By Jeff Murphy
Extraordinary customer service is a value that businesses are constantly aiming to achieve. As new technologies are introduced, new opportunities arrive that enable companies to assist their consumers in ways that were previously unimaginable. One recent breakthrough in online customer service has been the implementation of chatbots on company websites. This breakthrough has prompted many a question from the general public, the first of all being, “What are chatbots”?
Chatbots are artificial intelligence software applications that enable conversation between an internet user and an “assistant” or chatbot, in place of a human agent. Recently, there has been a surge in the use of chatbots online. Currently, 23% of all customer service organizations are now utilizing chatbots when communicating with their consumers. (Salesforce) So what can chatbots offer?
Companies that utilize chatbots have a faster customer service response than traditional customer service methods. Additionally, chatbots have 24/7 availability, substantially more than most other conventional options. Chatbots also promote conversational marketing which is far more helpful than having a consumer attempt to find solutions on their own.
Although the benefits listed are exciting, chatbots do not fit every business model and carry some limitations. Communication issues often arise with the use of artificial intelligence, chatbots are no exception. Chatbots struggle to understand natural language which immediately puts a barrier between the user and the information they seek. Since AI is the engine driving the conversation with the consumer, chatbots lack the personalization and emotion that accompany live human interaction. Additionally, installing and maintaining the chatbot software can be both time-intensive and expensive.
Considering the ongoing improvements made to technology, the issues that currently accompany chatbots will diminish over time. This will result in more companies utilizing chatbots for customer service and, overall, more people embracing the idea of using the service. With its growing popularity, the global chatbot market size is forecast to reach over $1.2 billion by the year 2025. (Grand View Research)
While this technology is new and exciting, it does not work for all business models. When considering whether or not to utilize a chatbot, businesses need to consider questions such as: Will the chatbot add value to the company? Does the company have time to maintain it after its initial launch? Will a chatbot cheapen the business? Is a chatbot right for your target customer?
Force 5 can help you answer these questions and determine whether chatbot is beneficial for your company. If it does make sense, we can help implement this new technology on your company website. Call us at 574-234-2060 or connect with us by email, [email protected].