Why Chatbots Today Are Being Built Incorrectly by Businesses
Today, those reading about chatbots will find them familiar and take interest in how they can make a business successful. Many years ago, however, the idea of chatbots helping businesses left consumers wondering how helpful their contributions would be. Today, chatbots are in the majority of our favorite apps, like Uber and WeChat. As consumers begin using technology to go about their daily lives, these technologies, specifically chatbots, are also replacing live agents in the customer service industry.
Chatbots replacing live agents? They will have to be very good at what they do for customers to not need live agents. This leaves customers with high expectations of chatbots and their capabilities. But when businesses incorrectly set up their chatbots, it leads to the technology's failure and affects future interactions with customers.
In building a chatbot, it's critical to understand the following issues brands face and key features that need to be implemented for customer support success.
How and Why Chatbots Are Hitting a Road Block
As chatbots are introduced by more brands, their incorrect use will negatively impact a brand’s automation strategies. In a consumer poll, 21 percent of respondents said they never interacted with a chatbot on a site they have visited, and another 34 percent said at times they will use a chatbot only if they can’t find the solution to their question elsewhere.
Of those polled, 45 percent said that when they did interact with a chatbot, they had a hard time getting the answers they were seeking, and another 29 percent believe chatbots won’t work efficiently unless their questions are very simple.
While chatbots continue to become more popular, many consumers still don't fully accept them as a customer support system due to brands’ inability to have the right customer strategy in bots, and bots incorrectly being engineered. A second survey conducted in the U.S. amongst brand marketers revealed that 33 percent of respondents didn't have a chatbot strategy, though one is in the works, and another 27 percent said their current chatbot strategy is incomplete. Fifty-three percent of brand marketers also said their chatbots run on a script instead of a “learning” mechanism. This prevents the bots from collecting previous data and interactions with customers in order to adapt to the variety of queries customers have.
Though customers may buy the same tech products (e.g., Apple’s latest iPhone) or download the next iOS system upgrade, they'll have different questions that will require different answers. Without chatbots being able to “learn” from customers, brands will have a more difficult time understanding the wants and needs of their customers, and their bots will become useless without an intelligent system.
This is similar to the early days of using search engines for research. Early search queries often yielded irrelevant results. Now, Google’s search engine and its sophisticated algorithm can collect and learn from user experiences and leverage data to produce relevant search results for users.
Being Able to Build a Better Bot
The learning process chatbots use is achieved through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. These technologies enable both the collection of customer data and knowledge as customers download self-support materials. Surprisingly, 82 percent of brand marketers have yet to pick up on how important it is for their customer support system to use these downloadable materials, and they don't incorporate these materials into their customer service. Along with the negative impact on their customer service, not having these materials will also affect bots negatively since bots rely on customer interactions with these materials to learn more about customer patterns.
Using a Chatbot
As businesses successfully incorporate chatbots, they're able to help customers save time in their research when interacting with helpful self-support materials and interactive bots. The customer service industry is being revolutionized by chatbot technology, changing how businesses strategize their customer support strategies and setting up services for future success.
Chatbots can help customers save time researching solutions in their self-support journeys and give proper information through interactive materials available.
James Ramey is CEO of DeviceBits, a software company that services clients through a predictive and personalized understanding of interactive tutorials, adaptive FAQs, interactive guides and videos designed for self-serving consumers.