As companies find ways to move more of their business processes online, some may turn to chatbots as a customer service solution. This leads to the question: are chatbots killing customer services, or are they useful? This is a question which continues to trouble many customer service providers in large and small markets. When these computer programs conduct clumsy conversations in response to customer queries, it can be quite annoying for consumers. However, for companies that have implemented successful and user-friendly chatbots, the programs can potentially streamline and improve customer service. So, how do consumers really feel about customer service from chatbots?
Recently, a “Global Consumer Customer Service Report” examined consumer behavior and preference in the use of chatbots. It discovered that despite its growing integration into technology-dependent business environments, customers still want to engage with humans and not these chatbots. To uncover the truth behind this notion, we decided to explore the severity of the situation by considering a variety of customer service views on the reliability of such communication systems. Here are a couple of the sampled answers:
Customers will often get impatient as they wait for the human agent to respond to their requests or queries. So, if they are required to choose between waiting and speaking to an instant chatbot, they will choose the latter.
A recent study conducted by Voice of Customer (VoC) platform called Usabilla’s research on the AI to human interaction supports this idea. Here, close to 54% of the respondents said that they prefer ‘talking’ to a chatbot instead of a human agent or customer service representative if the process would save on time.
Other respondents said that they would directly ‘talk’ to a chatbot if the conversation would eventually help them reach the agent. The data also showed that customers would only speak to bots if they get connected to the agent later. This might be because we have all become accustomed to phone trees that ask several questions before redirecting the call.
Chatbots can strongly decrease service expenses for the organization. But do customers feel that companies that choose to use them instead of human agents are simply being cheap? On the other hand, do they think that this is an innovative move?
From those consumers asked, it was clear that they appreciated the efforts companies took to improve the delivery of customer service and response to complaints through chatbots. While they may make things cheaper for the company, it does not, in any way, reflect negatively on the overall brand.
Many customers love the fact that chatbots are available and respond quickly to their queries or complaints. However, there is a growing feeling that chatbots have little to no intelligence capabilities making them unreliable in handling crucial or sensitive issues. As a result, they trust chatbots with only basic requests such as order status, product specifications, and shipping.
We found that 36% of respondents will use chatbots to pay off bills, and another 41% will use them to review their order status. Another challenge is that customers are not willing to settle disputes via the use of these bots. Their lack of trust prevents them from sharing personal details, even if doing so will help solve the problem.
While most of the respondents surveyed responded positively to customer service chatbots, businesses should avoid using them in instances where human agents are needed for more complicated or sensitive issues. There is still a need for more research and technology advancements if this AI-based system is to excel in the unpredictable business market. That said, chatbots have made a good impression on service providers and consumers, which is more than what many people expected.