Are Chatbots Overhyped?

Gemma Baker
by Gemma Baker 16 Jan, 2023

AI and chatbots have become the biggest buzzwords in technology over the last few years.

However, as massive organizations push the development further, many companies are not jumping on the band wagon, and are looking to improve customer service by integrating technology that includes a more human touch.

One way they are achieving this is by implementing a web chat system; an instant communication channel that allows visitors to engage with an organization live on their website. The chat service connects the visitor directly to a human representative, where they can have their questions answered quickly and easily.

Web chat suits any type of business environment whether this is within sales, support, advisory or multiple settings. Representatives are trained and knowledgeable in their area of expertise, which helps them to answer the visitor accurately.

What to Consider about Chatbots

Chatbots have been developed with deep learning, meaning they learn and adapt with every conversation. This is particularly risky to use when providing advice, especially for charities advising on sensitive situations. Would a chatbot be able to respond appropriately and accurately to someone needing help with eating disorders or depression etc. or could it in fact make the situation worse?

There are many articles surrounding how chatbots can benefit a contact center, but not any research on how a chatbot would actually work within the organization. This raises a few questions to consider:

  • Would it be able to successfully handle multiple types of chats at the same time? e.g. A new prospect and an existing customer will have different requirements.
  • If the contact center handles chat for multiple clients and they get asked similar questions, will the chatbot be able to differentiate between which organization the visitor is enquiring with?
  • When a visitor provides their name, will the chatbot be able to "think" it needs more identifiable details, if scanning through customer records and finding multiple records with the same name, or will it just pull information from the first customer's data that it comes across?

Web Chat is a Proven and Safer Channel

Web chat allows representatives to handle chats based on their role. Enquiries can be routed through to the correct department ensuring visitors questions are answered correctly and in most situations on first contact.  If an operator doesn't know the answer, they can find out from their colleagues, whereas the chatbot is likely to give a response that it thinks fits the question or leave the visitor without an answer, which can cause frustration.

Web chat systems has been around for decades and are used by a whole range of companies to improve their digital customer service. The live chat market is growing ever more popular, with businesses looking to integrate it further into their online offerings, including integrating with their legacy systems, social media platforms and even emails.

Organizations need to be careful with emerging technology as not enough testing has occurred to prove its reliability. In some cases, it only takes consumers having one bad customer service experience for them to leave. Your company should ensure the communication channels implemented have a trusted history that has already been used by other organizations in the same industry or providing a similar service environment.

Is your company considering using chatbots or are looking at other strategies to improve your customer service?

Author Bio: Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for UK web chat system provider, Click4Assistance, with a range of digital knowledge within PPC advertising, SEO practices, email campaigns and social media.