Back in 2016 when chatbots became popular everybody said they will replace human agents in customer care departments. After collecting 2.5 years of experience about Messenger chatbots the reality looks a bit different today.
The question is not about chatbots replacing humans, but rather how chatbots can work together with humans hand in hand.
Chatbot tech was a big promise at the start. Claiming to answer customers’ question in a conversational way, and provide human like assistance in repetitive use cases. It turned out that technology in its current state can’t live up to this promise. Chatbots worked with 70% failure rate,which left customers’ questions unanswered and created bad customer experience.
Facebook quickly reacted and tuned down the expectations about chatbots. Instead of using open text conversations chatbot developers were encouraged to build rule-based interactions. UX got simplified to basically customers tapping on different buttons within the Messenger UI. Facebook stopped using the word chatbot and now it calls these interactive button bots messenger experience. With this move, the role of chatbots also shifted from managing conversations towards creating a self-service (IVR like) channels for Tier 1 customer questions.
The main task of chatbots shifted from customer care towards marketing related functions. Chatbots operate today as the first point of contact towards the customers and rely on human intervention once the customer need is more complex.
And I think its OK like that!
The Future of Chat-based Customer Care
The future of chat based customer care will be a hybrid solution where bots are in the front line and humans are the (often used) back-up.
- Bots will reach out proactively to large number of customers, and humans will deal with the qualified leads.
- Bots will help customers to navigate in FAQ like documents, and humans will step in if the customer question is too complex.
- Bots will deliver great ways of product discovery, support sales in a scalable way and humans will deal with customer care conversations.
It’s natural that companies feel tempted to undemanding chatbots compared to costly and often fluctuating human workforce. And it’s OK to automate the tasks and conversations which did not require human empathy. But human empathy can’t be automated. The key opportunities for brand growth rest in building an emotional connection with customers through personal experience. If a customer feels the personal care he or she will more likely buy again. With rising customer acquisition costs, you need to make sure the shoppers you do acquire come back again and again.
“…better” is greater than “faster.”
While customers who felt that a brand offered fast service, were six times more likely to be highly engaged. Customers who gave the brand good ratings on “people” factors (like the customer care agent’s courtesy and willingness to help) were nine times more likely to be fully engaged.
The challenge is to find a balance between innovation and relevance. The key to put a smile on your customers face is about finding the right balance between fully automated functions and personal care.
Fortunately, chatbots are not the only way how technology can help humans. There are simple ways to increase human agents productivity thus increasing the total amount of personal care a chat agent can give to the customers.
The impact of using AI in social customer service might not lead to a reduction in overall customer service jobs. Instead, brands may use the increased productivity to provide a much higher level of service with similar team size. AI helps chat agent with all the necessary background knowledge to answer more sophisticated customer questions.
“AI will become a table-stakes technology, critical to any company that wants to remain competitive in the customer service space.”Forbes
Machine learning can augment chat agents capabilities in a way that allows them to still keep their personal edge. Our goal at Chatler.ai is to save time of chat agents, by making chat knowledge more accessible, and recommending most relevant replies for chat agents to incoming consumer queries. Chatler.ai replaces the unproductive and repetitive “find-copy-paste” work of chat agents by doing the heavy lifting work instead of humans. The smart algorithms can analyze chat histories and recommend replies for frequently asked questions. Humans make the final decision and add the personal touch to each message making sure the customer feel appreciated. Chatler.ai machine learning technology helps brands deliver fast, accurate, and consistent customer care responses.
With Chatler.ai you can manage the increased number of customer care conversations with the same team. Let humans manage the conversations which are important. Let AI help you even if chatbots are stuck.
Find out more about how Chatler can help you today to deliver great customer experience and increase customer loyalty and repurchase.