Considering Chatbot for Customer Service? Read This First!

Machine learning has revolutionized the latest organizational structure by providing various solutions and one of the major applications of the same is using Chatbot for Customer Service. However, when it comes to comparing them with the real human chat agents, there are many aspects which the former fail to perform. This is the major reason why over 40% of people like to interact with the real-life agent than the Chatbot. There is no denying the fact that Chatbots are the contemporary trend but despite their exceptional fame, there is not a single readymade product that can boast commendable intelligent abilities. Even the Siri 2.0 or Viv can only manage just a small fraction of the user queries.

Sadly, modern chatbots are not able to meet 3 major criteria of the successful product –
· Accurate operation in over 90% of the cases
· Convenient to use
· Economy of efforts and time in the procedure of performing habitual activities.

Disadvantages of the Chatbots emanate from this concept – They are defined as software that can have an interaction with a human. Now, this misconception might lead to people having an opinion that the Chatbot must be capable of responding just like any human would do. An example of unsuccessful Chatbot is Tay of Microsoft i.e., the Twitter bot which was assumed to learn as well as talk to the other Twitter users for becoming more and more humane. It resulted in Tay becoming the racist and not being able to be used as an AI representative of Microsoft. It clearly shows that bots are not as smart as humans and that is why they fail to give a personal touch during any interaction.

Here is the list of top 9 reasons why Chatbots are consistently failing and the platform of live chat is emerging as a winner –
1. No Human Touch – Utilizing Chatbot for consumer support can prove to be annoying at times as while interacting with them, customers miss the contact which they get from the human. Isn’t it ironic that 34% of the respondents use the chatbot for finding the live chat agent? It is because there are situations when you require the consumer support agent for helping you to solve some problems that will assist you with the purchase decision.

Say if you buy a shirt online but after your purchase, you realize that you have some queries about that product which needs to be answered. You quickly go back to the site and open up the chat window. The Chatbot welcomes you by sending an automated greeting message but this is the only thing you get. Further questions cannot be answered as they are personal and need the human live chat agent to interact with you.

You spend as much as 15 minutes on the chat window trying to get a reasonable answer as you do not have any idea that there is a Chatbot on the other side. Frustrated, you immediately leave the chat and reach out to a real being who can manage to instantly give you the answers. Now, this is where the chatbot lacks in performance as it is not able to understand the problems of a customer as effectively as another human can.

2. Complex Interface – There is a reason why over 40% of the online customers have the opinion that having their queries answered by the live person amid an online purchase is the most critical feature offered by a website as it makes them feel valued and cared for.

Talking to the bot signifies conversing in the chat, referring that the user will need to write. In case the bot is not able to understand a user’s request, he/she will require writing a lot. This takes a considerable amount of time to look for commands which the bot can reply to properly, as well as which queries are good to avoid. Hence, interacting with the chatbot fails to save time in most of the cases.

Their functional abilities are extremely restricted and prove to be useful in only a limited number of business areas. The fact that they are complicated and the problem of poor processing i.e., the lack of result filtering on time can make people annoyed.

3. Chatbots answer very specific and simple questions – One of the major downsides of using Chatbot is that it is the computerized program and thereby, it does not have the capability of thinking outside-the-box. Only the data that has been pre-programmed into the same will work.
It is the popularity of live chat agents that even 63% of the millennials prefer to get their general consumer service questions answered by live chat. However, in the case of offering client service through Chatbot, the customer’s question has to be in context, simple, and specific as its ability to answer the query is limited. Furthermore, you even have to spend several weeks or months for training the Chatbots.

On the other hand, the chat agent can answer any query that is related to the organization. In addition to this, they can add some useful advice for helping your company as well which is amiss in the Chatbot.

4. Spelling has to be perfect – Be careful of spellings while conversing with the Chatbots as once you make the mistake, the bot will be left confused. But this is not the case when you are talking to a live chat agent. They hold the ability to understanding your questions even if you make any spelling error.

While Chatbots are in the limelight nowadays, they are not capable of replacing the human consumer agent thoroughly. The former is here to only help out the humans for quickly completing their task, saving money, and time. Please note that over 50% of the customers say that they see organizations more favorably when the offered customer service is customized for them and their requirements.

Most of the Chatbots are based upon output and input. In case the inputted question by a customer has any sort of spelling mistakes, the chatbot would lack the ability to referencing the proper answer. This is one of the major obstacles to deal with for providing prospective buyers with exceptional customer support via Chatbot.

5. Not designed for every company – The companies whose major product is offering the service enjoy advantage from chatbots the most. Requests of customers for the pizza delivery services, retail, travel, and taxi companies as well as the shoe shops etc., are usually stereotyped and predictable. Thereby, it is much easier for designing a cheap and accurate Chatbot for these requirements.

Still, as per studies, 73% of customers say that human chat agent is their favorite option of interacting and there are B2B firms out there in the market whose customer support offers the primary inclusive consultations. So, Chatbots can only be programmed for answering templated questions and thus, they are not able to improvise. In these kinds of organizations, the human-to-human conversation is considered as the best element of consumer support.

6. They make mistakes – Although Chatbots might be more precise and faster than the human consumer assistant, there are circumstances when they are baffled by a customer’s request. As they are not real human beings, they can’t improvise with the information when it is required. They can also lose the track of interaction as well as go off-topic. Not only this, but Chatbots are also incapable of understanding sarcasm and can also be bewildered.

