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.
Advantages of Chatbots
1. Gather Customer Insights
Chatbots can help you gather precious data from your customers by interacting with them. This includes getting insights about their activities, preferences, problems, and more.
You can sort the data to find the most common queries and understand what information your customers seek. Based on this, you can start making that information readily available on your website to help them.
Additionally, you can find out what their most common problems are and take steps to solve them. When you’re able to resolve their issues with ease, they’ll be more likely to stick with your brand.
2. Increase Sales
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.
3. Available 24/7
One of the biggest advantages of chatbots is that they’re available for your customers around the clock. Additionally, they answer promptly to every query that’s presented to them. This ensures that your customers will always find solutions to their problems, be it day or night.
With human customer support, it can be quite difficult to provide 24/7 support. Customers want all of their issues to be resolved as quickly as possible. When you don’t solve their problems in time, they may switch to another brand that offers better customer service.
4. Save Money
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.
5. Improve Customer Satisfaction
The conversations that your customers have with your business matter a lot. They help shape the opinions consumers have about your business.
Customer service executives may respond differently to your customers based on their mood. And, if they’re in a bad mood, they may end up providing an unsatisfactory experience to your customers.
However, a chatbot abides by the rules that you’ve set for it. This ensures that it will respond in the exact manner that you want it to at any moment. Additionally, you can configure your chatbot to speak multiple languages. This can help your brand resolve customers’ questions and problems in other languages as well.
The Other Side of Chatbots: Disadvantages and Risks
1. Lack Emotions
Unlike humans, a chatbot has no emotions. However, they are pretty essential to keep a conversation going the right way. Your customer service executives can understand your customers’ emotions and respond accordingly, but a chatbot may not be able to do so.
Bots can be too mechanical. With pre-programmed conversations, they can handle customer requests when the flow of the conversation follows a specific path. But they may not be able to handle when the conversation takes an unexpected turn.
Since chatbots have no feelings and emotions, it can become critical for them to effectively interact with humans in some cases.
Thankfully, you now have AI-powered solutions like Aivo that make it possible for you to create a personality for your chatbot. You can teach your bot to be empathetic based on certain messages.
Highly conversational and context-aware chatbots can also remember certain things from past conversations. They can utilize these insights to respond accordingly and handle customer requests in the right way.
2. Difficult to Create
It is very challenging to create a chatbot from scratch. It requires that you invest significant time and effort into creating it. You may also need to have some coding knowledge to create a better-functioning chatbot.
Our platform, Aivo, helps you easily build, manage, and measure your customer service solutions using artificial intelligence. You don’t need to have any coding knowledge for this.
Our highly conversational and context-aware chatbot is super easy to set up and can instantly start responding to your customers with ease.
3. Made to Handle First-Level Questions
One of the greatest disadvantages of chatbots is that they have been designed to handle first-level questions only. They may not be able to solve complex queries.
You need to train them to converse with your customers in the right way. You also need to structure and optimize your knowledge base in a bot-friendly way. This will allow your chatbot to scan the content effectively and pull out relevant solutions for each customer request.
If your resource doesn’t include answers to a specific question by any customer, your bot may fail to address the concerns that customer has.
Chatbots are meant to act as a helping hand for your customer support executives. It wouldn’t be a great idea to rely solely on them to provide all of the support.
With Aivo, you can ensure that you stay in control of your customer experience. After all, it’s always better to have a human takeover the conversation to answer complex questions than risking an irrelevant response from a bot.
Our software allows you to get insights about your chatbot conversations so that you can customize their flow and path. This will enable you to let an executive takeover the conversation (when needed).
4. Require Maintenance
Chatbots require ongoing review, maintenance, and optimization in terms of their knowledge base and the way they are supposed to communicate with your customers.
You need to feed them with new, insightful data (content) that they can use to respond to customer requests and questions. They should be able to extract the most relevant and helpful content to solve your customers’ problems.
For this, you need to analyze the conversations your bots have and identify the most common questions that your customers ask them. You can then add answers to these questions to the knowledge base.
But it isn’t easy to track and analyze every conversation your bot has.
However, that’s not the case if you use Aivo. With our software solution, this process is simple. All you need to do is head to our analytics section and identify which tags were used the most. You can also see which customers keep coming back to the chatbot and the times during which most of your customers are active.
Using the training section, you can easily train your chatbot to respond to frequently-asked questions to improve customer satisfaction.
Chatbots have a number of advantages and disadvantages. However, with the introduction of new technologies and software solutions such as Aivo, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages.
With the right solutions, chatbots can help your business save a lot of time, money, and resources. This is especially true in times of crisis.
That’s why, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, at Aivo we’re here to help companies that are facing difficulties in their service strategy.
To help businesses handle this situation, Aivo has enabled a free program for companies with more than five thousand conversations monthly. It includes our live chat (LIve) and knowledge-base (Help) at no cost until June. We also launched Aivo Quick Onboarding for companies to implement our solutions in record time.
Updated on May 11th, 2020