As today’s technologies continue to evolve into faster and more efficient products for consumers, it is hard to imagine how these same technologies, like chatbots, would be accepted as a customer service strategy a few years back. With the increasing development of chatbots today for consumers to use, such as Uber and WeChat, it seems these technologies are the keys to a greater customer service system. As great as they are, these chatbots are reaching an intelligent level of giving customer support where live agents are no longer needed. The chatbots today can answer customer questions on recently purchased products or even answer curious queries.
Seems like chatbots are running efficiently for businesses, but that may not leave any room for mistakes. And these mistakes are mostly due to the businesses’ engineering process of their chatbots. Because of how high consumers are setting the bar for customer support, especially in chatbots, their expectations must be met by businesses.
So how can a chatbot be properly built? Following this question below is an overview of what should be expected of businesses when building chatbots and common issues that tend to arise.
The Bump in The Road For Chatbots
Though there are many businesses that use chatbots in their automation strategy, not all of these chatbots have been set up for success as customers use them. About a quarter of consumers (21%) said they choose to not interact with a chatbot that appears online, and another 34% said they will only resort to using a chatbot if they are having trouble finding the answer they are looking for.
Unfortunately, out of the group of consumers polled, almost half (45%) of the consumers said chatbots are unable to provide them the answers they are looking for. As far as the other half, 29% believe chatbots are only reliable if you ask simple questions.
Why are chatbots gaining this substantial amount of negative feedback? One of the main reasons chatbots aren’t being used to their full potential is because of businesses engineering them incorrectly and not using correct customer support strategies. 34% of brand marketers in a second survey polled in the U.S. said they do not have a chatbot strategy but have one in the works, while 27% did have one but their chatbot strategy was not to its complete potential. Within this survey, 53% said their chatbots generally followed a routine script, making them unable to “learn” from past and current customer interactions. Consumers are basically dealing with a broken record and cannot get past it if they have complex queries.
From simple to complex questions, technologies must adapt to the progressing wants, needs, and issues consumers today are trying to make their favorite brands aware of. The recent iOS11 system upgrade for iPhones and Apple’s newest devices will bring new questions to complicated technical questions that customers would want answered quickly by a chatbot. If chatbots stick to their script and can’t “learn” from past customer queries, businesses will find themselves spending more time and money constantly adjusting their chatbots manually.
It is similar to the early versions of web searching many years ago before Google became the popular search engine. Simple and common queries in early searching revealed results that were not as relevant as consumers where looking for. What makes the past search engines different from Google is that Google harnesses smarter algorithms in a larger scale. As more consumers use Google, its algorithms leverage machine learning to make future searches even more targeted and relevant.
How Businesses Can Gain a Better Chatbot
This collection of user interactions and learning from user experiences is possible through popular technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning. These intelligent tools can also leverage downloadable self-support materials for consumers to access through their self-help journeys, giving bots the needed information to guide customers to their solutions at a faster rate. However, there are many businesses that neglect to add this into their customer support automation strategy. This holds back needed answers from customers, and also prevents bots from learning more from their customers. Surprisingly, 82% of brand marketers do not provide these materials or collect any customer data from the downloadable materials.
Using A Chatbot
Consumers are wanting to use tech-based customer support materials, helping them in their journeys of self-support to get to the answers they are looking for quickly and at their convenience with little hassle. Properly built chatbots are helping businesses change up and utilize their successful strategies in customer support as well as gain knowledge into present and future customer experiences.
Businesses should be able to provide relevant and smart information to their customers in a reasonable time frame, and properly-designed chatbots used in conjunction with self-support materials are the solution.
Editor’s Note: James Ramey is CEO of DeviceBits, a software company that services clients through a predictive and personalized understanding of interactive tutorials, adaptive FAQs, Interactive Guides, and Videos designed to for self-serving consumers. For more info visit www.devicebits.com.