In case an unsaved question is showcased in front of them, they can be stuck due to the fixed programs. The ultimate result would be a loss to the company and consumer dissatisfaction. According to various reports, the global market of live chat software will grow to $987 M by 2023 from the amount of $590M in 2016.

As far as Chatbots are concerned, multiple messaging can turn out to be taxing for the users and can also deteriorate their experience on the site.

7. Showcase poor retention – As per the Chatbots Magazine, plenty of chatbots are not able to successfully bring the users further than just the first 2 messages. Approximately 25% of the users drop off after the second text, 40% never even pass first one. Precisely, though effective and useful, Chatbots rarely get a chance for demonstrating their attributes.

According to the target audience of your business, design not the faceless bot but the character with its temper and style. Not only the chatbots lack empathy but there is also immense training and maintenance needed for them as well.

8. A lot of functions – Majority of the developers strive for creating the universal chatbot that will be the fully-fledged assistant to a user. However, in reality, functional bots are not likely to cope with most of the queries. Often, they forget what was told to them 5 minutes earlier, do not understand the consumer and have several other disadvantages.

This does not come out as any wonder because for developing the universal Chatbot for exceptional client satisfaction that can evaluate context and understand natural language, you need a lot of time as well as the team of well-trained programmers. Even in this scenario, these programs must be improved constantly while being in service.
Unlike the Chatbots, the human live chat has the greatest satisfaction level ranging from 73% to 81% for any consumer support channel.

9. Primitive Algorithms – The Chatbots can be classified into 2 major categories:
· Programmed for particular behavior scenarios
· Based on artificial intelligence and can learn in the procedure of communication

More than 70% of survey respondents stated that they would rather chat with the human agent than making a call to speak with one and it is enough to prove the vitality of live chat agents. Artificial Intelligence bots are regarded as a better option as they can reply as per the context and situation. But the development of the complex algorithms is a must for the same and only a few developers and IT giants can possess such a robust technological base.

Hence, it would prove to be more effective for ordinary firms to aim at the second type of Chatbot as they are comparatively simpler and reliable. But since they are not intelligent, they won’t be capable of adopting rude communication patterns as well as getting beyond the creators’ control.

Besides these major problems, there are plenty of other reasons why Chatbots are not a got option for your company’s customer service –

Expensive Installation Cost – Yes, Chatbots are those useful programs which help in saving plenty of manpower by making sure of being all-time available and serving to various clients at a time. But every Chatbot, unlike humans, should be programmed differently for the new company and now this increases its initial installation price structure. Not only the cost, but the required time to prepare for the program as well as effectively plan everything is also increased. Keeping the last-minute changes in mind which can always take place, this is the risky investment as program up-gradation will invite additional costs to the same.

Time consuming – The motive of installing Chatbots is to fasten response time and improve consumer interaction. But due to the required time to self-update and limited availability of data, this procedure appears more expensive and time-taking. Thus, instead of attending many customers simultaneously, Chatbots seem confused as to how to interact with the audience. Furthermore, as per the recent survey, 75% of the customers will want to do business with those companies which provide customized experiences by 2020.

Poor Memory – Chatbots are incapable of memorizing past communication that forces user for typing the same thing multiple times. Now, this can prove to be cumbersome for a consumer and make him/her feel annoyed due to the effort needed. Hence, it is significant to be aware while designing chatbots and make it a point that the program can comprehend user questions as well as respond accordingly.

Zero decision-making –One of the major reasons why Chatbots are so infamous is because they are unable to make the decisions. As mentioned above, the same situation has landed well-known companies like Microsoft in trouble when the chatbot continued making the racist rant. That is why it is imperative for ensuring your chatbot’s proper programming so that any incident like this can be prevented from hampering your brand. Always remember that 70% of the unhappy buyers whose issues are solved agree to deal with the companies again.

Not everybody likes to have an interaction with the bots and that is why the task of maintaining reliable customer care by Chatbot is a daunting task. Some people may even feel like they are not being given the chance of interacting with the live person. Thereby, it is good to have the option of forwarding the user to the live operator in case they decide so.

In case you only have the chatbot that is available for contact, the experience could be limited as there is a possibility that it does not have a proper answer to the client’s problem.

It can prove to be quite expensive for you to make the chatbots as it is not easy to find experts in this field. This specifically relates to apps based on Artificial Intelligence. Finding AI developers who have impressive qualifications is not easy at this time and might charge you a high price.

Hence, Chatbots are the thing of future which still has to uncover the potential as machine learning has modified the way organizations were interacting with their clients but when compared to a live chat agent, Chatbots are not efficient at all. According to Econsultancy, more than 75% of the customers prefer the live chat agent because there is no need for them to wait on hold. They prefer interacting with them as they quickly get the right answer to their questions.

The most important thing affect the price of building the chatbot is the amount of work done by the developer. But, in case you wish to build a unique product particularly for your needs, you will require the developer or even the team for dealing with it. Some main aspects which can influence pricing are several languages you wish to use in the application, work that must be done by the chatbot and the kind of integration.

Moreover, the average cost of developing the chatbot application might vary from $15000 to $30000. Yet, the AI personalized solutions can go more than $40000 in cost. Being part of a company means that it must reflect its main values and aims. As far as Chatbots are concerned, they are not as effective as a live chat agent and can lead to a major loss in the overall customer satisfaction rate. Live chat is the best alternative for a company’s needs so that the wide variety of support requests can be answered while keeping the sense of personal touch intact.