AI VS. Humans: Who Wins in Customer Service?
The question is whether or not chatbots are being used appropriately. One thing we learned from the epidemic is how much people value social interactions.
Those who were quarantined or locked in their homes for an extended period, without the option of working remotely or maintaining regular contact with others, struggled to maintain their mental health. The same holds for customer support and the use of chatbots and other automation; you can’t provide an outstanding experience for your customers by using automation and artificial intelligence to replace human interaction whenever possible. That personal connection is important to them because it makes them feel safe.
It’s Important to Understand the Chatbot’s Purpose Before Proceeding
The goal of creating a chatbot for customer service is to shorten the amount of time spent on the phone with the company and speed up the process of finding a solution. This is fantastic, everything is going swimmingly. Currently, a chatbot can be used in two ways by a customer service team.
One option is to simply gather some key data before talking to a support rep. Brilliant; they’ll have to volunteer the info eventually. When a human agent connects with the chatbot, they will have instantaneous access to the customer’s information and conversational history. I can now spend less time on this. Particularly when a single live chat agent is juggling three or four conversations at once.
So, yes, this is an appropriate use of a chatbot if its only purpose is to gather low-level information to streamline the process while the transfer to the agent is taking place.
Alternatively, chatbots are not being used in this way. The goal is not augmentation, but rather a replacement of the auxiliary interaction. When a customer uses a chat service, they are communicating not with a person but with a computer program; in fact, they often give the chatbot a name. Then, to make it seem like you’re talking to a real person, they add a tiny message at the bottom that the chatbot is typing. (Did they expect anyone to believe that?) Chatbots are only a barrier between you and your customers when they are used to replace or discourage human support interactions.
Real-Time Conversation Is More Popular
Now, statistically speaking, customers prefer live chat to all other support channels used by support departments for reporting and fixing issues. Live chats with customer support are preferred by the majority of customers (52% in the US and 49% in the UK).
Sad to say, only about 9% of businesses around the world offer live chat. Even so, in 2023, we can expect to see an increase in this. Companies have come to realise that customers today would rather contact them through social media than by navigating your website to find contact information for customer service. You may want to reconsider your use of chatbots if your support department already provides live chat and you’re using them. Consider whether or not the company is providing actual assistance to its customers. Is the chatbot popular with the clientele?
The shopper has risked their financial resources. It’s finally here, the culmination of your desires. Customers directly translate into financial success. The money is needed, and you want it to continue coming in. Customers can only be kept happy if they are given a say in the business’s direction. It’s common knowledge that a lack of two-way communication is a major cause of frustration for both the company and its customers. Thus, it is necessary to work toward bridging that gap as rapidly as possible.
How Much of a Gap Do Chatbots Close? Or Do They Make It Wider?
First, I’d like to ask if you’d be willing to completely automate your sales process and replace human salespeople with chatbots.
Yes, you probably use some form of automation to gather information about potential customers and generate leads. No AI, however, will ever be able to read a customer’s reactions, tone of voice, or how they shift themselves when they are uneasy, which are all crucial to closing the deal. Then, jump right into fixing their problems. Nothing can compare to the quality of human interaction, which is universally acknowledged. It’s not unlike dealing with money to need to get creative on the sales call. Do you think AI is trustworthy enough to handle all of your financial needs?
There’s a good chance that it won’t. Then I must inquire as to why, after completing the sale and collecting the customer’s payment details, you would decide that a chatbot can magically address all of their concerns and provide them with a wonderful experience. Is there a ready market for it? Ask yourself: do they want it? Take a look at what Meta is going through at the moment…
The main problem is that chatbots have a small environment, so they can only process so much information at once. A chatbot can, in essence, become perplexed. In particular, if they are attempting to identify specific terms from the feline. People have different names for the same things. One example is the funnel cake, which many people enjoy purchasing at the carnival. Others have described it as looking like an elephant’s ear. But they amount to the same thing. It’s frustrating if the chatbot can’t be reprogrammed to use different words. Unlike a live chat agent, who can take the customer’s entire conversation and interpret it.
In addition, these restrictions mean chatbots risk losing the customer in a never-ending loop. They get lost in a never-ending loop in which your chatbot repeatedly returns them to the initial greeting. Forgive me, I didn’t catch that. What was it again? No, I’m afraid I don’t get it. They’ve said “Please try another option,” but have no more suggestions.
About now is when the customer begins rattling their soda bottle in frustration, and you can bet that they’re already on the verge of giving up and clicking over to your competitor’s site. Make matters worse by terminating their subscription via their credit card.
Talking About Computer Programs, or “Chatbots,” Are Not a New Concept
Thinking back, we realize that this technology isn’t exactly cutting-edge. Keep in mind how much people hated IVRs. What I don’t get is why they decided to take that concept further (to speak to a live agent press 0 —or—stay on the line). It’s just that some businesses don’t seem to care about their customers anymore. If you’re trying to save money, my advice is to not skimp on the quality of service you provide to your customers.
Now, it’s fine if someone visits your live chat to ask a couple of questions; the agent can point them in the direction of a self-service portal if necessary. Chatbots find an excellent application in this scenario. If they have a simple problem, they can go there and type in their question to see if there is an article that addresses it. For regular walkthroughs that the client might need to review later, this is an invaluable feature.
Sending a customer into an endless chatbot loop is pointless when they have a complex problem that requires critical thinking. A customer would try to navigate the menus six or seven times before giving up and asking to speak to a human. After the customer has spent considerable time in your chat box chatbot loop, putting them on hold sends the message that their time is not valuable.
Don’t Fall Behind the Times, or You’ll Lose Business
These days, speed and empathy are the most important factors in the customer service industry. The fastest way to make a customer happy is to put them in touch with a sympathetic person who can help them with whatever problem they’re having. Doing so is a prime example of providing outstanding service to your clients. However, some dismiss the idea out of hand because they believe it is too expensive.
In addition, I am here to tell you that ignoring your customers is not a viable business strategy. As making a customer feel ignored, unimportant, and frustrated is one of the worst feelings imaginable. Furthermore, it is cost-effective to let them know how they feel.
Further, it’s not cost-effective to lose customers who leave frustrated or unhappy because they’ll likely take their complaints online. Look inward, especially at the things you do when you’re feeling frustrated and need to “vent,” “tell somebody,” or “get it out.” Clients are the same as anyone else.
The chatbot itself isn’t particularly relevant, but the level of concern it conveys to the customer is. Although it may appear to be quicker, more efficient, and cost less on your end, are your customers prepared for this? To what extent do they accept you? They claim it’s faster, but is it?
Human Customer Service Representatives VS. Chatbots: An Outsourcing Decision
Humans with compassion, intelligence, and the ability to think creatively are well worth the small investment required to employ them. It’s especially satisfying to watch as the percentage of repeat customers grows steadily over time. Today’s society increasingly demands quick answers to complex problems. Every change occurs instantly. The speed, quality, and turnaround time have all been improved. There’s no way to avoid a complete standstill when a chatbot is involved.
Data Analysis Followed by Experimentation
Test whether a human chat moderator or a chatbot gets more positive responses from your customers. When a knowledgeable live agent is handling your chat, you can rest assured that you’ll get better responses. The ability to converse with customers and intuitively resolve complex issues in a shorter amount of time. A chatbot cannot replace actual human conversation.
Using an outsourcing service is a fantastic way to save money while having live, knowledgeable agents staff your chat lines. Although reduced expenditures are an important consideration. To those who are curious, I always say, “If you want to outsource just to save money, you’re missing the mark.” For more information on how companies can assist you with your outsourcing needs, visit IconAF’s website.