Automated customer support features are no longer subjects of future speculation. Rather, a huge number of businesses already employ tools like chatbots to assist their customer service teams. And there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that consumers value chatbots themselves.
Indeed, 62% of consumers like interacting with new companies via chatbot. Yet, as with any burgeoning technology, there are pros and cons associated with utilizing chatbots and automated customer support tools. Here’s a closer look at them:
Pro: 24-Hour Assistance
Though this might sound painfully obvious, the stark truth is that artificial intelligence features don’t have to take a break. Or go to lunch. Or sleep. As such, chatbots can be incredibly useful for consumers looking for a solution to a problem late at night or outside of normal business hours.
Con: Lack of Sophistication
The first thing that any business needs to understand about chatbots is that they’re limited. They are not infallible. One big drawback associated with chatbots is that they can’t answer sophisticated consumer queries. Rather, most chatbots can only address a relatively small number of pre-programmed questions. So businesses shouldn’t rely on chatbots to provide complex or sophisticated answers.
Yes, automated customer service features do require investment to set up and maintain properly. But in the long run, chatbots are estimated to help businesses save a collective $8 billion over the next few years. In general, chatbots deliver a significant return on investment.
It should be noted though, that not all chatbots are created equal. Complex automated tools will require more investment and incur more maintenance costs over time than basic models.
Con: Poor Lead Management
While a lot of consumers have no problem interacting with chatbots, a significant portion would rather speak with an actual person. If those customers are forced to deal with a chatbot, then they could become understandably frustrated and move on. Given this fact, it’s almost always a smart idea to provide chatbots as an option for communication – not as a compulsory measure.
Pre-programmed chatbots can deliver answers to questions with lightning speed and precision. When deployed correctly, automated service features can help website visitors perform a myriad of tasks. Whether a visitor is looking to search for local clinics or locate a specific product, chatbots can deliver those results very quickly.
Con: Limited Appeal
Plain and simple, chatbots are most effective for companies that generate a high amount of website traffic. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for a small business that only has a handful of leads a week to invest time and money in a chatbot that may only have limited applications. Before you make any decision regarding automated customer service tech, review your data and make sure that such an investment is warranted in the first place.