The advancement in machine learning and artificial intelligence has led to the rise of chatbots. The growth has been so steep that more than 300K chatbots were added to Facebook Messenger in just TWO YEARS! However, just like everything, there are many advantages and disadvantages of chatbots.
When you’re operating a business, you need to ensure that the customer experience you deliver is positive. It’s only when your customers are satisfied with your services that they will keep coming back to you.
Chatbots were introduced to improve customer service operations, and they’re doing their job well. By 2020, it’s expected that an average person will converse more with chatbots than with their spouse.
With so much buzz about chatbots, let’s take a closer look at their pros and cons so you can make a much more informed decision.
Pros of using Chatbots
The main advantage offered by chatbots from the point of view of customer service is automation. You can optimize human resources and manage conversations with users in a highly efficient way.
For example, if a potential customer sends a message to the company’s Facebook page and no one is currently connected to it, the artificial intelligence chatbots system can offer useful information about the business, such as prices or schedule, opening hours, etc.
In addition, the tool allows closing sales much more easily. Even if there is not a person connected at that moment, the potential client can resolve their doubts and decide to buy or subscribe at that moment.
Finally, another interesting advantage of chatbots in customer service is that all conversations are stored in easy-to-manage digital logs. This allows you to answer and handle all messages afterward if necessary.
Faster Customer Service
There’s no question that chatbots are able to save your team valuable time. Since chatbots can be programmed to answer simple questions, your staff can focus on the more complex issues that your customers may have.
One of the advantages of chatbots is that, unlike humans, bots can respond to customer inquiries around the clock without costing you extra. With 24/7 chat capabilities, your bot can answer customer questions instantly, without requiring them to call your service team between working hours.
Promotes Conversational Marketing
Most consumers prefer to receive an answer to their questions immediately. Rather than having to scroll through your website and find the answer themselves, or fill out a contact form to receive a call or email at a later date, a chatbot allows customers to engage with your site without requiring an actual human to monitor the conversations. While nothing beats human-to-human interaction, a bot can substitute until a support or salesperson needs to step in, and can do so using intuitive language that matches your company’s tone. A good example of this are the chatbots provided by Manychat and Intercom. Manychat is very useful for marketing using Facebook Messenger while Intercom performs well for Live Chat on your website.
You can use chatbots to offer immediate support to your potential customers. When their issues are resolved instantly, they may take your desired action as well. This could mean an increase in your lead generation, which can translate into more sales.
Additionally, you can use chatbots to market your latest products and send out updates to your customers. It’s a more personalized mode of marketing as the promotion or update is sent directly to the customer. This can improve your chances of generating sales as well.
If you don’t use chatbots, you need to pay your customer support team’s wages every month. This is a recurring expense that can be big if you have a large staff to respond to customers quickly. As your business grows, this expense will only increase.
On the other hand, chatbots may require some significant investment in the beginning in terms of money and time. However, in the long run, a chatbot can help you automate your customer support operations.
The chatbot itself can answer all simple queries, and you can leave the complex ones for your customer support team. This is one of the greatest advantages of chatbots.
Not only can this save you money but also help reduce the time that customer service agents have to spend solving simple problems. And the reduction in staff size can help your organization save money.
Helps Manage Customer Requests
If you typically have hundreds of thousands of customer inquiries that you find are generally simple to respond to, a chatbot can help. There’s no ceiling to how many customers a chatbot can handle, which allows your service team to focus on the more complex requests that may come their way.
Cons of using Chatbots
It is often considered that chatbots are complicated and need a lot of time to understand what you want in a customer. Sometimes, it can also annoy the client about their slowness, or their difficulty in filtering responses
with having a limited source of information they can make customers feel frustrated by giving the same answer every time.
They don’t get you right:
Fixed chatbots can get stuck easily. If a query doesn’t relate to something you’ve previously « taught » it, you won’t understand it. This can lead to a frustrated customer and the loss of the sale. Other times they do understand you, but they need double (or triple) as many messages as one person, which spoils the user experience.
Chatbots are installed with the aim of speeding up responses and improving customer interaction. However, due to the limited availability of data and the time needed for self-updating, this process can be slow and costly. Therefore, there are times when instead of serving several customers at once, chatbots may become confused and not serve the customer well.
Chatbots are useful programs that help you save a lot of labor by ensuring availability at all times and serving several customers at once. But unlike humans, each chatbot needs to be programmed differently for each business, which increases the initial installation cost. Considering the last-minute changes that can always occur, this is a risky investment, as updating the program will generate additional costs.
Null decision making:
Chatbots can attack the nerves of more than one because they are not able to make decisions.
The chatbots are not able to memorize a conversation already had, which forces the user to write the same thing over and over again. This can be cumbersome for the client and annoying for the effort required. Therefore, it is important to be careful when designing chatbots and make sure that the program is able to understand users’ queries and respond accordingly.
We have already seen the main advantages and disadvantages of chatbots. They are very advanced, yes. But, as you can see, there is still a lot to do. The truth is that the potential of these tools is incredible.