AI Chatbots
Customers love chatbots for mainly two reasons, their perpetual availability and instant responses. 64% of people find the 24×7 service provided by chatbots convenient. 55% say chatbots’ quick responses to queries is their top feature.
It’s no surprise that click-happy customers find bots more approachable and effective than live chat or apps.
Image via Drift
According to Team Shane Barker, chatbots score over human agents in more areas, including:
- Customer-handling volume: A bot can handle 3x more inquiries than an executive. It is able to answer nearly 80% of routine questions satisfactorily, in four minutes less than a call center executive.
- Customer satisfaction rate: Bots never get tired, cranky, or bored. They assist customers cheerily in the dead of the night and wee hours of the morning. Users get a good online experience which fosters loyalty towards the company.
- Cost factor: Evidently, a large part of your customer service staff can be replaced by bots. Even if you use bots as an ancillary to your customer service reps, the department’s productivity rises by 64%. This leads to overall lower overhead.
Having a chatbot to serve customers is a win-win for your business. You save money and get happy customers.
However, there are few pitfalls in chatbot technology. Let’s consider them too.
The challenges of using AI Chatbots
An illustration will help you understand the bottlenecks in chatbot technology.
You’re in a store using a chatbot to help you shop. It’s a voice recognition chatbot similar to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Much to your exasperation, the bot refuses to greet you or answer your questions.
It can’t recognize your voice amid the chaos in the store. You’re forced to get help from a store employee. Perhaps this is one reason why 43% of people still prefer to deal with human agents.
Consider another scenario: Your company’s main server crashes or the power cuts off. In these situations, your chatbots become useless. You have to resort to live agents to attend to your customers.
There are cases where bots have provided inaccurate or insufficient answers to simple queries. Despite overall good feedback on bots, 30% of people don’t trust them.
Image via Drift
The general consensus of experts is that chatbots and humans can give the best results when they work in cohesion. Bots can reduce the query-handling time of agents and save companies a lot of money. Agents can compensate for areas in which bots are lacking, such as complex query resolution and soft skills.
Check out this infographic created by team Shane Barker. It elaborates on the opportunities and challenges of AI chatbots that you should know:
This inforaphic was created by Shane Barker.