It is common knowledge that chatbots have revolutionized customer service in the recent past. Here are some of the most mind-boggling facts.
- According to a study by Invespcro, 67% of consumers from across the globe have interacted with a chatbot for customer support in the past year.
- According to CNBC, 75 - 90% of healthcare and banking queries are expected to be handled by chatbots by the end of 2022.
- As per the research conducted by Juniper Research, chatbots are expected to save a whopping $8 Billion by 2022, breaking down the cost to as little as $0.70 per customer interaction.
While the studies and statistics indicate that chatbots are the next big thing with their clutches steadily growing across the globe, it isn’t merely about implementing them. Rather, you have to make sure that the users who interact with the bot have positive experiences. That’s where conversational bots come into play because 30% of your customers are ready to leave your brand after one negative experience.
So, here are some of the major advantages and disadvantages of implementing a chatbot for your business.
The Pros: Why Chatbots Are Actually Beneficial For Your Company?
1. They Assist You In Knowing Your Customers Better
Chatbots go a long way in understanding your customers better. Based on the innumerable interactions that they’ve had with your customers, they let you figure out what their needs and questions are. Furthermore, they also have a deep understanding of what their preferences are concerning your products and services. Knowing this information is crucial for you to comprehend where your brand stands so you can make strategic decisions to improve customer experience.
2. They Help Sell Your Products/Services Like Hot Cakes
Since your chatbots know your customers’ likes, dislikes and preferences, they can strategically promote your new products and services by sending proactive notifications. Furthermore, since they know your customers like the back of your hand, they are also clever enough to identify which products to pitch to whom. In addition to that, they also provide immediate assistance to your potential customers to help speed up their decision-making process.
3. 24 x 7 Customer Service
The biggest problem that small businesses face is their inability to provide their users with a robust customer support system. However, after the intervention of chatbots, they can help out the customers from anywhere and at any time that they need. This instils a sense of trust in your customers that your brand will be able to solve any kind of problem that they face, irrespective of the time of the day.
4. Chatbots Optimize The Way You Utilize Your Resources & Cost
As a small business, it might be difficult to deploy personnel that is enough to handle the innumerable customer queries that flood day in and day out. Rather, by employing a chatbot to field the basic queries of customers and letting your agents handle just the queries that require human support can help your business grow leaps and bounds. How? You ask. For instance, a chatbot integrated with a conversational AI is a great investment to automate the customer service process to a greater extent while also enhancing the service that’s provided by the agents. That being said, while deploying an AI-assisted chatbot might cost you a bit more than you anticipated initially, it would then lead to phenomenal cost optimization in the long run.
5. Chatbots Pave Way For A Greater Customer Satisfaction
It is common knowledge that everyone is different from each other, and so is the way they communicate. That is exactly why it is crucial to be empathetic and provide an appropriate answer to every query that you face. Chatbots with conversational AI have a greater capacity to understand colloquial languages and regionalism. So, they’re constantly on a learning curve and they remember every interaction they’ve had with a customer. This further helps them improve their conversational ability with relevant plug-ins while also recognizing the intent behind each interaction.
The Cons Of A Chatbot:
1. A Chatbot Can Never Replace A Person
While this is pretty straightforward and on the face, one must remember that a conversational AI, irrespective of all its benefits and advantages, is not a human agent. No matter how well you program it and how well designed the AI is, there is a fair share of chance that it won’t understand a query. Additionally, a chatbot may not be able to field all the questions that the user asks, thus making the selection of its answers limited. And more often than not, it ends up in the chatbot sounding robotic.
Scope for Improvement: The Artificial Intelligence industry has shown phenomenal growth in the last few years, and the future scope for chatbots is limitless. However, currently, you have a way to tackle this problem. There are several businesses specializing in creating a great personality for your chatbot and you can have conversations adapted within a particular context. Furthermore, you can also teach your chatbot to show a certain level of empathy based on the user interaction.
2. Implementation Can Be Time Consuming
Investing in a chatbot is indeed a great idea to stay relevant in this digital-first world. However, devising a robust, know-it-all chatbot that negates the necessity of a human agent, takes enormous time and effort. It involves a lot of stages and innumerable rounds of testing before it can be 100% operational and shows promising results.
Scope for Improvement: It is a given that building a revolutionary chatbot can take immense effort and time. However, for starters, you do have several no-code platforms to enhance the set-up speed. To be precise, to use these platforms, you don't need to have great coding skills or an IT support team to implement and update the chatbots. So, before you take up building a robust chatbot as a long-term task, you can substitute these easy-to-implement chatbots as a way to field the basic customer queries.
3. Chatbots Can Be Difficult to Maintain
While chatbots do reduce the overall costs of your organization in terms of resources and time, they also need constant revamps, revisions and maintenance in order to be functioning at an optimal level. You must feed your chatbot with fresh and meaningful data so it can be on its toes to field any new query that’s raised by the customer.
Scope for Improvement: AI and ML of today have a larger scope and room for improvement than their predecessors. For instance, if you know the ins and outs of the tool that you’re working on, this whole process doesn’t necessarily have to be a headache. The modern chatbot-building platforms have a way where you can teach new content to your chatbot by leveraging any unanswered queries, thus paving the way for improved customer satisfaction.
So, finally, we have arrived at the billion-dollar question: Should I invest in a chatbot? And as a small business owner, it is natural that you have the fear of losing out on a lot of time, money and effort in implementing a great chatbot. However, that being said, in today’s modern world, the opportunities are ample and you have the power to choose more friendly and intuitive platforms that do not need bigger investments or too much time to implement.
The most difficult bit is to teach your chatbot the way you want it to behave with your consumers and set a consistent tone for it. Once the complex bit is complete, all you have to do is just keep updating it. In essence, it is not a big ask when compared to the plethora of benefits that your business is going to enjoy post-implementation. With chatbots, you can improve your customer satisfaction, enhance your sales by several notches, garner valuable data and optimize your costs in the long run.
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